Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Skip over global navigation links
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) leads the country in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from the adverse health effects of emergencies and disasters. This is accomplished by supporting the nation’s ability to withstand adversity, strengthening health and emergency response systems, and enhancing national health security. ASPR’s Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) enables the health care delivery system to save lives during emergencies and disaster events that exceed the day-to-day capacity and capability of existing health and emergency response systems. HPP is the only source of federal funding for health care delivery system readiness, intended to improve patient outcomes, minimize the need for federal and supplemental state resources during emergencies, and enable rapid recovery. HPP prepares the health care delivery system to save lives through the development of health care coalitions (HCCs) that incentivize diverse, and often competitive, health care organizations (HCOs), which have differing priorities and objectives, to work together.

2017-2022 Health Care Preparedness and Response Capabilities

ASPR developed the original 2017-2022 Health Care Preparedness and Response Capabilities (which remain the same for the FY2019-2023 cooperative agreement) to describe the high-level objectives that the health care delivery system and HCCs, including acute care hospitals, and emergency medical services (EMS), emergency management agencies, and public health agencies, should undertake to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies.

The four health care preparedness and response capabilities are:

Capability 1: Foundation for Health Care and Medical Readiness

The community’s health care organizations and other stakeholders—coordinated through a sustainable HCC—have strong relationships, identify hazards and risks, and prioritize and address gaps through planning, training, exercising, and managing resources.

Capability 2: Health Care and Medical Response Coordination

Health care organizations, the HCC, their jurisdiction(s), and the state’s/jurisdiction’s Emergency Emergency Support Function-8 (ESF-8) lead agency plan and collaborate to share and analyze information, manage and share resources, and coordinate strategies to deliver medical care to all populations during emergencies and planned events.

Capability 3: Continuity of Health Care Service Delivery

Health care organizations, with support from the HCC and the state’s/jurisdiction’s ESF-8 lead agency, provide uninterrupted, optimal medical care to all populations in the face of damaged or disabled health care infrastructure. Health care workers are well-trained, well-educated, and well-equipped to care for patients during emergencies. Simultaneous response and recovery operations result in a return to normal or, ideally, improved operations.

Capability 4: Medical Surge

Health care organizations—including hospitals, EMS, and out-of-hospital providers—deliver timely and efficient care to their patients even when the demand for health care services exceeds available supply. The HCC, in collaboration with the ESF-8 lead agency, coordinates information and available resources for its members to maintain conventional surge response. When an emergency overwhelms the HCC’s collective resources, the HCC supports the health care delivery system’s transition to contingency and crisis surge response and promotes a timely return to conventional standards of care as soon as possible.

These capabilities illustrate the range of preparedness and response activities that, if conducted, represent the ideal state of readiness in the United States. ASPR recognizes that there is shared authority and accountability for the health care delivery system's readiness that rests with private organizations, government agencies, and public health and medical services lead agencies. Given the many public and private entities that must come together to ensure community preparedness, HCCs serve an important communication and coordination role within their respective jurisdiction(s).

These capabilities may not be achieved solely with the funding provided through the HPP Cooperative Agreement.

2019 Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)

In 2019, ASPR released the Hospital Preparedness Program Cooperative Agreement CFDA #93.889. This FOA provides updates to the program but maintains performance measures and standards for measurement of recipient and HCC compliance and the health care preparedness and response capabilities.

Significant Updates for FY2019-2023

Please note that in FY2019, the Coalition Surge Tool (CST) and Hospital Surge Tool (HST) will not be required due to COVID-19 response. HCCs will not need to conduct the CST/HST and recipients will not need to report on these measures (performance measures 14-21 for the CST and performance measures 23-28 for the HST).

In FY2019, the program added specialty surge annex requirements to response plans. In light of the COVID-19 response, the pediatric annex table-top exercise (TTX) and associated data sheet was waived for FY2019. However, pediatric surge is very important; the pediatric annex TTX and associated data sheet will still need to be conducted before the end of the five year project period.

Also due to the COVID-19 response, the response plan specialty annex due in FY2020 may be either the burn specialty annex, as planned, or the infectious disease specialty annex. The other annex not completed in FY2020 should be completed in FY2021.

The preparedness plan measure has been retired (as HCCs were overwhelmingly meeting this measure), and refinements in language have been made to clarify some performance measures. In addition, for Performance Measure 4, the number of core and additional organizations (both member organizations and non-member organizations) within recipient boundaries, disaggregated by type, will now be reported by recipients rather than through HCCs.

<< Previous --------- Top of Page --------- Next >>

  • This page last reviewed: November 05, 2020