April 3, 2007 — Medicare has announced it will approve additional hospitals for ventricular assist device implantations.
Under the previous Medicare regulations, approved facilities had to meet requirements outlined in a 2003 National Coverage Determination.
The updated requirements, which could open the door to certification of more facilities, include having an experienced surgeon on hand, and certification by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
This decision will improve access to this life-sustaining technology, said acting Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Leslie Norwalk. Joint Commission certification will ensure that patients receive care in experienced facilities.