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Gold Level Contributor
Hospitals push FEMA to form broad supply pact with medtech

Marti Gatlin

Dive Brief:

  • The American Hospital Association is urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency​ to form an agreement with the private sector ​covering the “extraordinarily wide” range of medical products needed in the response against COVID-19 — including dialysis devices, cardiac monitors and IV pumps, not just personal protective equipment.

  • The AHA comments came ahead of a FEMA meeting slated for Thursday to discuss use of the Defense Production Act’s voluntary agreement clause. The clause allows private companies to enter into agreements with the government on mutually acceptable terms and gain immunity from antitrust liability. 

  • FEMA is proposing a 5-year ​voluntary agreement "effective as soon as possible," as well as formation of a committee to spur the best "coordination, planning, information sharing, and distribution of health and medical resources.​" Medical devices trade group AdvaMed had reached out to FEMA in March saying it would welcome centralized guidance on distribution of ​ventilators, diagnostic tests and other devices.

Dive Insight:

Governments and medtech companies spent the first few months of the COVID-19 outbreak trying to ensure hospitals had enough PPE such as gowns, gloves and masks, in addition to mechanical ventilators. The availability of those devices is essential to effective responses against the coronavirus as they enable hospitals to protect frontline staff and keep patients with respiratory failure alive.

However, as the crisis has gone on AHA has found COVID-19 is placing strains on other parts of the medical supply chain.

“In contrast to prior infectious disease outbreaks, COVID-19 has placed a strain on an extraordinarily wide range of medical supplies, equipment and medications. For the health care system to sustain its response, it will need the private sector’s support in addressing the full range of these needs, and not just narrow segments like PPE,” AHA wrote in a letter Wednesday.

AHA wants the voluntary agreement FEMA forms with the private sector to reflect the breadth of products its members are using in the care of COVID-19 patients. The list, which only covers some of the products AHA wants to see addressed in the agreement, includes intubation equipment, pulse oximeters, nasal cannulas and laboratory testing equipment.


Read more

Originally published by
Nick Paul Taylor
May 21, 2020

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