U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced legislation Wednesday to allocate funds to support the establishment of regional designated hospitals that can provide specialized care for Ebola patients in an isolated setting.
“The U.S. should be prepared to deal with highly infectious diseases like Ebola, and this commonsense legislation will ensure we have designated health care facilities that are trained, staffed, and prepared to provide specialized treatment to patients with infectious disease,” said Portman.
According to the press release, Portman and Markey’s legislation establishes a program through which the Department of Health and Human Services can distribute funds to assist hospitals that voluntarily seek designation as a treatment center. These funds would support the establishment of an isolation unit, appropriate and intensive training for all health care workers, acquisition of needed personal protective equipment, handling, transport and disposal of contaminated waste and other activities necessary to treat patients with Ebola or other serious infectious diseases safely and effectively. The legislation would also allow hospitals to apply for compensatory awards to cover the excess and otherwise unpaid expenses of treating a patient with Ebola.
On behalf of the Ohio hospital community, the Ohio Hospital Association appreciates Senator Portman’s efforts to ensure hospitals are equipped with resources for ongoing Ebola preparedness .
“Our member hospitals in northeast Ohio responded swiftly to the need for quarantines and monitoring of Ohioans who were in contact with an infected health care worker who traveled to our state,” said OHA President and CEO Mike Abrams. “Ohio hospitals prepare for all types of emergencies and provide necessary care for their patients and the communities they serve. Though Ebola is a uniquely dangerous disease, the emergency planning and activities hospitals and health care professionals engage in on a regular basis strongly position Ohio's health care infrastructure to appropriately manage this disease." - See more at: http://www.ohiohospitals.org/News-Resources/Newsletters/Health-e-News/U-S-Senators-Portman-and-Markey-Introduce-Legislat.aspx#sthash.DoyY0dYt.dpuf