CMS Reverses Course On Maintenance Activities

A key federal agency announced Friday that hospitals have some latitude in setting their maintenance activities for medical equipment, revising an earlier stance that manufacturer’s recommendations must be followed in almost all cases.

News of the change came in a memorandum from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The agency sent an e-mail with the memo to many individuals and groups, including AAMI. The document, written for state survey agency directors and dated Dec. 20, is described as an update of a memo issued two years ago.

The latest memo would appear to be welcome news for healthcare technology management (HTM) departments, many of whom bristled when CMS in December 2011 had narrowed their ability to set alternate maintenance schedules and had completely restricted their ability to set alternate methods.

The CMS memo opens the door to both, as long as some safeguards are followed and some exceptions are honored.

“Under certain circumstances it also may be consistent with the regulatory requirements for a hospital to use maintenance activities or frequency of facility or medical equipment which may not be the same as those recommended by the manufacturer,” CMS says in the new memo. “Hospitals may find that manufacturer’s recommendations for some equipment are not available to them or their contractors, or they may through experience have identified more efficient or effective maintenance activities which do not reduce the safety of the equipment.”

CLICK HERE  to read the entire article from AAMI News.
Published Friday, December 20, 2013

CLICK HERE  to read the complete CMS Memo.
Published Friday, December 20, 2013