Medical groups warn change to maintenance standards would lead to higher risk

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (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.

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

The trade groups say that would give the facilities too much leeway. 

“These ‘standards’ effectively provide no standard at all, as they merely suggest that health care organizations develop their own procedures,” the medical groups wrote to CMS. “Literally every facility in the United States could determine it will take an approach different from every other one, and each could still claim it had met the ‘standard.' ”

In their letter, the trade groups note that CMS “is unwilling to meet with any of us" to discuss the possible new rules.

Officials from the Society for Vascular Ultrasound, the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography, the American Society of Radiologic Technologists and the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission signed the Oct. 1 letter.

CMS did not immediately respond to questions about the potential rule change.