CMS backs unique device identifiers

Friday, July 15, 2016

WASHINGTON – CMS has endorsed the use of unique device identifiers in billing records for medical devices, according to the Wall Street Journal. The ID numbers have been advocated by lawmakers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for years, but never by Medicare. The idea: Because the ID numbers would appear in databases of hospitals and big insurers, including Medicare, they would help the FDA to quickly find malfunctioning devices and order a recall if necessary, the Journal reports. CMS Acting Administrator Andrew Slavitt endorsed the use of ID numbers in a letter this week to a committee of the medical-billing industry, writing they would improve patient safety, according to the Journal.