Data from the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) states about 29,000 medical tech jobs were lost over three years while the ACA medical device excise tax was in effect.
Employment in the medical device industry fell slightly in 2012, the year leading up to implementation of the tax, before falling 1.1% in 2013 and 6.6% in 2014, AdvaMed stated.
- Employment in the medical device industry increased 0.7% in 2015, the first year of a two-year suspension of the medical device excise tax, according to the organization.
Nearly 402,000 people were employed in the medical device industry in 2011. That number fell to 370,036 in 2014 and the industry is blaming job losses on the medical device excise tax established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Suspension of the medical device excise tax has led led to increased activity among industry players, according to an earlier report from AdvaMed.
Industry groups representing medical device manufacturers have taken a hard stance against the tax. “These numbers reveal just how devastating of an impact the device tax had on our industry and underscore the urgent need for permanent repeal,” said Scott Whitaker, president and CEO of AdvaMed. Since the tax was suspended, the industry has shown more willingness to invest and explore, according to AdvaMed.
While the medical device industry is employing aggressive language, the medical device excise tax might be somewhat insignificant, according to a report from MedCity News. As is the case throughout much of healthcare, the medical device industry is undergoing massive amounts of consolidation. MedCity News' Arundhati Parmer adds, "And as everyone knows, consolidation typically leads to job losses."
Parmer smartly posits a deeper dive into which type of jobs were lost. Without a more detailed analysis, AdvaMed is able to deploy scare tactics by drawing a line between the ACA medical device tax and job losses. Still, over the last 12 months, the healthcare industry added 374,000 jobs to the economy and reports have noted under a Republican Congress the medical device tax could be on the chopping block so it could be likely the medical device tax will become a non-issue for the industry going forward.