FDA, Medicare At Odds Over ID Numbers On Medical Devices
Meanwhile, an effort to build a nationwide public safety communications network for first responders encounters challenges.
The Wall Street Journal:
Medical Device ID Effort Hits Snag
The ideal way to protect the public from hazardous medical devices, the Food and Drug Administration says, is a brand-specific identification number on devices like implanted heart defibrillators and artificial hips. If one goes haywire, the thinking goes, doctors can quickly tap large insurance databases to find out whether the malfunction was rare—or part of a broader public-health threat. ... Congress passed this “unique device identifier” concept into law in 2007. ... But the overall safety effort has hit a barrier. The Obama administration’s Medicare agency, in a behind-the-scenes bureaucratic conflict, has dug in its heels and opposes the FDA’s plan. (Burton, 3/10)
The Washington Post:
Three Years After Approval, Nationwide Network For First Responders Faces Challenges
The federal government is in the early stages of building the first nationwide public safety communications network for first responders, a project long sought by public safety advocates to address communication failures during the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina. Three years after Congress approved $7 billion for the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to launch the network, the First Responders’ Network Authority faces some challenges in planning for long-term funding and in internal controls to ensure that it operates with high ethics standards. (Rein, 3/10)