The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations said it will develop standards for hospitals and lung transplant centers that perform a high-risk surgical procedure for emphysema patients. The CMS said last week it would begin covering the procedure, called lung volume reduction, after a clinical trial indicated patients with advanced emphysema benefited from the surgery. The JCAHO said it would seek input from healthcare professionals, provider organizations, consumers and others with a stake in improving the quality and safety of care for patients undergoing the procedure, which involves selectively removing damaged tissue to allow air to circulate more readily in the remaining lung. The JCAHO will develop the standards in 2004 under its certification program for disease-specific care. A draft of the standards will be available for public comment before becoming final. -- by John Morrissey
JCAHO to develop lung reduction standards
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