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Monthly Archives: January 2013

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In order to pay for the Nation’s new healthcare program, the IRS hopes to raise $30 billion and they don’t plan on having a bake sale to get the cash. Under the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (P.L. 111-152) a 2.3% excise tax will be levied on medical equipment starting January 1st, 2013. Amid growing fears that the tax will have far reaching and negative impacts on the healthcare system, both Democrats and Republicans are coming together in hopes of repealing the excise tax.

Known as the Medical Device Tax, its aim is to generate revenues to help pay for the addition of health care benefits to millions of new Obamacare recipients. But how could a seemingly innocuous 2.3% tax hike on manufacturers of medical equipment have any impact on the citizen at large? At least they aren’t increasing my taxes you might think, right? Like a Trojan horse, this tax is being ushered into our cities but once inside the proverbial gates, it could destroy many of the innovative companies that develop and build the machines which make modern medicine possible, lead to job losses and an increase in health care costs, according to John A. Sparks from the Washington Times.1

We take for granted the wondrous, beeping, chirping and dripping, life-saving machines that fill our hospital room floors and stand vigil at our bedsides when we are sick. We have come to expect that scanning MRI, Ultra Sound and X-Ray devices will help our doctors see into our bodies, diagnose, and treat our medical conditions. As my boss likes to quote from the Pearson, Sabin, Emanuel book, “No Margin – No Mission”, the Medical Device Tax slices over half of the margin, or profit, from the companies hard at work, creating and manufacturing the equipment that make American modern medicine possible.

The attentive reader might ask how could a measly 2.3% tax confiscate over half of a business’s profits? First, this tax is imposed on revenue, not profit, like most commerce taxes. To understand, if a business develops and makes an MRI machine that generates $1 million in its first year of sales, but has only seen an actual profit, after all business expenses, of $40,000 the company would be taxed on that $40,000. The government would take its share of the profits. However, this tax is levied on revenue, not profits. Instead of taking a percentage of the $40,000 profit, the government will take 2.3% off the $1 million in revenue or $23,000. That’s 58% – more than half the company’s profits – if they even have profits. It may take years for the revenue from a new device to generate a profit but the company is required to pay out 2.3% on revenue, regardless, ensuring many companies could be forced to close their doors.

Foreseeing the negative impact, the tax will have on the financial future of the medical technology industry, investment in health care technology companies has already begun to retreat, reaching anemic levels. Elizabeth McDonald, noted business journalist explains that capital funding for the medical equipment industry during the third quarter of 2012 reached the lowest it has been in almost a decade.1 According to a Price Waterhouse Coopers paper published August 2011 a broad coalition of medical technology companies and leading associations consisting of over 400 companies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other investment firms all believe the new tax will lead to job losses, reduction in research and development and burdensome administration. The tax will “harm patient care and thwart innovation and job creation at a time when we can least afford it, “ said Mark Leahey, President and CEO of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA).2 Bruce Josten, Executive Vice President for Government Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce echoes Leahey’s statement saying that, “Allowing the medical device excise tax to take effect would undermine patient care, stifle innovation in medical technology, and further damage our economy.”3

The Medical Equipment Tax has US manufacturers of medical products scrambling to raise prices, eliminate jobs and revise their business strategies. Congress wants you to think the tax won’t affect the general consumer since it’s not imposed directly on you. Remember, “No Margin – No Mission” and without profits, the medical device industry will languish,  irreparably damaging healthcare on the whole.  Although it’s aim was to raise money to pay for Obamacare, the Medical Device Tax may hobble the health care system it is intended to fund.

How do you think the Medical Device Tax will impact you and your healthcare?

Craig Hood is Executive Vice President of Scrip Companies and Founder of Allegro Medical (AllegroMedical.com), the leading online supplier of medical equipment and home health care supplies.

Sources:
1The Washington Times – “Obamacare tax on medical devices hurts jobs and health”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/15/obamacare-tax-on-medical-devices-hurts-jobs-and-he/

2Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA) – “Broad Coalition Urges Congressional Leaders to Repeal Medical Device Tax”, July 18, 2011

http://medicaldevices.org/node/1039

3Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) – Medtechfocus, “Med tech companies further debate over US competitiveness, raise question about impact of excise tax on innovation”, August 16, 2011 http://pwchealth.com/cgi-local/hregister.cgi/reg/medtech-focus-on-excise-tax.pdf

Urinary incontinence is a common, yet treatable, condition that affects more than 25 million men and women in the United States. People suffering from incontinence don’t have control over the bladder, which can result in embarrassing wetting accidents. Many people rely on incontinence products, such as adult diapers, to help manage their bladder control problems, which may have been caused by weak pelvic floor muscles, pregnancy, prostate surgery, or disease. However, what people may not realize is that there are behavioral changes that can greatly reduce or even eliminate incontinence symptoms. Below are three ways that may lead to better bladder control:

Click HERE to read the whole story at Hive Health Media

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ABENA Abri-Flex Adult Diaper/Pull-Up Protective Underwear

Are embarrassing leaks keeping you from participating in an active lifestyle?  Are you a caregiver doing extra work because of inferior adult diapers?  ABENA premium European incontinence products are designed specifically with the main focus being on the end user while at the same time making daily life easier for caregivers.

ABENA adult diapers are known for their high level of leakage security and optimum comfort.  What makes the ABENA brand a premium line of incontinence products?

 

  • Air Plus – Abenas well known super soft and fully breathable textile-like backsheet makes the product noiseless and discrete, and ensures superior comfort and healthier skin
  • Wetness indicator with graduation scale – color coded printing for easy product identification and wetness scale enables caregivers ability to see how much of a products capacity has been used.
  • Top Dry – Dry surface system provides rapid absorption and a dry surface.  Dry skin makes for healthier skin and minimizes the risk of leakage.
  • Quick absorption – Long fibers spread the liquid quickly and efficiently around the entire absorbent core.
  • High absorption – SAP ensures high absorbency and capsules liquid, keeping it away from the skin.
  • Minimum risk of leakage – Efficient barriers and latex-free elastication ensure a snug body fit minimizing the risk of leakage.
  • Odor System – reduces the risk of unpleasant odors by trapping voids in the core preventing odors from escaping.

 

Click HERE to view absorbency test

 

AllegroMedical.com is introducing the ABENA Abri-Flex disposable protective underwear to incontinence users and caregivers.  Abri-Flex is available in 2 absorbency levels, level 1 (1400-1600cc depending on size) and level 3 (2100-2200cc depending on size).  When ordering ABENA Abri-Flex Protective Underwear select your size along with the absorbency level which is based on the amount of liquid you need your pull up to hold.  The convenient wetness indicator with graduation scale will indicate how much of the pull ups capacity has been used.  This is helpful in determining the absorbency level necessary for future purchases.  Users of ABENA brand typically require 40% fewer adult diaper changes, avoid nighttime interruptions, feel safer with less chance of embarrassing leaks, and experience economical relief due to the reduction in diaper changes required while maintaining comfort and healthier skin.  Try the Abri-Flex protective underwear and share your ABENA experience.

The pill canagliflozin raised cholesterol levels in testing, drug reviewers say.

Johnson & Johnson’s experimental diabetes drug might bring minor heart risks because it raised cholesterol levels in patient testing, according to federal drug reviewers.

In documents released Tuesday, Food and Drug Administration staff experts conclude studies showed J&J’s canagliflozin raised levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol, and slightly increased risk of heart attack, stroke or death, compared to two other types of diabetes medications.

Data from nine large patient studies also showed the pill increased risks of urinary tract infections and fungal infections in the genital area. That’s because canagliflozin works by boosting blood sugar excretion via urine, and germs thrive on that sugar.

The studies didn’t find other serious problems, such as weakening of bones, damage to the liver or kidneys, or various cancers.
Click HERE to read the whole story at USAToday.com

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