Clarification on VAD program requirements
In July 2021, The Joint Commission notified organizations that changes were made to the Advanced Disease-Specific Care Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Certification Program based on the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) December 2020 national coverage determination (NCD) decision memo regarding VADs § 20.9.1.
Surgeon volume requirements for the placement of VADs are a CMS regulatory requirement for all VAD program facilities. Previously, The Joint Commission listed these volume requirements in both program eligibility and within the program requirements. The decision was made to retain volume requirements in program eligibility and remove them from the program requirements because organizations may not be able to show evidence of compliance with volumes within 60 days if they receive a finding.
At the time of application, VAD programs are required to attest that they are compliant with the following:
- One or more cardiac surgeons, each of whom has successfully placed 10 ventricular assist devices in the last 36 months with current activity occurring in the last year.
If it is determined that the VAD program volume requirements for VAD surgeons are not being met, eligibility for VAD recertification will be impacted. For organizations with concerns about meeting this eligibility requirement that are close to application submission or VAD review, contact the organization’s account executive immediately. For more information regarding VAD program standards, contact the Department of Standards and Survey Methods.