MASSDEVICE ON CALL — A push by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to repeal the medical device tax gained some momentum this week when fellow Republican Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) signed on to his Medical Device Access & Innovation Protection Act.
"This bill would repeal a tax that will raise premiums for patients and destroy jobs in a fast-growing and life-saving industry – including as many as 1,000 jobs in Tennessee alone," Alexander said in prepared remarks. "Congress needs to repeal the entire health-care law and replace it with reforms that lower the cost of health care, but at the very least it should start with the repeal of this senseless medical device tax that will only make health care more expensive."
The tax, a 2.3% levy on all U.S. sales of medical devices, is part of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act. It was originally intended to raise about $20 billion over 10 years, but it’s actually set to raise more than $30.5 billion, a MassDevice.com tax analysis uncovered.
Another repeal measure sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) has more than enough sponsors to pass in the U.S. House of Representatives and may come to a vote this summer.
"As some of my colleagues have become more aware of what the consequences are, they’ve been paying more attention and just literally slowly signed on one after another after another almost every week for the last 6 months," Paulsen told MassDevice.com in February. "I actually expect that this is going to move forward in the House sometime this year, hopefully sooner than later. That’s a question that’s up to leadership."
A look at more than 40,000 device, drug and intervention clinical trials reveals inconsistency in study size and quality. Read more
A clinical researcher involved in the Partner trials says that too many patients who are too sick to benefit from valve replacement are getting transcatheter aortic valve implantation surgery. Read more
A bipartisan group of Senators asks the the public to weigh in on efforts to reduce and fight fraud in Medicare and Medicaid. Read more
Sleepy surgeons may have trouble responding quickly to unexpected events, a new study shows. Read more
Wheelchair breakdowns are becoming a more frequent problem, and some suggest that it may be tied to Medicare reimbursement changes. Read more
Long term outcomes for patients who underwent thrombus aspiration during percutaneous coronary intervention were similar to patients who underwent conventional intervention with bare-metal or drug-eluting stents, a study finds. Read more