Medicare finalizes cuts to value-based healthcare programs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services yesterday finalized cuts to a trio of bundled payment pilot programs aimed at lowering healthcare costs and improving outcomes. The federal health insurer cut the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model, or CJR, effectively in half, from 67 geographic areas participating to 34, meaning about 470 hospital participants instead of 800. […]

Jury acquits defendant in shooting death of Medtronic rep

A San Francisco jury yesterday acquitted the defendant of charges that he killed former Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) sales rep Kate Steinle. Steinle, 32, was walking along the waterfront of the Embarcadero in San Francisco with her father and a friend on July 1,. 2015, when she was shot in the back, allegedly by Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an […]

FDA clears AliveCor’s KardiaBand ECG for Apple Watch

AliveCor said today that the FDA cleared its KardioBand electrocardiogram device for the Apple Watch, designed to monitor for early signs of atrial fibrillation. First introduced in March 2016, KardiaBand is the first medical device accessory to be cleared by the federal safety watchdog for the Apple Watch, Mountain View, Calif.-based AliveCor said. It’s designed to display […]

Trump nominates pharma insider Azar to lead HHS

The Trump administration today nominated Alex Azar, who spent nearly 10 years at Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) after working in the second Bush administration, as secretary of the U.S. Health & Human Services Dept. The former HHS head, Dr. Tom Price, resigned in September after days of fending off criticism over chartered flights he took on the public dime. […]

FDA puts Second Sight Medical’s next-gen Orion ‘bionic eye’ on the fast track

Second Sight Medical (NSDQ:EYES) said today that the FDA put its Orion “bionic eye” on the fast track to approval. The Orion device is a cortical visual prosthesis that uses a camera and a brain implant to bypass the optic nerve in visually impaired patients. The federal safety watchdog put the device on its expedited […]

Haemonetics to cut 11% of workforce

Haemonetics (NYSE:HAE) said today that it plans to cut roughly 11% of its global workforce as it looks to pare $80 million from its annual cash burn by the end of fiscal 2020. The Braintree, Mass.-based blood management company said it plans to eliminate 350 positions by the end of its fiscal year in April. The company reported […]

Proto Labs gains on Q3 sales, earnings beats

Shares in Proto Labs (NSDQ:PRLB) are up today after the contract manufacturer beat the consensus forecast on Wall Street for its third-quarter sales and earnings. Maple Plain, Minn.-based Proto Labs posted profits of $13.2 million, or 49¢ per share, on sales of $88.1 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, for a bottom-line gain

Medtronic, Mazor Robotics close $40 million round

Mazor Robotics (NSDQ:MZOR) said today that closed the third, $40 million tranche of a deal with Medtronic (NYSE:MDT), which is due to take on exclusive global distribution rights for the Mazor X robot-assisted surgery device. It’s the third investment in the Israeli surgical robotics concern for Fridley, Minn.-based Medtronic, taking its total investment to $72 million, 10.6% stake in…

FDA to pilot new high-risk PMA for medical devices

The FDA is readying a pilot program to try and improve the pre-market approval process for high-risk medical devices later this month. The federal safety watchdog is seeking nine companies to participate in its Premarket Approval Application Critical to Quality program beginning Sept. 29 and running to either Dec. 31, 2018, or until nine PMAs […]

Medtronic recalls insulin infusion sets

Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) said today that it’s recalling some of the infusion sets used with its insulin pumps due to problems with a discontinued component. The Fridley, Minn.-based medical device titan said the problem involves a vent membrane that’s susceptible to blockage during priming and fill-tubing. No pumps or glucose sensors are affected by the recall, Medtronic […]

Medical Extrusion Technologies loses trademark bid

A U.S. trademark board last week shot down a bid by Medical Extrusion Technologies to trademark its name, ruling that the name is not distinct enough to trademark. MET applied to trademark its name for “polyurethanes in the form of sheets, films, pellets, granules, and tubes for use in the manufacture of medical devices, medical diagnostic devices,

FDA approves pivotal study of Vascular Dynamics MobiusHD high blood pressure device

Vascular Dynamics said today that the FDA approved an investigational device exemption for a clinical trial of its MobiusHD device for treating resistant hypertension. MobiusHD is designed to help regulate blood pressure using electrodes implanted in the carotid artery to stimulate baroreceptors there. Mountain View, Calif.–based Vascular Dynamics said the 300-patient Calm 2 study is designed

Acessa Health closes bankruptcy buyout of Halt Medical, raises $30M

Acessa Health said today that it closed the bankruptcy buyout of Halt Medical and promptly raised a Series A round worth $30 million. The Acessa device is designed to treat uterine fibroids using radiofrequency ablation. Its successor namesake emerged after a Delaware federal bankruptcy judge earlier this month approved the bankruptcy sale, which was designed to keep the

Slips Technologies raises $9m for coatings tech

Slips Technologies said today that it raised nearly $9 million for the super-slippery coating it’s developing, including a $3 million grant from a U.S. Energy Dept. agency. Named for its technology, “slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces,” the Cambridge, Mass.-based company’s coating is designed to create a self-healing liquid layer that’s too slippery for other fluids to adhere

Johnson & Johnson Innovation backs 3D printing, coatings and contact lenses

Johnson & Johnson Innovation, the incubation arm of healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), said today that it’s investing in a variety of medical device and pharmaceutical programs, including 3D printing, coatings and contact lenses. The new”investments and strategic transactions” feature a joint effort with MIT spinout Inkbit Corp., which is developing “a unique multi-material