The US 2.3% medical devices tax is reinstated, impacting the medical manufacturing industry
Previously suspended in 2015 as a result of the medical manufacturing industry’s concerns surrounding research and development within the healthcare industry, the medical devices tax has been reinstated.
Established back in 2013 in order to support the Affordable Care Act in the US, the medical device tax came back into force at the start of January after an unsuccessful last-bid by Republicans to delay or eradicate the tax coming back into force.
The billion-dollar industry, responsible for all medical products such as pacemakers, catheters and heart stents, will now be increasingly impacted by the reinstatement of the tax, which they have claimed stifles innovation and future investment within research and development into new, exceptional healthcare products.
"What we have seen from past experience is that it comes out of funding for product development, research and the jobs associated with those things," explained J.C. Scott, the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed’s) Head of Government Affairs.
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"We fear we will see employment freezes or reductions and a slowdown in the pipeline for medical innovation." The implementation of the tax will mean the termination or reduction of over 20,000 medical roles and strongly impact SMEs specialising in medical devices.
Last month, AdvaMed wrote an open letter to President Trump, urging for an eradication of the tax and providing further solutions to the issue at hand surrounding the ongoing complexities within the US healthcare funding model.
CEO of AdvaMed, Scott Whitaker, said: “In 11 days, the medical device excise tax is set to be reinstated. I am writing to you to underscore the devastating impact this tax has and will have on our industry.
I know you have long supported repealing this onerous tax. I want to emphasise why, unlike other business taxes, retroactive relief from the device tax is not feasible and why action this year is essential.”
The industry is now holding out hope that the tax will be repealed before companies will need to restart payments at the end of each month, over $70mn per annum.
NHS care homes are better than private, report finds
A new survey has found that 60% of people with parents in NHS care homes believe the quality of care has improved, compared to just 49% of respondents with parents in private care facilities.
The survey was conducted by Kepler Vision Technologies, an AI-driven company formed at the University of Amsterdam. It was carried out among UK adults with parents over the age of 75.
Respondents cited more capable care staff and better monitoring systems as being the main reasons for improvement.
However those who do not have parents in assisted living facilities had a different viewpoint - in this case only 35% of respondents believe that NHS facilities are improving, compared to 32% who believe it is only improving in the private sector.
Only 18% of people whose parents live with them or independently believe care home staff are able to look after residents to a good standard.
Kepler Vision say this difference in opinion is due to perceived budget cuts and financial pressures, with 67% of people commenting that a lack of funding has had a negative effect on care in both NHS and private care facilities.
Other key findings of the survey include:
* Out of those who say quality has declined in care homes, 69% say the NHS is dealing with budget cuts and increased financial pressure, while 65% also said that the private system is dealing with these pressures too
* 55% said that they or their parent have money saved specifically to pay for their future care
* 35% said the idea of their parent in a care home makes them feel frightened, although 32% say it makes them feel secure
* 52% are worried about their parent catching COVID
* 47% are worried about their parent being lonely
* 46% are concerned they could fall over alone
The announcement of this research follows the UK government's decision to delay presenting its social care budget till the autumn.
Commenting on the research, Dr Harro Stokman, CEO of Kepler Vision Technologies said: “While it is good to see that people recognise the importance of staff and face-to-face interaction in elderly care, the huge gap in opinion between those with parents in care and those without shows that there are unfair negative perceptions around the residential care space.
"More can and should be done by care homes to give people the confidence that their relatives will receive the very best care - by highlighting the excellent work of staff and how well they are able to monitor resident’s needs with easy-to-use technology.”