MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Florida legislators turned away $50 million in funding for child-abuse prevention tied to President Barack Obama’s health care package, citing philosophical opposition to the administration’s health care overhaul.
The state risks losing an additional four-year block grant of $100 million, because the child-abuse prevention program is part of federal Race to the Top education reform efforts.
The funds, granted through the Affordable Health Care Act passed last year, would have gone to Healthy Families Florida, one of the most successful child-abuse prevention programs in the nation, the Miami Herald reported.
The program provides trained home visitors that work with young parents who are deemed at risk of abusing or neglecting their children based on information gathered at childbirth. Healthy Families began in 1998 with a $10 million budget, and offers counseling on healthy eating habits, childhood development and domestic safety hazards.
Med-tech innovation is moving offshore
The U.S. may not be the epicenter of medical device innovation much longer, according to a Medical Technology Innovation Scorecard report by national venture capital firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
"The medical technology innovation ecosystem, long centered in the United States, is moving offshore," the report concluded.
Among the findings were that an increasing share of companies are looking overseas for first revenue, clinical data and new-product registration.
Minnesota’s longest state shutdown in the nation’s history is bad news for science and technology
The North Star State is dealing with funding cuts for two entities charged with promoting growth in science and technology, thanks to the longest state shutdown in U.S. history, MedCity News reported.
The BioBusiness Alliance of Minn. expected the cuts, the non-profit’s CEO Jeremy Lenz told the online news source. The organization got $356,000 for the fiscal year, compared the $1.75 million it received when it opened.
The fledgling Minnesota Science & Tech Authority was granted $714,000 over two years, the Star Tribune reported.
Does the health care overhaul leave families out in the cold?
President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul contains a "firewall" law that denies subsidies to workers whose employers offer plans that are considered affordable, meaning that they cost less than 9.5 percent of a worker’s income. Health insurance rates that top that amount make the workers eligible for federal subsidies to buy insurance on new exchanges.
But the law doesn’t consider an insurance-pay ratio that takes into account coverage beyond the individual thanks to a Joint Committee on Taxation interpretation. In calculating the bill’s budget last year, the Congressional committee took the Obama administration’s plan to define affordability based only on the individual plan, regardless of the price of the family plan, Healthwatch reported.
More than half of nuclear cardiology labs leave important info out of their reports
A study of 1,301 U.S. nuclear cardiology labs applying for accreditation found that 57 percent were noncompliant with at least of 18 reporting requirements, most frequently missing the date of the test, Heartwire reported.
Nearly one in five labs failed to consistently include myocardial defect size, severity, type and location in standard terminology.
"The report, being an instrument of communication, must be evaluated for its effectiveness. Nuclear cardiology is not that esoteric that it cannot be described in plain English," Dr. Frans Wackers of Yale University wrote in an editorial accompanying the story in the Journal of Nuclear Cardiology. "If the wording of a report does not convey a clear message that is informative to the referring physician, communication has failed, as well as the purpose of performing the test in the first place."