The National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Issue Brief
  1. Person-Kaiser Health System Tracker. Kamal, R., Kurani, N., McDermott, D., and Cox, C. How prepared is the US to respond to COVID-19 relative to other countries? 2020. https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/how-prepared-is-the-us-to-respond-to-covid-19-relative-to-other-countries/

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  2. Congressional Research Service. Deployable Federal Assets Supporting Domestic Disaster Response Operations: Summary and Considerations for Congress. 2015. Available at: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R43560/9

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  3. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund FY2021 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committee, 2020. https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fy-2021-phssef-cj.pdf

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  4. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund FY2021 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committee, 2020. https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fy-2021-phssef-cj.pdf

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  5. Francso, C, et al. “The National Disaster Medical System: Past, Present, and Suggestions for the Future.” Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. Volume 5, Number 4, 2007.

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  6. While agency budget justifications state the NDMS was formed in 1987, Congressional Research Service reports and other non-agency documents report the start year as 1984.

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  7. Congressional Research Service. Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act (P.L. 107-188): Provisions and Changes to Preexisting Law. 2002. https://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/RL31263.html

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  8. U.S. House of Representatives. Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina. 109th Congress; 2nd Session. 2006. https://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1209/ML12093A081.pdf

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  9. U.S. House of Representatives Committee On Government Reform —Minority Staff Special Investigations Division. The Decline of The National Disaster Medical System. 2005 https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=463751

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  10. Phillips, Z. Government Executive. “The emergency medical system returns home, hopefully to better health.” February 21, 2007. https://www.govexec.com/management/2007/02/geographic-cure/23771/

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  11. Congressional Research Service. Deployable Federal Assets Supporting Domestic Disaster Response Operations: Summary and Considerations for Congress. 2015. Available at: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R43560/9

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  12. Congressional Research Service. Deployable Federal Assets Supporting Domestic Disaster Response Operations: Summary and Considerations for Congress. 2015. Available at: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R43560/9

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  13. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Public Health Emergency. National Disaster Medical System: The Best of Care in the Worst of Times. Accessed, April 19, 2020. https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/responders/ndms/Pages/default.aspx

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  14. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund FY2021 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committee, 2020. https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fy-2021-phssef-cj.pdf

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  15. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Public Health Emergency. National Disaster Medical System: The Best of Care in the Worst of Times. Accessed, April 19, 2020. https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/responders/ndms/Pages/default.aspx

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  16. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Public Health Emergency. National Disaster Medical System: The Best of Care in the Worst of Times. Accessed, April 19, 2020. https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/responders/ndms/Pages/default.aspx

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  17. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Public Health Emergency. National Disaster Medical System: The Best of Care in the Worst of Times. Accessed, April 19, 2020. https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/responders/ndms/Pages/default.aspx

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  18. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund FY2021 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committee, 2020. https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fy-2021-phssef-cj.pdf

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  19. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Public Health Emergency. National Disaster Medical System: NDMS Definitive Care Reimbursement Program. Accessed, April 19, 2020. https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/responders/ndms/definitive-care/Pages/default.aspx

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  20. Congressional Research Service. Deployable Federal Assets Supporting Domestic Disaster Response Operations: Summary and Considerations for Congress. 2015. Available at: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R43560/9

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  21. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Press Release: HHS activates program to reimburse hospitals caring for patients evacuated following Hurricane Irma. September 17, 2017. Available at: https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2017/09/17/hhs-activates-program-reimburse-hospitals-caring-patients-evacuated-hurricane-irma.html

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  22. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Public Health Emergency. National Disaster Medical System: NDMS Definitive Care Reimbursement Program. Accessed, April 19, 2020. https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/responders/ndms/definitive-care/Pages/default.aspx

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  23. The emPOWER program “provides datasets and tools to public health agencies to identify individuals who rely on electricity-dependent medical equipment and devices.” Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund FY2021 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committee, 2020. https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fy-2021-phssef-cj.pdf

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  24. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. FY2021 Budget in Brief. https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fy-2021-budget-in-brief.pdf

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  25. Congressional Research Service. Deployable Federal Assets Supporting Domestic Disaster Response Operations: Summary and Considerations for Congress. 2015. Available at: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R43560/9

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  26. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund FY2021 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committee, 2020. https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fy-2021-phssef-cj.pdf

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  27. Congressional Research Service. Deployable Federal Assets Supporting Domestic Disaster Response Operations: Summary and Considerations for Congress. 2015. Available at: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R43560/9

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  28. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Public Health Emergency. National Disaster Medical System: The Best of Care in the Worst of Times. Accessed, April 19, 2020. https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/responders/ndms/Pages/default.aspx

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  29. Congressional Research Service. Deployable Federal Assets Supporting Domestic Disaster Response Operations: Summary and Considerations for Congress. 2015. Available at: https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R43560/9

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  30. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund FY2021 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committee, 2020. https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fy-2021-phssef-cj.pdf

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  31. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund FY2021 Justification of Estimates for Appropriations Committee, 2020. https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/fy-2021-phssef-cj.pdf

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  32. Moss, et al. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Summary of Key Provisions. 2020.

    https://www.kff.org/global-health-policy/issue-brief/the-families-first-coronavirus-response-act-summary-of-key-provisions/

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  33. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Public Health Emergency. National Disaster Medical System: The Best of Care in the Worst of Times. Accessed, April 19, 2020. https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/responders/ndms/Pages/default.aspx

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  34. Armour, S. Wall Street Journal. “U.S. Weighs Paying Hospitals for Treating Uninsured Coronavirus Patients.” March 3, 2020. Available at: https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-considering-paying-hospitals-for-treating-uninsured-coronavirus-patients-11583258943

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  35. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Public Health Emergency. National Disaster Medical System: The Best of Care in the Worst of Times. Accessed, April 19, 2020. https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/responders/ndms/Pages/default.aspx

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  36. U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs. Hearing: The Federal Interagency Response to the Coronavirus and Preparing for Future Global Pandemics. March 5, 2020. https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/the-federal-interagency-response-to-the-coronavirus-and-preparing-for-future-global-pandemics

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  37. CAM Erie. “We want to sincerely thank everyone in the healthcare industry for all of their dedication and determination during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also want to specifically thank our Board Chairman, Trevor Pearson, who is down in Georgia working for the NDMS team. #ThankYou.“ March 30, 2020. Tweet. https://twitter.com/CAMEriePA/status/1244656974668730376?s=20

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  38. HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). “Responders from the NDMS’s Disaster Mortuary Assistance Teams are serving on the front lines of health by supporting the #NYC Medical Examiner’s Office and providing portable facilities to aid in the response. The heroic efforts of the men and women of NDMS DMORT demonstrate their commitment to treating each victim of #COVID19 with the dignity and respect they deserve until they can be returned to the families and loved ones.” LinkedIn Post. April 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/posts/hhs-aspr_nyc-covid19-activity-6654163801765629952-TInl

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  39. Kadlec, R., M.D., Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Witness Testimony. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs. Hearing: The Federal Interagency Response to the Coronavirus and Preparing for Future Global Pandemics. March 5, 2020.  https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Testimony-Kadlec-2020-03-05-REVISED.pdf

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  40. Kadlec, R., M.D., Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Witness Testimony. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs. Hearing: The Federal Interagency Response to the Coronavirus and Preparing for Future Global Pandemics. March 5, 2020.  https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Testimony-Kadlec-2020-03-05-REVISED.pdf

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  41. Lurie, N., DeSalvao, K., and Finne, K. “Ten Years After Hurricane Katrina: Progress And Challenges Remain For US Emergency Preparedness.” Health Affairs Blog. August 27, 2015. https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20150827.050201/full/

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