BEWARE OF JOHN GEBHARDT- HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS


The following post was discovered on Dotmed.com as an advisory regarding some alleged dirty dealing regarding an PET/CT sale/purchase.   The original poster is iodentifieds at the end of this blog, if you wish further details.  Pat

BEWARE OF JOHN GEBHARDT- HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS

August 01, 2015 12:44

John Gebhardt signed a contract and agreed to sell us a PET/CT for $335,000.

We sent him a $51,367 deposit in January of this year and he disappeared refusing to answer emails or return phone calls.

Not only has he not returned our deposit but he was trying to sell the same unit to other dealers.

Be careful of him and John, if you see this, please return our deposit.

Nationwide Imaging Services Inc

Robert Manetta, Manager
DOTmed user since November 2012

2301 Atlantic Avenue
Manasquan, NJ 08736 USA
Phone: +1 (732) 262-3115
http://www.nationwideimaging.com

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Apple Doesn’t Want You To Be Able To Fix Your iPhone—Here’s Why

This applies to consumer goods from Apple, but it also applies to many medical devices.   Pat

 

The cure for planned Apple-escence

BY Kendra Pierre-Louis

 “It’s not just Apple,” says Gordon-Byrne. “Any manufacturer that doesn’t want to provide parts and tools can instantly, without any difficulty, refuse to repair equipment and say that your only choice is to buy a new product.”

Twenty-five years ago, my family’s television, a sturdy mass of wood and tubes, went on the fritz. The curved glass screen had taken to displaying everything from the Smurfs to Peter Jennings in shades of green. Shipping the massive box to the manufacturer was out of the question. Instead, a call to a local, independent repairperson was placed. For a fraction of the cost of replacement, he restored our set to its Technicolor glory.

Just 20 years later, when an errant elbow cracked my family’s three-year-old flat-screen, no repair calls were made. What was the point? Replacing it would be cheaper, so that TV joined the 41.8 million tons of e-waste discarded around the world in 2014— much of it toxic.

A generation ago, the idea of tossing out a broken television would have seemed wasteful, or just plain stupid. Conventional wisdom suggests that rapid advances in technology—your average smartphone, after all, has more computing power than NASA used for the original Apollo missions—combined with the declining costs of offshore labor, means the culture of repair is losing the free-market battle against cheap replacement costs. Right?

Wrong, says Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of the Digital Right to Repair Coalition. The coalition of tinkerers, used-equipment sellers, e-waste reduction groups and concerned individuals came together in 2013 to serve as the public voice on issues of the digital aftermarket: what we’re allowed— and increasingly not allowed—to do with our products.

“The lack of repairability is deliberate on the part of manufacturers,” says Gordon-Byrne. It takes proper construction to create devices that can be repaired, as well as basic support to allow those repairs to happen. Many items are unfixable by design, like Apple’s 2015 Retina Macbook, which uses proprietary screws, and solders and glues components in place. But many items could be repaired, with the right parts and knowledge. The local repairperson of my childhood was aided by manufacturers’ providing manuals and selling parts. Those are two things that, for the most part, no longer happen.

“Their business model now,” says Gordon-Byrne, “is: You ship the TV back to them. They fix it, but they charge you whatever they want. They don’t allow Mr. Bob’s TV repair to buy the parts, the tools, or to get the manuals.”

Companies often simply urge customers to purchase a new device. “I heard this story recently,” says Gordon-Byrne. “A teenager’s headphone jack on his iPhone didn’t work, so he took it to the Apple Store for repair. The store told him that his phone was off warranty and, regardless, they don’t repair headphone jacks.” Instead, he was given the option to trade in for a new phone at a hefty cost of $275. In this case he was lucky: The headphone jack is a common component across smartphones and can be purchased in bulk for as little as 10 cents. A tinkerer was able to fix the supposedly irreparable phone for $25. In 2014, however, new manufacturer guidelines released by Apple prompted rumors that the company may phase out this standard connector for its own proprietary “lightning” port. (Apple did not respond to a request for comment.)

“It’s not just Apple,” says Gordon-Byrne. “Any manufacturer that doesn’t want to provide parts and tools can instantly, without any difficulty, refuse to repair equipment and say that your only choice is to buy a new product.”

That doesn’t mean repair is impossible—just difficult. For parts, one must typically turn to Asian suppliers that skirt intellectual property laws and often lack quality control. For information, one must depend on individuals who dissect devices on YouTube and websites like iFixit, a crowdsourced part of the Right to Repair Coalition that provides instruction manuals and ranks products by ease of repair.

Increasingly, companies create barriers in the form of proprietary black box software. Gordon-Byrne tells the story of a woman with a broken refrigerator who was able to identify which part had broken, procure the digital part, and successfully replace it—despite a lack of official documentation—only to be stymied by the need for a reset code. The only way to get the code? Paying for a technician to come out and enter it. Gordon-Byrne calls such practices “abusive.”

 The tractor company John Deere has said that owning its products is little more than a license to use them. It argues that any modification of their software—say, to fix a broken harvester in a rural place where a technician may not arrive for days, but crops can spoil in hours—would violate copyright law.

Such policies mean that the next generation of engineers won’t be able to tinker as children without risking a lawsuit. Imagine if the Wright Brothers had been prevented from reengineering the bike.

In addition, the net result of such restrictions is higher repair costs, fewer jobs and more toxic waste. As of 2011, Americans were generating 3.4 million tons of electronic waste annually, 75 percent of which wound up in incinerators, according to the EPA. Electronic waste is a toxic stew of more than 1,000 materials. A typical tube television includes up to 8 pounds of lead, according to the Electronics TakeBack Coalition. Newer flat screens have less lead, but more mercury. These chemicals contaminate soil and drinking water. If burned, they foul the air.

Recycling is not the answer, either. We ship about 40 percent of electronics earmarked for recycling to countries like China, India, Ghana and Nigeria. Because so many electronics are not designed to be repaired, taking apart these products is hazardous. It frequently involves burning them or using corrosive acids to melt away the plastic and extract the gold, silver, copper and other precious metals that, combined with low wages, make electronics recycling profitable. In Xiejia, China, with more than 3,000 registered recycling businesses, the money comes at a cost: Lead levels in children’s bloodstreams have been high enough to cause irreversible brain damage.

In New York and Minnesota, the coalition has gotten legislation introduced—though not yet passed—that would require manufacturers to provide service information, security updates and replacement parts. It’s based on a Massachusetts auto repair bill, passed in 2012, that requires auto companies to standardize their diagnostic codes and repair data by 2018. The bills in New York and Minnesota, however, are more expansive, encompassing anything that contains a microchip, from medical equipment to tractors to cellphones.

“We’re losing jobs in the state of New York because these large corporations are mandating repair work be done by their own companies,” says Republican state Sen. Phil Boyle, who introduced the bill in New York. “The more vertical integration there is, the less free market there is. The small repair shop down the street needs to stay in business.”

Kendra Pierre-Louis

Kendra Pierre-Louis is a member of the Rural America In These Times’ Board of Editors. Kendra is a Queens, New York-based journalist. Her work has appeared in, Newsweek, Earth Island Journal and Modern Farmer. She is the author of Green Washed: Why We Can’t Buy Our Way to a Green Planet (Ig Publishing 2012).

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Medtronic’s CEO Made a Ton of Money Last Year

Posted in Medical Device Business by Chris Newmarker on July 27, 2015

Much of Omar Ishrak’s $39.5 million in compensation was related to Medtronic’s $48 billion merger with Covidien.

Medtronic Omar Ishrak
Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak

Chris Newmarker

Total compensation for Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak skyrocketed to a whopping $39.5 million for the company’s fiscal year ended April 24, according to Medtronic’s recently filed proxy statement with the SEC.

The $39.5 million amount would make him one of the highest paid CEOs in the medical device industry. About $25.6 million of the compensation, though, was mostly to help Ishrak pay for the special U.S. excise taxes he and other top Medtronic executives personally owed after the January closing of Medtronic’s $48 billion acquisition of Covidien. (Here’s a timeline of the deal.)

Such excise taxes came on top of capital gains taxes that Ishrak and all other existing Medtronic shareholders owed after the deal had them swapping the old Medtronic stock for stock in the new Medtronic plc, said Medtronic spokesman Fernando Vivanco.

“They also have to pay their capital gains tax like every other shareholder does,” Vivanco said of the senior leadership.

The acquisition allowed Medtronic to move its official headquarters from Minnesota to Ireland, saving money on U.S. taxes over the long-term. Many companies involved in such inversion deals have justified tax reimbursements to top executives because the excise taxes would otherwise penalize the executives for pursuing a strategy that financially benefitted the company.

Medtronic says in its proxy statement: “The payments are required to neutralize the effect of the excise tax so that [named executive officers] were neither harmed by, nor benefited from, the transaction.”

That didn’t stop long-time shareholders, including some among the companies’ earliest employees, from giving Ishrak an earful during the company’s annual meeting in August 2014. Ishrak responded that he understood the shareholders’ pain over the capital gains taxes they needed to pay. A shareholder lawsuit was filed in federal court over the compensation plan, but a U.S. District Judge in Minnesota declined to issue an injunction in December, according to the Star Tribune of Minneapolis.

Ishrak’s $39.5 million in total compensation handily exceeded what most other top medtech CEOs received in their company’s most recent fiscal years. That included $25.0 million for Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky, $9.1 million for Stryker CEO Kevin Lobo, $10.5 million for Boston Scientific CEO Michael Mahoney, and $10.2 million for St. Jude Medical CEO Daniel Starks.

Total compensation for Ishrak was $9 million for the 2013 fiscal year and $12 million for the 2014 fiscal year.

Ishrak’s salary rose slightly to $1.5 million in 2015. The salary was more in line with Ishrak’s peers such as Gorsky ($1.5 million), Lobo ($1.1 million), Mahoney ($921,302), and Starks ($1.1 million).

For fiscal year 2015, Ishrak also received nearly $3.5 million in stock awards, $3.1 million in option awards, $5.6 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation, and $192,470 in changes to the value of his pension.

Ishrak is often cited as a top CEO in the medical device industry. Qmed readers picked him as best medtech CEO in a survey last month.

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Boston Scientific AngioJet – No Options Besides Manufacturer Service

I received an email from a BMET asking for assistance finding a service manual for a Boston Scientific (formerly Bayer / Medrad) AngioJet Ultra Perhipheral Thromectomy System.  (See the unit HERE.)  I decided to call the company directly to see what they had to say.

According to Tech Support at Boston Scientific, They do not have a service manual for the AngioJet. Upon further discussion, they did admit that they have manuals, but that they are proprietary and are restricted to use by their internal employees.   They maintain that the hospital does have options for service. These options consist of either time and materials or a service contract.

The individual I spoke with tried to tell me that this is very common, and that most medical equipment manufacturers do not provide manuals. Even GE does not provide service manuals for ultrasound machines.   I corrected him.   But he did not sway at all.

I recommend that complete service manuals be made a part of the purchase conditions of every medical equipment purchase, and that the manufacturer’s warranty (both parts and labor) be extended until both service manuals and technical training are provided to hospital-designated staff.

Boston Scientific Technical Division can be reached at 1-800-949-6708.

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Will Hill-Rom Ruin Welch Allyn when they Buy them?

Note from Pat:
I love Welch Allyn and hate to see them on the brink of destruction.  Hill Rom is a dominant bed company.  They have proven to me that they cannot effectively manage companies in the greater healthcare arena.  They ruined MediqPRN.  Their acquisition of WatchChild was an unmitigated disaster.  I firmly believe that they will continue their pattern and make decisions that will cause much of Welch Allyn’s brain-trust to flee and their customer base to jump ship for more stable companies, is spite of the awesome technological releases of late.  My opinion only.   Pat

Hill-Rom to acquire Welch Allyn in $2 billion deal

(Story updated at 10:35 a.m. ET)

Hill-Rom, a Chicago-based medical equipment manufacturer, has announced it will acquire Welch Allyn, a Skaneateles Falls, N.Y.-based manufacturer of diagnostic and patient-monitoring equipment.

The $2.05 billion deal is expected to diversify publicly owned Hill-Rom’s portfolio, expand its international footprint and allow the capital equipment supplier to gain more revenue outside of the capital spending cycle. Welch Allyn, a family-owned company, has a leading presence in physicians’ offices, an area that will be important for Hill-Rom as more care shifts to outpatient settings.

The deal is expected to close before Sept. 30. Hill-Rom CEO John Greisch will serve as president and CEO of the combined company and certain members of Welch Allyn’s senior management will join the new, combined company.

The combined company is expected to be worth about $2.6 billion in revenue and be over 10% accretive to Hill-Rom’s fiscal 2016 adjusted earnings per share, and meaningfully higher thereafter, officials said. The company reaffirmed its guidance for the third quarter and fiscal 2015, expecting revenue growth of 13% to 15% in the quarter and 10% to 11% for the year.

Hill-Rom stock opened Wednesday at roughly $55.09 a share following the news, up $2.71, or 5%, from the closing price on Tuesday.

Annual cost synergies of at least $40 million are expected to come from the deal by fiscal 2018, with additional revenue synergy opportunities, Hill-Rom executives said. The company is expected to have roughly $110 million to $120 million in full-year ongoing capital expenditures.

Much of Hill-Rom’s revenues are tied to hospitals’ long-term capital-spending cycle for products such as beds, patient-handling equipment, furniture and stretchers. The life cycle for Welch Allyn’s products—such as thermometers, blood pressure cuffs and other point-of-care diagnostic equipment—is much shorter and is therefore expected to provide the combined company with a more steady revenue stream.

Welch Allyn will make up about 26% of the company’s pro forma revenue, which, combined with Hill-Rom’s existing surgical equipment and rental revenue streams, should provide the company with steady cash flow, Greisch said during a conference call. Acute-care capital equipment will still account for 31% of the combined company’s revenue.

Geographically, Welch Allyn has presence in Hill-Rom’s strongholds of France and Germany, as well as the U.K., but otherwise has limited international infrastructure, Greisch said. Hill-Rom believes it can accelerate international growth for Welch Allyn’s products; the combined company is expected to earn about 63% of its revenue from North America, 21% from Europe and 16% from emerging markets and other regions.

Adam Rubenfire

Adam Rubenfire covers breaking healthcare news and supply chain for Modern Healthcare. His beat responsibilities include capital equipment, group purchasing organizations, food service and general medical supplies. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Automotive News and Crain’s Detroit Business. He has a bachelor’s degree in organizational studies from the University of Michigan. He joined Modern Healthcare in 2014.

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Adding a New Category

Last week, I attended the AAMI annual Meeting in Denver Colorado.  While there, I was discussing this website with various people.  The idea came up that in addition to exposing the Dirt in the HTM field, we should highlight the good companies.  So as of today, I am adding a new category – GOLDEN NUGGETS.  This tag will be assigned to any post that highlights a company that exemplifies good policies and practices relative to taking care of their customers.  Please submit your GOLDEN NUGGETS.

Pat

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Which Companies Don’t Want To Share Service Manuals?

By Patrick Lynch

One of my favorite websites is Frank’s Hospital Workshop. It is chocked full of videos and written material that covers the scope of medical equipment. The material ranges from educational offerings, operator’s manuals, service manuals and some do-it-yourself test equipment. But what I want to focus on are the service manuals. Frank has a pretty good selection, but I notice that many of them are not downloadable and bear the message “Download prohibited by name of company.”

I decided to go through Frank’s entire service manual library and record the names of all of the manufacturers who will not share their manuals. What you decide to do with this information is your own business. This is what I found:

tables 1 Patrick Lynch

tables 2 Patrick Lynch

– See more at:

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