MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Hospital groups and purchasing associations took another swing at medical device companies last week, saying the medtech industry is in the healthcare arena in terms of its alleged efforts to dodge the cost of healthcare reform under the Affordable Care Act.
"Although there are more than 40 taxes found in the ACA, hospitals and other healthcare providers report that medical device suppliers are the only parties indicating that they plan to pass the tax on to their customers. That is not right," Healthcare Supply Chain Assn. president Curtis Rooney wrote in an op-ed for the The Hill.
Several surveys have shown that many companies plan to raise prices in order to cover the impact of the sales levy, but healthcare purchasing groups have pushed back, accusing some device makers of dodging their obligation to contribute to the cost of healthcare reform.
Earlier this year the HSCA published a website targeting companies that it called "cost-shifting suppliers," including among them Allergan (NYSE:AGN) and Invacare (NYSE:IVC). Both companies have since been taken off the list, but companies such as STAAR Surgical Co. (NSDQ:STAA) and Cardica (NSDQ:CRDC) remain.
"Although some suppliers are behaving responsibly, other device manufacturers are billing hospitals directly to cover the costs associated with the medical device excise tax," Rooney wrote in this month’s op-ed. "As long as the device tax is in effect, we urge all other manufacturers to stop passing on the costs of the device tax immediately. No one likes paying taxes but, with few exceptions, most Americans make sure they pay the taxes they owe."
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