Geisinger, Intermountain among 11 healthcare groups urging CMS to add device identifiers to claims forms

A group of health systems, medical associations and healthcare companies penned a Nov. 15 letter asking CMS Administrator Seema Verma to add device identifiers to Medicare claims forms.

The 11 signatories — including the American Medical Group Association, Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System and Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare — voiced their support for a recommendation the HHS Office of Inspector General issued in a September report, urging CMS to ensure device identifier information is included on the next version of Medicare claim forms.

The OIG report found CMS spent $1.5 billion to replace seven cardiac implants that failed prematurely or were recalled between 2005 and 2014, in part because existing Medicare claims data lacked adequate information to detect device failures. To address the issue, OIG recommended CMS add information related to medical device brands and models to claims forms.

In response to the September recommendation, CMS indicated it would examine the potential burden that adding device identifiers would place on healthcare providers, according to the Nov. 15 letter. The 11 signatories agreed integrating unique device identifier information to claims data would help to improve patient safety by detecting medical device failures sooner.

"We do not believe this would introduce an undue burden," reads the letter, obtained by Becker's Hospital Review. "As healthcare provider organizations, we believe the benefits of adding device identifiers to claims of improved patient safety and reduced costs far outweigh any limited additional effort required."

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