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IAMERS celebrates its 31st birthday

May 09, 2024
Business Affairs
An op-ed by Robert J. Kerwin

Last week, IAMERS (the International Association of Medical Equipment Remarketers and Servicers) celebrated its 31st birthday in Charleston at the IAMERS Annual Meeting. After IAMERS President Diana Upton welcomed the group, the Annual Meeting kicked off with a keynote presentation by Dr. Mike Bivins, president of Urology Centers of Alabama.

Dr. Bivins offered some candid insights about national physician shortages, which the Association of American Medical Colleges has projected to be upward of 86,000 physicians by 2036. Dr. Bivins also noted that there is currently a shortage of registered nurses and it is expected to continue as Baby Boomers age and the need for healthcare grows. He also drew attention to the fact that medical reimbursement is not keeping pace. While some of the news was sobering, Dr. Bivins also spoke about the success of various day surgery programs which may be performed safely outside the hospital setting. Some ambulatory surgery programs may well come with a lower price tag than in-hospital health care services.

IAMERS members much appreciated Dr. Bivins’ closing remarks about prostate cancer awareness and the successful monitoring and treatments available. It was obvious to all attending that Dr. Bivins is passionate about the need to receive regular tests to screen for prostate cancer, which usually doesn’t cause symptoms. Dr. Bivins also offered insights as to low testosterone treatment and shared, in a general manner, some successes achieved. Everyone appreciated Dr. Bivins’ balance of candor and compassion in these important areas of men’s health.

In a series of reflections on creating a thriving team culture, Josh Block, president of Block Imaging, framed teamwork as the ultimate competitive advantage in the marketplace. He spoke about assuming a leadership position at Block at the age of 29 and how he subsequently encouraged team engagement and trust. Siemens Healthineers and Common Spirit Health agreed to acquire Block Imaging last year. Josh’s observations including about the "Platinum Rule" (treat others as THEY would like to be treated), also resonated with everyone in the room.

Scott Trevino, senior vice president cybersecurity at Trimedx did a superb job simplifying and corralling the "standards that affect your business". When we observe the proliferation of standards impacting the servicing industry, this is no small task. Noting that the FDA had issued the final rule of the Quality Management System Regulation, which becomes effective in 2026, Scott also reviewed the current state of play/draft on the FDA Remanufacturing Guidance, which has yet to be released. In a much appreciated effort, Scott reviewed his understanding of the status of general standards, including recommended practice for a medical equipment management program (AAMI EQ 56), Guidance for health care technology management educational programs (AAMI EQ 110), Guidance for use of medical equipment maintenance strategies and procedures (AAMI EQ 89), and alternative equipment maintenance programs (AAMI EQ 103). His take on the accelerating regulatory landscape was helpful in offering general directions as to the increase in cybersecurity laws and the legislative efforts (state and federal) on cyber legislation.

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