Medical groups say new maintenance standards would lead to higher risk

Letter to CMS claims allowing hospitals to set their own standards would erode safety precautions for the devices that perform MRIs and other procedures

By Healthcare Facilities Today

Officials from four medical trade groups are warning that potential new standards for maintaining medical imaging devices and other hospital equipment could put patients at risk, according to an article posted on The Hill website.

The Society for Vascular Ultrasound, the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists and the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission said allowing hospitals to set their own standards would erode safety precautions for the devices that perform MRIs and other procedures and threaten the federal safety net.

Approving the new weakened standards “would put the Medicare program and its beneficiaries at risk,” the groups wrote in a recent letter to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The CMS, which sets requirements for hospitals in order to receive federal Medicare dollars, is considering changing its standards for maintaining the equipment 

Currently, hospitals are required to follow maintenance requirements that are set by the equipment manufacturer’s guidelines and approved by the Food and Drug Administration, according to the article.

A change under consideration, which has not been released to the public or formally proposed, would allow hospitals to deviate from those guidelines.

In their Oct. 1 letter, the trade groups note that CMS “is unwilling to meet with any of us" to discuss the possible new rules. CMS did not immediately respond to questions about the potential rule change.

Read the article.


October 15, 2013

Topic Area: Maintenance and Operations

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