skip to main content
Close Icon We use cookies to improve your website experience.  To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy.  By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies.
Global Search Configuration

medtech telehealth joe biden

At a recent post-election webinar hosted by the Alliance for Health Policy, conservative and liberal policy experts offered 10 predictions for how health policy decisions – many of which would impact device manufacturers – will be handled by the incoming Biden administration.

Predictions made during the webinar ranged from future expansion of Medicaid programs, to greater trust of medical science and investigations into minority health disparities, to greater use of the Defense Production Act and telehealth to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are some notable quotes heard during the 17 November webinar, and the individual experts who made the health policy predictions:

No. 1

“If you are president, you can expand Medicaid, and you can do some health care demonstration programs under the Affordable Care Act that can accomplish that,” said Robert Blendon, dean of policy, Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Expansion of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service’s Medicaid program would result in more medtech equipment being used and reimbursed by the CMS.

No. 2

“The Trump administration has been slow to use the Defense Production Act to force more manufacturing of COVID-19-needed resources, and we are still short of PPE. Perhaps Biden will use it now,” commented Julie Rovner, chief Washington correspondent, Kaiser Health News.

The Trump administration did make some use of the DPA, but some say the touch was too light. “The president-elect plans to invoke the [DPA] to dramatically scale up production of personal protective equipment,” said infectious diseases physician Celine Grounder, a member of the president-elect’s task force, on 16 November.  (Also see "Biden Will Invoke Defense Production Act On ‘Day One’ To Ramp Up PPE Manufacture" - Medtech Insight, 16 Nov, 2020.)

No. 3

“On day one after the inauguration, Biden will put us back into the World Health Organization, and the head of the WHO will be sipping diet Coke with the president,” Blendon said.

US federal government cooperation and membership in the WHO is likely to foster more sharing of data and health care resources between the US and foreign countries about the latest medtech technology and diagnostics used to fight global diseases.

No. 4

“Black voters put Biden over the top to win [the election]. …This administration coming in will react to those who put them in office. With or without Congress, Biden’s going to enter into oversight investigations into racial health disparities,” Blendon said.

Medtech manufacturers should expect to see congressional and agency hearings focused on disparate treatment of minorities, and most likely, policies that support equal treatment of people of color.

No. 5

“Biden’s immediate change for the majority that elected him will be limiting the spread of the coronavirus, and limiting damage to the economy caused by COVID-19,” according to Liz Hamel, VP and director of public policy for the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The new administration says it will work even harder, and dedicate even more funding, to expand testing and contact tracing for COVID-19, as well as production of personal protective equipment and disbursement of funds for PPE to state and local authorities.

No. 6

“One issue the public wants to see action on is ending surprise medical bills,” Hamel said.

Directors of out-of-network providers, including advanced imaging facilities and labs affiliated with hospital emergency rooms, will have less opportunity to charge higher-than-average fees to patients for their services.  (Also see "HHS Conditions Hospital COVID-19 Relief Payments On No Surprise Billing" - Medtech Insight, 30 Jul, 2020.)

No. 7

“If the GOP wins the Senate, you will see Republicans rally around a COVID-19/paycheck protection program, and get more money to the states,” commented Clay Alspach, a principal at Leavitt Partners.

If Republicans gain control of the Senate after the outcome of two Georgia races in dispute are settled, they may become more cooperative with House Democrats in crafting a new paycheck protection program that will get more dollars to state governments to fight the COVID-19 crisis.  (Also see "Trump Admin Accused Of Diverting COVID-19 Testing, PPE Funds To Defense Purposes" - Medtech Insight, 21 Jul, 2020.)

No. 8

“Joe Biden will evaluate each rule from the Trump administration of its own. Regarding the CMS price transparency rule, Biden will find is hard to be against transparency,” remarked Chris Jennings, president of consulting firm Jennings Policy Strategies.

Under the Trump administration, CMS administrator Seema Verma proposed Medicare price transparency regulations for hospitals and insurers, requiring them to place their negotiated prices for their 500 most-common medical procedures, advanced imaging scans and lab tests online. The Biden administration will likely carry those rules out, the experts say.  (Also see "CMS Sets Insurers’ Deadlines To Comply With Final Health Care Price Transparency Rule" - Medtech Insight, 29 Oct, 2020.)

No. 9

“States are evaluating what they’d like to see done in a Biden administration. Telehealth, for example. Some states are looking to telehealth as a way to get things done,” said Rachel Nuzum, VP of state and federal policy at The Commonwealth Fund.

The CMS has issued regulations requiring more reimbursement for use of telehealth, even after the COVID-19 pandemic. And during the Biden administration, state governments – especially those with sparse populations and with large expanses of remote rural areas – are expected to support the movement toward greater use of telehealth to connect physicians in cities with rural populations.  (Also see "US CMS Should Delay Adjustment In Pay For E/M Services Until COVID-19 Crisis Passes: Device Firms" - Medtech Insight, 9 Oct, 2020.)

No. 10

“Republicans and Democrats differ in their trust of the medical sciences. So, you’re going to be going from President Trump expressing skepticism about the impact of COVID-19, to President Biden creating an Oval Office surrounded by white-coated scientists,” Blendon said.

Biden will be more likely to trust scientists and medical officers at the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health, the experts say.

Read also


Next steps

Whether you’re a small biotech start-up, research firm, generic manufacturer or a global pharmaceutical giant, you need focused, independent insight and opinion on market developments.

Our team is ready to hear from you for a particular request or area of interest. Please do not hesitate to reach out and discuss.

Contact us for product technical and account support.

  • US Toll-Free   : +1 888 670 8900 
  • US Toll             : +1 212-600-3520
  • UK & Europe : +44 (0) 208 052 0700

Have an immediate and specific information need?

Browse and buy from 1000s of analysis and research reports now: