It was a very good year — especially if you were a regulatory consultant.
Our annual audit of the most popular stories reveals a distinctly wonkish feel to 2010, as sweeping changes to the healthcare system dominated headlines in every major media outlet across the country.
At MassDevice, we were no exception. Our readers gravitated in record numbers to stories about Medicare, 510(k) reform and the establishment of an excise tax on the medical device industry, which of course was a critical piece of the year’s landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — now known as healthcare reform or Obamacare, depending on which end of the political spectrum you favor.
MassDevice New Year’s Special P/review
- P/review: Introduction
- P/review: Paul LaViolette
- P/review: Stephen Ubl
- P/review: David Lucchino
- P/review: Euan Thomson
- P/review: Brian DeChristopher
- P/review: Christopher Delporte
- P/review: Don Hardison
- P/review: Brent Hudson
- P/review: Hamid Tatabaie
- P/review: Patrick Dentinger
- P/review: Nancy Briefs
- P/review: Brian Concannon
- P/review: Ryan Howard
- P/review: Ed Berger
- P/review: Top stories of 2010
That’s not to say it was all policy and no people in the dusk of our new decade. Readers were moved to read up on the horrific earthquake in Haiti and how they could help support the relief effort, which they did in large numbers.
By the way, the people of Haiti still need plenty of help, so please remember to give to organizations like Partners in Health, which has been instrumental in trying to bring that country back from hell.
Another story that hit home with readers was our one-on-one with Medtronic CEO William Hawkins (who neglected to tell us that he would be retiring in 2011, but still gave us a lot of great material nonetheless).
- Docs increasingly abandon Medicare: More and more physicians are cutting Medicare patients from their rosters after Congress fails to stay a 21 percent reimbursement rate cut.
- Device makers react to healthcare reform bill’s excise tax: The U.S. House of Representatives passes landmark healthcare reform legislation and a companion bill, sending the measures to the Senate for final approval; bills would impose a 2.3 percent excise tax on sales of most medical devices.
- Medical personnel, supplies needed for Haitian relief effort: Emergency care doctors, nurses and medical supplies are desperately needed in Haiti, where the Red Cross estimates the death toll at up to 50,000.
- Feds issue EMR meaningful use guidelines: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services propose guidelines for determining meaningful use of electronic medical records by doctors’ offices and hospitals.
- FDA clears Envoy’s Esteem hearing aid: The Food & Drug Administration approves Envoy Medical Corp.’s Esteem hearing aid system, the first such device with no external components to get the green light in the U.S.
- MassDevice Podcast: Medtronic CEO William Hawkins: William Hawkins, chairman and CEO of Medtronic Inc., dishes on mergers and acquisitions, the Food & Drug Administration and healthcare reform.
- It’s private health insurance, not Medicare, that needs fixing: MedPAC’s annual Report to the Congress on Medicare Payment Policy shows that hospitals that depend largely on Medicare provide similar standards of care, at lower costs, than hospitals where most patients are privately insured.
- FDA warns Biomet on knee replacement planning system: The Food & Drug Administration warns Biomet that its Signature Personalized Patient Care system, a pre-operative surgical planning offering for knee replacement procedures, isn’t cleared for market.
- Synthes: Biomet, former sales rep colluded to steal customers: Synthes USA accuses former Ohio sales rep John Scott and Biomet of conspiring to convert Scott’s Synthes customers to Biomet products.
- MelaFind gets long-awaited FDA date for cancer detection device: MELA Sciences Inc. finally gets a date with a Food & Drug Administration panel for its hand-held device, designed to obviate the need for skin biopsies of possible melanomas.
- FDA chief Hamburg details 510(k) reform path: Dr. Margaret Hamburg looks to quell concerns about the Food & Drug Administration’s plan to reshape the 510(k) medical device clearance process.
- Study: FDA-related activities cost $24 million per 510(k): Costs related to winning 510(k) clearance for a medical device that were directly related to satisfying Food & Drug Administration rules average $24 million, according to a Stanford University report.