TOP OF THE NEWS
14 MPO • April 2015
Dozens of healthcare and medical device companies have been targeted in recent years for overcharging government
health programs, including Medicare.
The investigation appears to be separate
from the massive accounting fraud allegations exposed in 2011 by former CEO Michael Woodford. He was fired after questioning accounting transactions that were
later found to have been used to hide losses.
Olympus eventually admitted that it
used improper accounting to conceal investment losses, and restated five years of
A former Singapore banker pleaded
guilty in federal court in New York, N. Y., in
2013 to helping Olympus orchestrate the
$1.7 billion fraud. The U.S. Attorney’s office
in Manhattan has been investigating the
banker’s former employer, Commerzbank
AG, for possible anti-money laundering
lapses in connection with the fraud.
Company executives also said in 2012
that Olympus had uncovered possible
violations of a U.S. foreign bribery law in
its Brazil business, and reported the alle-
gations to the U.S. Department of Justice.
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department would neither confirm nor deny
the existence of any investigation.
Medical Device Innovation
Incubator in Ohio
ProMedica Health System, based in Toledo, Ohio, has launched a business incubator to nurture startups in the medical
device and bioinformatics sectors.
Located in a 6,000-square-foot facility
on the system’s Wildwood Medical Center
campus in Toledo, the ProMedica Innovations incubator will provide entrepreneurs
with office space and support services.
Startups that participate in the incubator
also will receive capital funding as well as
networking and mentoring opportunities.
ProMedica created its innovations division in 2012 to create medical devices and
other inventions that could be commercialized and used to improve care. The company’s goal is to eventually make the incubator program financially self-sustaining.
VentureMedGroup, the first startup to
participate in the incubator, will receive $1
million in investments, half from ProMedica and half from the Ohio Third Frontier
Pre-Seed Fund Capitalization Program, a
state initiative that provides loans to technology startups. VentureMedGroup has
developed the FLEX Scoring Catheter, a
device that makes shallow scores in plaque
lesions that can more effectively prepare
patients’arteries for angioplasty treatments.
The startup was founded by John Pig-ott, M.D., a vascular surgeon and medical
director of ProMedica Innovations. He
estimates the market opportunity to be
more than $1 billion for a device such as
the FLEX catheter. Clinical trials for the