The heads of the CMS and the Food and Drug Administration want health insurance claims form templates to include unique device identifiers. Using UDIs would improve post-market surveillance and provide for better value-based reimbursement based on device performance, they say.
Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt and FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf last week wrote to the organization that creates and implements the claims form used by the insurance industry and asked that the next updated version of the form, set to be released in 2021, contain UDIs.
Proponents of UDIs say they could allow dangerous devices to be identified more quickly; in recent years, some devices have not been flagged until they hurt patients. Those pushing for UDIs in claims say they have the added benefit of informing population health by evaluating associated outcome data.
Manufacturers and distributors are implementing UDIs in their products, and electronic health records will soon allow providers to record the codes, but insurance claims have been a holdout. Some in the industry say the changes are costly because the technology to support them isn't there.
The next version of the insurance claims forms is set to be released for public comment in December. The next update won't come for another decade.