MASSDEVICE ON CALL — The House voted 234-193 to approve a payroll tax package that maintains Medicare rates for doctors for two years, but raises rates for high-income seniors.
President Barack Obama threatened to veto the legislation, which would raise Medicare premiums by 15 percent beginning in 2017 and cut the Prevention & Public Health Fund by $8 billion.
The GOP-backed bill is expected to die in the Democrat-controlled Senate this week, according to Healthwatch. Only 10 House Democrats supported the legislation.
Still, Senate GOP members hope to move the measure through their chamber.
"[The House GOP bill is] not good public policy, but it probably will happen because of all of the other positive things that have been attached to it," said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on CNBC, adding that the best thing about the bill is that it needs a super-majority to be renewed.
Physicians stand to lose 27.4 percent of their reimbursement payments at the end of the year, an accumulation of gradual cuts that have been delayed by Congress in a series of efforts colloquially called the "doc fix."
AngioScore starts first in-human study
Fremont, Calif.-based AngioScore Inc. started enrollment in the first in-human study of its drug-coated AngioSculpt scoring balloon catheter.
MedTel.com launches new platform for docs
MedTel.com launched a new cloud-based directory service that gives doctors and hospitals quick access to med-tech and pharmaceutical companies.
Bright light therapy improves athlete response times
A placebo controlled study of Finnish hockey players showed improved reaction times for those players treated with every morning for three weeks with bright light via the ear canal, according to a press release.
AmbiCom lands $1.2M in purchase orders
Milpitas, Calif.-based AmbiCom Holdings landed $1.2 million in purchase orders for its wireless medical products through next year.