Industry M&A may be no savior as the pace of hospital closures, particularly in hard-to-reach rural areas, seems poised to accelerate. Hospitals have been closing at a rate of about 30 a year, according to the American Hospital Association, and patients living far from major cities may be left with even fewer hospital choices as insurers push them toward online providers like Teladoc Inc. and clinics such as CVS Health Corp’s MinuteClinic. Morgan Stanley analysts led by Vikram Malhotra looked at data from roughly 6,000 U.S. private and public hospitals and concluded eight percent are at risk of closing; another 10 percent are considered “weak.”
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The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to kill a sales tax on medical devices that the medical-technology industry around the country have battled for nearly a decade. Industry insiders hope that Tuesday’s vote will provide the momentum that leads to action by the end of the year.
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June 26, 2018 —GE announced the results of its strategic review, and plans to separate GE Healthcare into a standalone company and pursue an orderly separation from BHGE over the next two to three years to make its corporate structure leaner and substantially reduce debt. GE will focus on aviation, power and renewable energy, creating a simpler, stronger, leading high-tech Industrial company. GE’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the plans.
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With rumors of a possible renewed push for Congressional legislation, IAMERS president Diana Upton and general counsel Robert Kerwin attended the AAMI Annual Meeting during the first week of June 2018. Their attendance is part of IAMERS’ efforts to reduce the fear-mongering and to get out the message of independent servicers for safe patient oriented servicing.
It was clear from the positive reactions of ISOs and HTM professionals to Mr. Kerwin’s remarks on behalf of IAMERS that many were disappointed with the efforts of some representing the manufacturing community to downplay the FDA report which found there to be no need for further regulation and which characterized third party servicing as critical to the healthcare ecosystem. Responding to the enthusiastic support of many in the AAMI meeting, he spoke 3 times regarding the FDA report on 3rd party service and what comes next. “Unfortunately we still hear that the manufacturers and their trade associations are pressing Congressional leaders to pass legislation regulating servicing and seeming to be characterizing the FDA’s conclusions as a ‘blindspot’. We do not think that the FDA report evidenced a blindspot. To the contrary, we feel the 27 page report was a careful analysis of the empirical evidence that there is not a safety problem as suggested by some. We think this should be a time for collaboration not polarization as ISOs contribute successfully to much needed multi-vendor program.” Hospital personnel and clinical engineers embraced his comments and statements of President Upton as many have the same access challenges that IAMERS servicers have. Pictured here with Katelyn Bittleman of FDA (a principal contributor to the FDA report) and former ACCE president Steve Grimes. Also with Crothall Compliance Officer Sheila O’Donnell and Pat Fitzgerald, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Richardson Electric at the DOTmed breakfast symposium held at AAMI.