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State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health

May 7, 2020

Health Care Providers

Medical/Health Resource Requesting for Health Care Providers

This Guidance is no longer in effect and is for historical purposes only.

​After attempts to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) from regular suppliers are exhausted, health care providers can request resources through the Medical Health Operational Area Coordination Program (MHOAC). 

Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS)

The California Emergency Services Act requires SEMS to be utilized for managing multi-agency & multi-jurisdictional responses to emergencies/disasters in California:

  • SEMS consists of five consecutive organizational levels (Field, Local, Operational Area, Region, State), and unifies all elements of California's emergency management community into a single integrated system.
  • State agencies are required to utilize SEMS, and local government entities must utilize SEMS in order to be eligible for reimbursement of response-related costs under the state's disaster assistance programs.
  • All medical & health situation status reporting and resource requesting should follow SEMS. 

Medical/Health Resource Requesting*

  • Field level providers should contact the applicable MHOAC Program (utilizing locally established resource requesting procedures/tools) to request medical/health resources they are unable to obtain through established vendors, day-to-day mutual aid process, corporate relationships, or pre-existing agreements.
  • The MHOAC program is responsible for reviewing/confirming all medical/health resource requests from field level providers, and may require additional information/clarification from the requesting entity prior to fulfillment.
  • The MHOAC program will attempt to locate the requested resource from within their OA. If the resource is not available within their OA, the MHOAC will send the resource request to the applicable RDMHS. (Note: field level providers should not contact the RDMHS directly for resource requests, as these need to be vetted by the applicable MHOAC Program first, and may be available within the OA).
  • The RDMHS will attempt to locate the requested resource from other OA's within their mutual aid region. If the resource is not available, the RDMHS will forward the resource request to the State for fulfillment.
  • The requesting field level provider may be responsible for any unreimbursed costs associated with the medical/ health resources requested from the MHOAC Program.

*Note: The MHOAC and RDMHC/S programs only deal with medical/health resources. Non-medical/health resources are normally handled through the OA/state Office of Emergency Services (OES). If necessary, the MHOAC Program can assist field level providers in connecting with applicable OES entities to request non-medical/health resources.

Medical Health Operational Area Coordination Program Overview

In order to ensure adequate resources are available to meet the needs of your county/jurisdiction's operational area (OA) medical and health response system, the MHOAC coordinates all medical and health resources within, into, and out of your county/jurisdiction OA consistent with the California Public Health and Medical Emergency Operations Manual (EOM). The MHOAC uses the EOM as a guide to coordinate response among multiple jurisdictions and to access disaster medical and health service response at all levels of government and the private sector.

The MHOAC is responsible for managing disaster medical resources, including personnel, equipment, and supplies. Resource management includes assessing disaster medical response needs, tracking available resources, and requesting or providing mutual aid. The status of local available resources within the OA is assessed before requesting outside resources or submitting a resource request to the Region Disaster Medical Health Coordination/Specialist Program (RDMHC/S). Following an assessment of local resources, the MHOAC may request or provide mutual aid as conditions warrant. The MHOAC acts as the single-point ordering authority for OA medical health mutual aid requirements. If necessary, the MHOAC may also request the public health and medical Department Operations Center (DOC) or OA Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to be activated to support the public health or medical event.

If the MHOAC cannot fulfill a request using local sources, they may request public health and medical resources from outside of the OA via your RDMHC/S. If regional resources are inadequate or delayed, the RDMHC Program will forward the request to the State. If in-State resources are unable to fill the request in a timely manner, the State will request Federal assistance through the California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Acting through Cal OES, the Governor will request Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) via the Department of Homeland Security. Please be aware that while every effort will be made to obtain resources as quickly as possible, requesting entities should anticipate that time from acceptance of a request to actual receipt of the resource may be 48-96 hours or longer, depending on the type and scope of the incident.

Please see the Medical Health Operational Area Coordination (MHOAC) Manual (PDF) for more information.

Originally Published on May 7, 2020