What is a Health Care Coalition (HCC)?
The Healthcare Preparedness Program of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response defines HCCs as:
- "A formal collaboration among healthcare organizations and public and private partners that is organized to prepare for, respond to, and recover from an emergency, mass casualty or catastrophic event."
Comprehensive healthcare membership with four core entities
Regional presence developed within states/territories to cover larger geographic areas
Preparedness capability operationalization through plans, exercises, trainings, response and after-action reports.
Planning vs. Response
- HCCs are primarily viewed as planning organizations, with a limited role in incident response. Major responsibilities include:
- Regional Emergency Plan Development;
- Regional Budget Development and Sustainment;
- Membership Sustainment and Growth;
- Incident Response Coordination at the Regional Level (Communications and Mutual Aid Process Facilitation);
- Coordinating and Facilitating HCC Meetings and Records; and
- Regional Training and Exercising Facilitation.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Funded Facilities Preparedness Rule
How Pennsylvania Does It
- HCC Leadership comes from many corners of the preparedness spectrum.
- Partnership with the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC)
- Support Pennsylvania's hospitals, health care facilities and regional health care coalitions
- Provide regional collaboration and health care preparedness and response by encouraging the development and sustainment of health care coalitions.
- Cooperation from our PHEP partners in the Bureau of Emergency Preparedness and Response
- Field Team of Public Health Preparedness Coordinators
- Close collaboration with EMA Task Forces and EMS Regional Councils
- Engaged Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Preparedness and Response
- Strong ties to local resources, fire departments, law enforcement and county public health
Where Do You Fit In?
Each of Pennsylvania's nine HCCs set their own criteria for membership, but in general, if you are a part of the medical care delivery system, and are concerned about or have a role to play in emergency preparedness, you'll be welcome in the HCC system.
Section 5.1.3 of the Public Health Emergency site (https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/mscc/healthcarecoalition/chapter5/Pages/developing.aspx) supported by the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response outlines the professional entities that should comprise every HCC, to include:
- EMS (including inter-facility and other non-EMS patient transport systems)
- Emergency management organizations
- Public health agencies
- Behavioral health services and organizations
- Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)
- Dialysis centers and regional Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)-funded end-stage renal disease (ESRD) networks
- Federal facilities (e.g., U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers, Indian Health Service facilities, military treatment facilities)
- Home health agencies (including home and community-based services)
- Infrastructure companies (e.g., utility and communication companies)
- Jurisdictional partners, including cities, counties, and tribes
- Local chapters of health care professional organizations (e.g., medical society, professional society, hospital association)
- Local public safety agencies (e.g., law enforcement and fire services)
- Medical and device manufacturers and distributors
- Non-governmental organizations (e.g., American Red Cross, voluntary organizations active in disasters, amateur radio operators, etc.)
- Outpatient health care delivery (e.g., ambulatory care, clinics, community and tribal health centers, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), urgent care centers, freestanding emergency rooms, stand-alone surgery centers)
- Primary care providers, including pediatric and women's health care providers
- Schools and universities, including academic medical centers
- Skilled nursing, nursing, and long-term care facilities
- Support service providers (e.g., clinical laboratories, pharmacies, radiology, blood banks, poison control centers)
- Other (e.g., child care services, dental clinics, social work services, faith-based organizations)
- Specialty patient referral centers
If you're willing to supply or be a resource in larger public health emergencies, and in return, receive guidance, training, exercise and meeting participation opportunities and direct materials to ensure that you and your facility are in compliance with federal regulations, contact your regional coalition today about membership.
Health Care Coalition Regional Manager Transition Updates
The Bureau of Emergency Preparedness & Response (BEPR) works with PHMC to provide critical support to our coalition members and Emergency Support Function 8 (ESF8) partners.
- HCC members are encouraged to contact their County Emergency Management Agency as the first line of support for emergencies or events impacting operations.
View the list of county coordinators.
- HCC members are also encouraged to follow existing HCC plans and procedures to leverage coalition-level support systems that may be in place.
- Facilities with questions or concerns that are not of an emergent/life safety nature can email the combined BEPR/PHMC team at
ra-dhHCCemail@example.com. Provide a description of the concern and contact information, and someone from our BEPR/PHMC team will follow up. For questions related to COVID-19, please use the following resource accounts as appropriate:
- For inquiries regarding testing strategies in Long Term Care Facilities, please use
- For inquiries regarding required Skilled Nursing Facility reporting requirements and systems, as well as policy guidance, please use
- Facilities with an emergent, life safety need that requires support from the ESF8 community should call the BEPR 24/7 on-call number at 717-214-1906. The Bureau will coordinate with PHMC, ESF8 partners, and the emergency management community to ensure that emergent needs are addressed promptly and safely.
Get Involved Today!
Send a short e-mail message to the region in which your operating county is located. You will receive a response within 48 hours. For facility incidents or coalition member business, call the HCC number shown below.
EAST CENTRAL (Berks, Columbia, Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Wyoming Counties)
NORTH CENTRAL (Bradford, Clinton, Lycoming, Potter, Sullivan, Tioga, Union Counties)
NORTHEAST (Carbon, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne Counties)
NORTHERN TIER (Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Venango, Warren Counties)
KEYSTONE (Adams, Bedford, Blair, Centre, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry, Snyder, York Counties)
SOUTHEAST (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia Counties)
SOUTHWEST (Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland Counties)
FOR IMMEDIATE LIFE-THREATENING EMERGENCIES, DIAL 9-1-1