The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced new guidelines concerning the use of certain types of reprocessed medical devices in nursing homes.

In the past, CMS guidelines limited nursing homes to the use of brand-new single-use medical devices, such as endoscopes or blood pressure cuffs.  According to a  memorandum issued last Friday, the agency has changed its interpretive guidance such that long-term care facilities may purchase used single-use devices that have been sterilized and repackaged through a party authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.

Nursing homes that purchase allowed reprocessed items will be required to provide documentation showing the third-party reprocessor is authorized by the FDA.  The use of reprocessed devices could lead to significant cost savings for providers.