Radiology groups want equipment maintenance standards to stand pat

Medical trade groups such as the Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU) have been lobbying the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) not to lower standards for the maintenance of medical imaging equipment, according to a recent post on The Hill's RegWatch blog.

Current guidance from CMS mandates that certain devices, such as radiological imaging equipment, must be serviced according to the manufacturer's recommended preventive maintenance schedule.

When CMS published its directive in 2011, it became the subject of much debate, since it required hospitals to adhere to specific manufacturer recommendations for inspecting and maintaining critical care and imaging equipment. This contradicted the position of The Joint Commission, which allowed hospitals to use past experience to determine how often this equipment should be maintained.

Now, CMS is considering a revision that would allow hospitals to deviate from those specific maintenance requirements.

According to The Hill, executives from SVU sent a letter to the CMS on July 9, arguing that "the new standards will weaken the safety requirements that protect Medicare patients by allowing hospitals to forgo the manufacturer's maintenance standards."

The American College of Radiology has also communicated to CMS that it "strongly supports" the current guidance.

To learn more:
- read the report in The Hill
- see the current guidance from CMS

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