As crews worked to battle wildfires ravaging California, acting Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan declared a public health emergency in that state.
Hartgan's declaration Oct. 15 allows for a waiver to a portion of the Social Security Act so the state may enable Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to take action to improve health care options for critical health situations, a posting on the American Hospital Association's website said.
“Wildfires burning across more than 200,000 acres and 10 Northern California counties threaten the lives of tens of thousands of people,” Hargan said in the posting. “Today’s public health declaration will ensure that those who rely upon Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage will receive uninterrupted care during this disaster.”
The California Hospital Association and partners in the area have also set up the Hospital Workers’ Fire Relief Fund to assist more than 100 hospital employees affected by the fires thus far.
Donations are being accepted through the end of October. For more information on how to make a donation, go tot https://www.calhospital.org/cha-news-article/hospital-associations-establish-hospital-workers-fire-relief-fund.