Medtronic subpoenaed over neurostimulators

Highlights of the important and interesting in the world of health care:

Medtronic subpoenaed over neurostimulators. Medtronic, the largest maker of heart devices, has been subpoenaed by the U.S. attorney in western New York related to sales, marketing and reimbursement practices for its brain stimulation products, according to Bloomberg.

Big HIE fish swallow small. With Aetna picking up health information exchange vendor Medicity for $500 million earlier this week, and UnitedHealth Group’s Ingenix buying Medicity’s top competitor, Axolotl, earlier this year, the HIE market is going through a major upheaval with few (one could even argue no) strong, independent vendors left, according to Chilmark Research.

Health reform game changer. The future of health reform will be shaped more by interest group agendas and state-level actions than by the plans of new Republican leadership in the U.S. House, according to a Kaiser Health News opinion piece. Not only has the health reform game changed, but so have the most important players.

Could this be a record? Early Tuesday, Abbott Laboratories agreed to pay $126.5 million to settle charges of deliberately misreporting pricing information to hike reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid, writes Pharmalot blogger Ed Silverman. A few hours later, Abbott agreed to pay $41 million to resolve criminal and civil charges that its Kos Pharmaceuticals unit engaged in kickbacks and off-label marketing.

Med device makers lose clout. Medical-device makers, already battling slumping markets and sliding product prices, are losing their grip on a key tool for driving sales — influence over doctors whose practices increasingly are being bought by hospitals, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

Age of the $1,000 genome. San Francisco molecular diagnostics company Sequenta Inc. has raised $13 million in a Series B venture round to develop fast, cheap DNA sequencing that could help doctors figure out whether patients’ immune systems have gone out of whack, according to Xconomy.

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