US medical practices are not prepared for disasters such as hurricanes or bioterrorist attacks according to the results of a survey carried out by the Medical Group Management Association.
The MGMA Center for Research surveyed members enrolled in itsLegislative and Executive Advocacy Response Network during July, 2008 and published the findings at last week’s Annual Conference in San Diego.
84% of survey respondents said their practices had not participated in disaster planning exercises with government agencies during the last year, while 71% indicated they hadn’t participated in drills with nearby hospitals, and 62% said they hadn’t engaged in intramural exercises involving their own practice.
Nearly a third of respondents reported that their practice did not have a disaster plan in place.
Remarkably, 87% of the group believed there was a “moderate or strong” likelihood that a disaster will occur in their community during the next 5 years.
The US Department of Health and Human Services has set aside $1.1 billion to help hospitals, public health departments and other health care organizations develop and practice disaster plans, but according to MGMA almost none of this money has been allocated to medical practices.