Hospitals to get help paying for Haiti survivors' treatment

U.S. hospitals will get some help providing care for critically ill survivors of the Haiti earthquake thanks to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) activation of additional components of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS).

With the activation, hospitals will receive federal reimbursement for costs they incur for treating survivors who meet the criteria for evacuation with life-threatening injuries and who have a reasonable chance of surviving the flight and the treatment in the United States.

"Accredited hospitals, usually over 100 beds in size and located in large U.S. metropolitan areas, are encouraged to enter into a voluntary agreement with NDMS," says HHS. "Hospitals agree to commit a number of their acute care beds, subject to availability, for NDMS patients.  Because this is a completely voluntary program, hospitals may, upon activation of the system, provide more or fewer beds than the number committed in the agreement. Hospitals that admit NDMS patients are guaranteed reimbursement at 110 percent of Medicare rates by the federal government."

In related news, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has published some Frequently Asked Questions addressing Medicaid coverage for earthquake evacuees.

To learn more about the NDMS activation:
- read the HHS press release
- for Medicaid FAQs, visit the CMS website