A Medical Device Daily

HealthTronics (Austin, Texas) reported that it has acquired UroPath (Arlington, Texas) for $7.5 million.

Founded in 2003, UroPath provides anatomical pathology lab services in the U.S. In 2007, labs managed by UroPath processed more than 400,000 specimens, serving more than 50 urology practices with more than 450 physicians across 17 states.

UroPath's operating model is focused on the patient benefits of a more disease-focused diagnosis capability for prostate health, with greater involvement by the urologist who often acts as the primary care physician when dealing with prostate disease.

Effective Jan. 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) amended existing healthcare regulations to establish limits on the amount a provider can bill Medicare for pathology services under certain conditions. These regulations limit the Medicare reimbursement for Medicare-reimbursed pathology services provided in pathology laboratories UroPath manages.

On June 30, CMS proposed additional amendments to these regulations which could further affect the way in which pathology services may be reimbursed.

James Whittenburg, CEO of HealthTronics, said, "We believe UroPath's historical model provides greater continuity in the handling of specimens, increased communication between specialists in the continuum of care, and improved focus on the needs of the patient."

He added, "We believe we achieve many of the same benefits in our other urology services platforms, including lithotripsy, cryo surgery, BPH laser surgery and radiation therapy. UroPath's decision to join HealthTronics affirms the prominent and unique role that we play in urology today."

In other dealmaking activity, Emergent Medical Associates (EMA; Manhattan Beach, California) said it has finalized the purchase of a majority interest in Language Access Network (LAN; Columbus, Ohio).

LAN provides on-demand language interpretation services through video and audio conferencing in hospitals and other healthcare venues nationwide, directly addressing the challenges facing these institutions and their limited English-proficient and deaf or hard of hearing patient populations.

EMA said LAN will continue to be managed as an independent entity.

"We are [pleased] to have closed our acquisition of the Language Access Network," said James Edwards, CEO of Emergent Medical. "The LAN service offering is best in class and provides one of the only true high-quality, fully compliant and cost-effective interpretation alternatives in the marketplace."

"We could not have found a better or more committed partner than EMA," said Andrew Panos, COO of Language Access Network. "EMA is owned by physicians, not financial investors. Their primary focus is improving patient care."

He added, "Their understanding of our vision, our dedication to customers and patients as well as our desire to be instrumental in transforming this industry has positioned LAN to continue providing our service to the leading medical institutions in the country and build on our tradition of excellence."

LAN provides pharmacies and medical facilities with trained interpreters 24 hours a day, seven days a week through its centralized video language center, interpreting more than 150 different languages, including American Sign Language (ASL) via real-time, interactive video technology.

EMA is a provider of physician staffing and practice management services for 15 emergency departments with an annual census of more than 400,000 visits throughout California. Through its e-MSO subsidiary, it exports best practices and innovative management techniques to hospitals and other ED groups.