Morning Rounds (02.15.13)

The healthcare sector continues to add jobs, despite the continued slow growth in overall healthcare spending.

Workplace health management programs report greater success when spouses are included.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a technology that will give limited vision to people who are blind with an “artificial retina.” Full Story

FDA Approves Technology that Gives Blind People Limited Vision

The Food and Drug Administration has approved a technology that will give limited vision to people who are blind with an “artificial retina,” according to The New York Times. The structure, called Argus II, is composed of electrodes that are surgically implanted in the eye along with glasses, and attached camera, and a portable video processor that, when combined, are able to transmit visual images to the brain. Argus II will allow people who are blind to see outlines and boundaries. According to the article, “With it, people with certain types of blindness can detect crosswalks on the street, burners… Full Story

Morning Rounds (02.07.13)

More than half of physicians are unaware of the disclosures required by the Sunshine Act ,released last week by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Texans with a mental illness are 50 percent more likely to smoke cigarettes, the Centers for Disease Control reports.

Teenagers who experience more positive interactions with their family are more likely to have stronger relationships and marriages later on in life. Full Story

Majority of Physicians Unaware of Sunshine Act

More than half of physicians are unaware of the disclosures required by the Sunshine Act released last week by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, according to a survey MMIS, a global technology company. The law requires that medical device and pharmaceutical companies must report their payments to physicians and disclose them in a publicly available database. The regulation was part of the Affordable Care Act. The survey results actually reflected a 5 percent increase in lack of awareness of the law’s provisions compared with a year ago, according to MMIS.

International Heart Valve Conference Bolsters Dallas’ Profile

Dallas has quietly become the U.S. showcase for innovative heart valve techniques. Earlier this month, about 1,200 cardiologists and cardiac surgeons converged on the city to hear 70 international experts in the treatment of heart valve disease. The weeklong meeting included “wet lab” sessions, during which surgeons learned about and practiced new valve replacement techniques on pig cadaver hearts. The conference name—Dallas- Leipzig Valve 2012—reflects that the meeting rotates annually between Dallas and Leipzig, Germany. This year’s conference was the third held in Dallas. David Brown, MD, and Michael Mack, MD, were co-directors of the conference. Brown is a cofounder… Full Story

Morning Rounds (12.06.12)

This year’s national meningitis outbreak has sparked proposed legislation that would increase FDA oversight of pharmaceutical compounders.

U.S. Department of Justice recovered more than $3 billion from healthcare fraud cases in 2012—an all-time record.

The IRS has released details on new medical device tax — one that industry groups is lobbying lawmakers to repeal.

Medical interns are more alert when given protected “power nap” periods, according to a study published in The Journal of American Medicine.

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IRS Releases Medical Device Tax Details, Faces Industry Opposition

The IRS has released final regulations on a medical device tax that will be enacted next month. It requires that manufacturers pay a 2.3 percent tax on the sale of certain medical devices. The tax, which is expected to raise nearly $30 billion by 2022, was put in place to help fund provisions in the Affordable Care Act. The regulations affect manufacturers, importers, and producers of taxable medical devices. Companies that produce such devices are speaking out against the tax before it is enacted, and the Medical Device Manufacturers Association is behind them. The group’s president and CEO, Mark Leahey, said in… Full Story

Morning Rounds (12.05.12)

A Houston-based hospital company is entering the Dallas market by acquiring Oak Cliff’s South Hampton Community Hospital in a $30 million deal.

Dallas-based AT&T has released its list of the top five healthcare IT trends for 2013.

The Government Accountability Office says variances in Medicaid expenses in two different data sets leave billions of dollars in expenditures unexplained.

Nursing is the country’s No. 1 trusted profession, according to a new Gallup poll. Overall, healthcare professions occupy three of the survey’s top four spots.

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Fitch: Slow Growth for Healthcare Sector in 2013

Fitch Ratings forecasts low single-digit growth for most companies in the U.S. healthcare sector in 2013, although the ratings agency’s overall outlook for the industry is stable. Its forecast covers pharmaceutical manufacturers, diagnostic and life science companies, healthcare providers, medical device makers, and healthcare services segments of the broader U.S. healthcare industry: Fitch says healthcare shows many positive growth trends—including the country’s aging population and higher rates of chronic disease, growing demand in emerging markets, and new product launches. But these are tempered by weak economic conditions and the looming fiscal cliff. Although Fitch views the Affordable Care Act as a… Full Story