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Federal Resource Plans
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in 2011 convened a working group of experts to develop guidance on decision-making regarding allocation of scarce federal public health and medical resources. Such scarcities in federal resource availability could occur during catastrophic incidents or in a scenario including multiple disasters.
Ethical principles pertaining to substantive and procedural values were identified. Principles of Federalism were also considered to differentiate this type of decision-making from the triage decision-making that occurs at the individual or community levels. The criteria were presented to three stakeholder groups. The working group also consulted with the Modeling Group from HHS’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to further refine the recommended approach to decision making.
Next steps are to develop and publish a manuscript describing both process and outcomes to date, and acknowledging ASPR’s instrumental role in beginning this necessary work although the views expressed are those of the authors. One consideration for further study may include using “systems dynamics modeling”.