Med device tax concerns radiology groups, clinicians

Medical device industry payments to the Internal Revenue Service have passed the $1 billion mark, according to a recent announcement from the The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) and the Medical Device Manufacturers Association (MDMA).

According to MITA Executive Direct Gail Rodriguez, bipartisan support for repeal of the tax is "building" both in the House and Senate, but "Congress cannot wait longer to repeal this burdensome tax and protect jobs and essential R&D funding."

It appears that clinicians are getting worried, as well.

According to a commentary published earlier this year in the Journal of Vascular & Interventional Radiology, interventional radiologists are particularly concerned about the impact the tax will have on the "entrepreneurial interventional radiologist," who is looking to bring new technologies to the market.

The problem, according to Massachusetts General Hospital radiologist Anand Prabhakar, is that the medical device tax may force companies to cut lower margin products from development and production, or prohibit new companies from introducing new technologies.

"Educational and marketing budgets will also likely be hit, potentially limiting access to company representatives who are integral in product education and quality assurance," Prabhakar and his colleagues wrote. "Although the severity of the impact of this tax on the industry remains unclear, interventional radiologists are likely to feel some repercussions."

They added that even though the tax is paid by medical device manufacturers and importers, it may have "important implications for hospitals, interventional radiologists and their patients," and that time will tell what the tax will actually mean for interventional radiology.

To learn more:
- see the announcement from MITA
- read the commentary in the Journal of Vascular & Interventional Radiology

To learn more:
Senate votes to repeal medical device tax
MITA exec at odds with Obama on medical device tax
Medical device tax timeline 'burdensome' for radiology vendors

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