eNews August 18, 2020

The latest news affecting you and your customers… from the Independent Medical Specialty Dealers Association

How is COVID-19 affecting your business, your people, your customers? IMDA is a membership organization, and in times like these, we can all use some camaraderie. If you have a COVID story to share, advice to offer, or a warning to sound, send it to Mark Thill, IMDA’s communications director, at mdthill1913@gmail.com, with the subject line “IMDA COVID story.” We’ll compile them and send them back out to you.

UDIs, please

Device-specific information, that is, unique device identifiers (UDIs) should be included on all claims related to recalled or prematurely failed medical devices, according to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, reports MedTech Dive. The internal watchdog included the recommendation in the 2020 edition of its top ideas for reducing fraud, waste and abuse. OIG began pushing for changes to claim forms in 2017, estimating Medicare spent $1.5 billion on services related to seven recalled or prematurely failed medical devices between 2005 and 2014

Roadmap for maintaining essential surgery during COVID-19

Healthcare facilities should engage in regional cooperation to address capacity and new patient needs to ensure facilities have appropriate number of ICU and non-ICU beds, personal protective equipment, testing reagents and supplies, ventilators and trained staff to treat all non-elective patients without resorting to a crisis standard of care, according to a joint communique by the American College of Surgeons, American Hospital Association, American Society of Anesthesiologists and the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses.

Ventilator glut

Months into a $3 billion U.S. effort to manufacture tens of thousands of ventilators to stave off coronavirus deaths, the government stockpile is facing a glut, reports the Washington Post. By early May, General Motors and Ford began delivering the first ventilators they scrambled to manufacture. General Electric, Philips and other manufacturers’ efforts have delivered more than 94,000 of them to the stockpile, and General Motors plans to soon hand over its business to a counterpart. During the first weeks of the COVID-19 crisis in March, health officials feared a shortage of ventilators. But instead of intubating patients, doctors are now more likely to pursue a variety of breathing treatments, such as flipping patients onto their sides or stomachs to aid in breathing, or using high-flow nasal cannula systems, or continuous or bilevel positive airway pressure machines used for patients with sleeping disorders.

This year’s most innovative is …

MedTech Innovator, a global competition and accelerator for medical devices, digital health and diagnostic companies, has selected the top 50 early-and mid-stage companies for The Virtual MedTech Conference this fall. All 50 companies will participate in the virtual Showcase presentations, and 30 of them will participate in a four-month virtual accelerator. Five finalists from the Accelerator program will compete during the MedTech Innovator Finals at The Virtual MedTech Conference, with a live audience vote and the opportunity to win $500,000 in prizes. Last year’s winner was Forest Devices, developer of a test for stroke for use by EMS.

Importing during the pandemic

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently answered questions about importing certain medical devices during the COVID-19 pandemic, including devices that have been issued Emergency Use Authorizations (EAU). Included are sterilizers, air purifiers and ventilators, as well as PPE and other items.