Planning for Emergencies
In an effort to better protect New Yorkers with limited mobility, the New York State Department of Health instituted the Transportation Assistance Level (TAL) policy in 2016. Under this mandate, all home health care providers were required to determine every patient’s ability to move independently and consider these limitations when building a household’s emergency response plans.
Many states have mandated that nursing homes and home health providers maintain an Emergency Preparedness Plan in the event of an emergency that requires patients to be evacuated from their home. As part of the planning New York State implemented a system that is recognized and used throughout the state employing standardized Transportation Assistance Level (TAL) classifications. Use of the TALs classifications provides a universal tool to rapidly assess and identify home care and hospice patients during a planned evacuation, to ensure that appropriate transportation resources are deployed.
The NYSDOH Home and Community Based Care Program requires the statewide adoption of the TALs categorization system for homecare and hospice patients to standardize and streamline the evacuation process, particularly in a regional or statewide event involving external transportation resources.