Q&A with Dave Fisher

por Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | January 08, 2016
Dave Fisher
From Medicare and private payor payment of CT screening for high-risk lung cancer patients to XR-29 becoming effective on January 1, the industry underwent major changes this year. But the year isn't quite over yet, and more changes including the repeal of the medical device tax may take place.

Dave Fisher, head of global policy and government affairs at Siemens Healthcare spoke with HCB News about the biggest changes in the health care industry in the past year and what's on the horizon for the coming year.

HCB News: What are the biggest changes that have happened in the U.S. health care industry in the past year?

DF: From the radiology and imaging perspective, it's XR-29 regulations being put into place to become effective on January 1. I think creating a first of its kind differential payment based on dose optimization is a big thing for manufacturers as well as for providers and for patients, so I'm excited about the public health benefit associated with that.

I think that the public health benefit associated with lung cancer screening and Medicare and private payor payment for high-risk lung cancer patients is also a tremendous step forward from a public health perspective.

We aren't quite done with the year yet and we have a decent chance of the device tax repeal being included in the year end in legislation. It hasn't happened yet and we are still working very hard on that.

HCB News: What do you think will come of the medical device tax?

DF: Ever since it passed into law as part of the ACA, everybody impacted by the tax has been advocating and educating policymakers on the impact it has had from a research and development perspective and a cost perspective for companies.

We think this year may be the year when the repeal or suspension of the tax may take place. We are working very hard, and have been the whole year, to get a provision passed into law. The year is ending for Congress and so we are at our deadline and are hopeful that we will end up getting across the finish line.
 
HCB News: What effect has the increasing number of mergers and acquisitions in recent years had on Congress and regulators?

DF: One of the consequences of the ACA is that it encouraged consolidation in the health care marketplace — I think that's true for insurance companies as well as providers. That certainly seems reasonable considering how fragmented our health care system is.

But I think as you look to the future, one of the things that is in question is how these mergers will impact competition in the marketplace. I think we have to keep an eye on whether or not regulators will be taking an increased interest in new mergers and acquisitions among providers and also insurance companies.

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