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In brief: Senators write GAO, CMS reports on spending, Quantum appears at the Met

In brief: Senators write GAO, CMS reports on spending, Quantum appears at the Met

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., have sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) calling on the agency to update its 2011 report entitled “Medical Devices: FDA Should Enhance Its Oversight of Recalls” in the wake of the Philips Respironics recall.   

The Senators sent the letter following the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s and ProPublica’s reporting on the recall of certain CPAP and other respiratory devices.  

“From contact lenses and catheters to prosthetics and pacemakers, medical devices improve and save lives,” the letter states. “Health care providers use them to diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries.  Tens of millions of patients have implanted medical devices or use them in their homes to live healthier, more productive lives. But, there can be major risks. Due to unforeseen safety or manufacturing issues, medical devices can cause harm to patients, which can lead to a recall.” 

The letter goes on to note that in fiscal year 2022, the FDA oversaw 898 medical device recalls, a 125% percent increase compared to FY 2012.  

The letter also follows Durbin’s introduction of the bicameral Medical Device Recall Improvement Act, a bill that would require the FDA to establish an electronic format for medical device recall notifications to streamline communication between medical device manufacturers, FDA, hospitals and health care professionals. It would also require manufacturers to include in recall notices information about how the recall could affect patients with medical devices and instruct hospitals and health care professionals to provide that information to patients. 

Health spending grows 

WASHINGTON – U.S. health care spending grew 4.1% to reach $4.5 trillion in 2022, reflecting increases in Medicaid and private health insurance, according to CMS. 

The rate of growth was faster than in 2021 (3.2%), but much slower than in 2020 (10.6%).  

In 2022, the insured share of the population reached 92% (a historic high). Private health insurance enrollment increased by 2.9 million individuals and Medicaid enrollment increased by 6.1 million individuals. In 2022, 26.6 million individuals were uninsured, down from 28.5 million in 2021 (a difference of 1.9 million individuals). 

Retail spending for durable medical equipment, which made up 2% of overall spend, increased 5.1% in 2022 to $67.1 billion, following much faster growth of 18.6% in 2021. The slowdown in 2022 was driven by slower growth in out-of-pocket and private health insurance spending. 

Health spending by major sources of funds: 

Private health insurance spending increased by 5.9% in 2022 (to $1.3 trillion), which was slightly slower than the increase of 6.3% in 2021. For hospital care, physician and clinical services, and dental services, private health insurance expenditures grew more slowly in 2022, following stronger growth in 2021. Private health insurance enrollment increased 1.5%, or 2.9 million individuals, in 2022 — the fastest increase since 2015. 

Medicare spending increased 5.9% to reach $944.3 billion in 2022, a slower increase than in 2021, when Medicare spending increased 7.2%. Medicare fee-for-service expenditures declined by 1.9% in 2022, while Medicare private health plan spending (accounting for 50% of total Medicare spending) increased 15.1%. Total Medicare enrollment increased 1.9% in 2022 compared to growth of 1.7% in 2021 (or by 1.2 million individuals), with enrollment in Medicare private plans increasing 8.5% and fee-for-service enrollment declining 3.0%. 

Medicaid spending increased 9.6% to $805.7 billion in 2022, the third consecutive year of growth above 9%. Medicaid enrollment grew 7.2% in 2022 after increasing 11.1% in 2021 and 4.6% in 2020. This amounts to about 18 million individuals gaining Medicaid coverage between 2019 and 2022. Faster Medicaid enrollment growth since 2019 reflects the newly enrolled as well as the continuous enrollment requirement of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that took effect on March 18, 2020 and ended on March 31, 2023. Federal Medicaid spending increased 10.8% and state Medicaid spending increased 6.6% in 2022, with the federal government’s share of total Medicaid spending reaching 71% in 2022. 

Total out-of-pocket spending increased by 6.6% in 2022 to $471.4 billion, slowing from growth of 11% in 2021. Dental services, durable medical equipment, and physician and clinical services, which collectively accounted for 34% of all out-of-pocket spending in 2022, were the main contributors to the slower growth in 2022. 

ACHC releases new survey findings 

CARY, N.C. - The Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) has released a new Quality Review Edition of The Surveyor. The Surveyor includes actual survey findings and frequently cited deficiencies that serve to clarify specific aspects of standards found to be non-compliant. Following the sample citations are tips for compliance. The 16-page guide includes overviews of program and service operations, human resource management, record and risk management, and continuous operational improvement. ACHC noted one key area for improvement pertains to infection control and safety, with demonstrated lapses in adherence to policies and procedures for product cleaning, storage and safety. 

Quantum’s iLevel goes to The Met 

NEW YORK – Quantum Rehab will take part in an exhibit honoring women fashion designers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Among the many designs on display on opening night was a bodysuit designed by Hillary Taymour and worn by Aaron Rose Philip, who has cerebral palsy and uses a Quantum Edge 3 power wheelchair with iLevel. Quantum also worked with representatives from the Costume Institute to provide an Edge 3 chair for the exhibit. “We are very excited and appreciative to be contacted by the Met to be part of their exhibition and even more so, that they wanted to display a Quantum power chair at the exhibition,” said Jay Brislin, vice president, Quantum Rehab. “An event such as this helps continue to highlight how mobility products can provide functional independence to individuals to help them accomplish any of the goals they have in their lives.” Originally planned for 2020, the Women Dressing Women exhibit was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be on view at the Met through March 3. 

Aeroflow awards $10K to NCPC 

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Aeroflow Breastpumps has announced the winner of its fifth annual Pumping Room Makeover Contest: The North Carolina Partnership for Children, a state-level, nonprofit organization that oversees North Carolina's innovative, award-winning Smart Start initiative. The contest received hundreds of entries from businesses around the U.S. committed to helping people with physical, cognitive, behavioral and socio-economic challenges. The NCPC was selected as Aeroflow Breastpumps' $10,000 Grand Prize winner and will use the donation to remodel the company's pumping room with new equipment and resources for its working mothers. "We are thrilled to provide The North Carolina Partnership for Children with the tools needed to create comfortable, inviting spaces for the incredible working mothers whose efforts directly impact and support the families that are a part of the NCPC," says Jennifer Jordan, vice president of Aeroflow Breastpumps and director of Mom & Baby. "The stories the NCPC shared with us around their mission to ensuring the well-being of all of North Carolina's youngest children, from birth to age five along with their families, aligns with our foundation at Aeroflow Breastpumps, and we couldn't be happier to support the working parents in our home state." In addition to the grand prize donation of $10,000, Aeroflow Breastpumps has also identified four other organizations throughout the U.S. from their list of entries who will receive a donation provided by Lansinoh of free breast pump supplies and accessories for their employees. 

Belluscura to distribute X-PLOR in Singapore 

LONDON and PLANO, Texas – Belluscura has received approval from the Singapore Health Sciences Authority to distribute its X-PLOR portable oxygen concentrator under its exclusive licensing with InnoMax Medical Device Technology Ltd. Belluscura partnered with InnoMax in August. "We are very excited to receive this approval, enabling us to launch sales in Singapore, as a first market in the (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region,” said CEO Bob Rauker. “With our arrangement with InnoMax in place, we are confident that we can now deliver on the significant potential for our products in this large and growing region." According to Belluscura, approximately 5.9% of adults in Singapore above 40 have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The company received approval in September to distribute the X-PLOR in Hong Kong. 

AIS Healthcare receives ACHC accreditation 

DALLAS – AIS Healthcare, a provider of targeted drug delivery and infusion care solutions has been awarded accreditations for Specialty Pharmacy, Infusion Pharmacy and Infusion Nursing by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), further setting it apart from other infusion services providers. This accomplishment underscores the company’s commitment to going beyond what’s expected to advance quality care and improve the lives of patients. “This accomplishment is a testament to our employees who commit themselves to providing the highest quality care to our patients,” said Simon Castellanos, CEO, AIS Healthcare. “We will continue to take the steps necessary to ensure every one of our employees, every process, and every protocol puts patient safety first. Thank you to ACHC for this important recognition and to the entire team at AIS Healthcare for their dedication to the patients we serve.” ACHC grants accreditation for providers in the home care and home infusion therapy industries. The commission plays a critical role in ensuring providers deliver quality and effective services to patients.


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