News: CMS adopts NFPA 99-2012.

As some of you know, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has decided to adopt the 2012 editions of NFPA 101 and 99.  The change is effective July 5 and comes after years of CMS considering the change to the more updated standard. In its rule, CMS adopts the 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code and the 2012 edition of NFPA 99: Health Care Facilities Code. Some of the changes regarding medical gas systems :
  • Existing facilities must follow NFPA 99, 2012 5.1.14 regarding Operation and Management.  This chapter requires inventories, maintenance programs, and establishes qualifications for persons who test and repair.  One change in this chapter vs. previous editions is the maintenance programs be established by a Documented Risk Assessment.
  • Risk assessment to determine frequency of testing considering the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Another change in the 2012 code vs. the 1999 edition requires persons maintaining equipment shall either be qualified to ASSE 6030 (med gas verifier), 6040 (med Gas maintenance personnel), or someone who works for and who has been trained and certified by the health care facility.
To comply with CMS's adoption of NFPA 99, 2012, health care facilities must perform a risk assessment regarding the medical gas system.  The assessment must document the manufacturer’s instructions are taken into account when decisions regarding maintenance and testing are made. We expect that the risk assessment will lead to some changes in maintenance and testing.  It may also lead to additional training of staff who might be responsible for performing maintenance procedures. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding these changes, testing procedures, or training.