Currently, there is a $150 billion market for implantable medical devices in the U.S. It is important to track how well devices are working, in order to obtain better value for healthcare dollars. Effective tracking will allow for recalls on devices that may be defective, and it would make it easier to detect cases of fraud.
Many advocates have been pushing for a unique device identifier in the health insurance documentation because insurance claims are linked to the patients and provide information on what procedures patients undergo. The recording of devices in insurance claims would provide an evaluation of how devices are working, and it would make it easier to track affected patients, if there needs to be a recall. An alternative approach to the issue would be to include the device identifier in each patient's EHR.
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Caroline Smith is currently a senior at the University of Notre Dame and is a contributor to Medical Groups. She is majoring in Science-Business and Spanish. After graduation, Caroline plans on entering the field of healthcare consulting. She is most interested in the evolving policy changes in the healthcare industry and enjoys learning about new technologies that are being developed.