In Vermont, a multi-year effort to create a statewide single-payer health insurance program has failed. On December 17, Governor Peter Shumlin announced that the state would not go forward with its plans to create a health program called Green Mountain Care. “The bottom line is that… it became clear that the risk of economic shock is too high at this time to offer a plan,” stated Shumlin at a press conference. “In my judgment, the potential economic disruption and risks would be too great to small businesses, working families, and the state’s economy.”
MORE ON: Vermont
Forbes writer Avik Ray noted that “The Shumlin administration, in its white-flag briefing last week, dropped a bombshell. In 2017, under pre-existing law, the state of Vermont expects to collect $1.7 billion in tax revenue. Green Mountain Care would have required an additional $2.6 billion in tax revenue: a 151% increase in state taxes. Fiscally, that’s a train wreck.”
FRENCH MED LABS FINED FOR FIXING LAB TEST PRICES
Last month, the Ordre National des Pharmaciens (ONP), the group in France that oversees pharmacies and clinical laboratories, lost a court review of an anti-trust and anti-competition case. The European Union’s General Court upheld a commission’s ruling that the association must pay a fine of about US$5.7 million. The ONP was accused of imposing minimum prices on the French market for clinical laboratory tests and hindering the development of groups of laboratories in that market during the period 2004 and 2007. Notably, the commission said that clinical lab test prices in France were often two to three times higher than in other EU member nations.
ADD TO: Lab Prices
Estimates are that the European market for clinical laboratory testing services is €25 billion, of which €4.4 billion relate to just the French market. In recent years, as many as 5,000 independent lab companies operated in France. Consolidation is reducing that number.
Vermillion Inc., of Austin, Texas, announced the appoinment of Valerie Palmieri to President and CEO. She had been hired as COO in October 2014. (See TDR, November 3, 2014.)
DARK DAILY UPDATE
Have you caught the latest e-briefings from DARK Daily? If so, then you’d know about…
…the FDA’s new requirement that providers using Class III (high-risk) medical devices must report adverse patient events involving such devices and include the number on the unique device identification (UDI) label of the device.
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That’s all the insider intelligence for this report. Look for the next briefing on Monday, January 26, 2015.