eNews December 9, 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.

Do your people love their jobs?

The top things medical sales professionals love about their job include the ability to make an impact (32%) and an opportunity for growth (21%), according to the 10th annual MedReps survey. They also reported that they value work-life balance (80%), a focus on team building and collaboration (56%), and a commitment to diversity and inclusion (26%). Administrative work remained the No. 1 job complaint. However, in a year in which COVID regulations made face time with customers next to impossible, complaints about “gaining access to customers” increased to 31%, followed by stress (21%), regulations (20%) and money or commission structure (15%).

Remote control of medical devices

An industry group made up of GE Healthcare, Medtronic and others, in collaboration with the FDA, has developed emergency use guidance for the remote control of medical devices during the coronavirus pandemic., reports MedTech Dive. The standards-based document, put together by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation and others, offers consensus guidelines for adding remote-controlled capabilities to hospital devices, including ventilators and infusion pumps.

More procedures OK’d for ambulatory surgery centers

CMS – the agency that administers Medicare – added 11 procedures to the ambulatory-surgery-center (ASC)-covered procedures list (CPL) under its standard review process, including total hip arthroplasty. Using revised criteria, CMS will add an additional 267 surgical procedures to the ASC CPL beginning in CY 2021. The agency also finalized its proposal to eliminate the Inpatient Only (IPO) list over a three-year transitional period, beginning with the removal of approximately 300 primarily musculoskeletal-related services, with the list completely phased out by CY 2024. This will make these procedures eligible to be paid by Medicare in the hospital outpatient setting when outpatient care is appropriate, as well as maintain CMS’ ability to pay for these services in the hospital inpatient setting when inpatient care is appropriate, as determined by the physician.

Some smart kids!

Six third-year undergrads at Johns Hopkins University have designed a leak-proof mask that could be used with common CPAP machines as an alternative to ventilators to deliver breathing relief to hospitalized COVID-19 patients. They plan to begin clinical testing at the Johns Hopkins Hospital soon.

FDA pipeline clogged

Jeff Shuren, director of FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said at an event in early December that in light of the pandemic, next year will be more of a reset for CDRH as the center looks to both manage coronavirus response-oriented work and move forward with projects unrelated to COVID-19, reports MedTech Dive. One of the largest hurdles will be overcoming the workload that has stretched the center’s resources thin. Those resources have gone not just to reviewing and authorizing emergency use submissions for COVID-19 diagnostic tests, but also working with developers and holding webinars to help industry members get products to market. While this work is necessary, it has also slowed down the review process, said Shuren, and “those challenges are only going to get worse.” For one, the director anticipates a new hurdle in the coming months will be developers seeking full marketing authorization for COVID-19 products.

Plan on it

Plan on attending the IMDA/HIRA Annual Conference, June 21-23, 2021, at Eaglewood Resort in Itasca, Illinois — just a few miles from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. What are you interested in learning? Let the conference committee know by emailing IMDA Executive Administrator Katie Sizemore at imda@imda.org.