New Year, Same Priorities: Keep Patient Safety First and Right to Repair Away from Medical Equipment

Last year, more than half of U.S. states introduced some form of right to repair legislation. And now, with 40+ states beginning their legislative session sometime in January, we can already see the signs that right to repair will again be a popular policy priority for legislators in 2024. So far 10 states have introduced a version of right to repair legislation.

While this legislative push largely reflects demands around consumer cost savings and developing more sustainable practices, the importance for state legislators to establish exemptions for higher-risk products when considering broad right to repair bills cannot be overstated. Because one thing that must remain constant is upholding patient safety in our healthcare system.

From the get-go, the Safe Repair Project has made it its mission to ensure that repairs being performed on medical devices remain in the hands of trained and regulated professionals. Including these sophisticated machines in right to repair policies means allowing unregulated, third-party repair personnel to get their hands on lifesaving machinery.

Now, with 10 new bills proposed, we must continue to educate legislators of the risks associated with opening up the proprietary information to this type of equipment. It introduces a whole range of preventable risk and encourages third parties to operate without the need for crucial federal oversight.

While right to repair may work for consumer devices and electronics, it is vital for legislators to understand the undue consequences of medical device right to repair. Legislators must work to ensure that proposed legislation includes carves outs for medical devices, so that patients’ lives aren’t put on the line.

A list of the bills under consideration are included below:

  • Alaska: Senate Bill 112 (SB 112)
  • Indiana: Senate Bill 53 (SB 53)
  • Massachusetts Senate Bill 2478 (S2478)
  • Michigan House Bill 4673 (HB 4673)
  • Missouri House Bill 1618 (HB 1618)
  • New Hampshire House Bill 1701 (HB1701)
  • Ohio Senate Bill 273 (SB 273)
  • Pennsylvania Senate Bill 744 (SB744)
  • Vermont House Bill 81 (H.81)
  • Washington House Bill 1933 (HB 1933)