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CMS Issues Power Strip Waiver

We are very happy to report that on September 26, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, (CMS) issued a Categorical Waiver for Power Strip Use in Patient Care Areas.

On June 1, 2014, at the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) annual conference, George Mills, Director of Engineering at the Joint Commission, announced significant restrictions imposed by U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the use of relocatable power taps (RPTs, also known as power strips, receptacle buss, multiple outlet connections) The CMS restrictions dictate that RPTs not be used with medical equipment in patient care areas. Because such use is currently common practice, following the restrictions will be problematic in many cases.

This announcement took everyone by surprise. Changes of this magnitude take months, if not years to implement. The cost to retrofit an Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) would be very high, if not catastrophic, to an individual center. Biomed Technologies has urged our customers to proceed with caution and not make any drastic changes based on this announcement. We have been monitoring discussions between the various regulatory agencies.

The good news is that you will not need to spend thousands of dollars to retrofit your Operating Rooms and Recovery Rooms.

Rest assured that Biomed Technologies has always ensured all plug strips (receptacle busses) were “Hospital Grade” and they were inspected on a regular basis. CMS now requires the use of a relatively new classification of receptacle buss, “Medical Grade”. There are a few differences that will make the “Medical Grade” receptacle busses compliant. Additionally, they have to be mounted and not on the floor.

In order to help you comply with these new regulations, Biomed Technologies now stocks a new Medical Grade UL1363A compliant receptacle buss and mounting system. We are also continuing to develop other cost effective and compliant solutions to your patient care power distribution needs.

Please contact Biomed Technologies for more information.


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