A Medical Device Daily

Varian Medical Systems (Palo Alto, California) is offering oncology treatment centers a way to provide cancer survivors proactive follow-up care by teaming with Cogent Health Solutions (). It will offer Cogent's Equicare CS (cancer survivorship) case management software with Varian's ARIA Oncology Information System for the management of cancer treatment centers.

Citing reports of recent decreases in cancer deaths, Maureen Thompson, senior director of oncology information systems at Varian, said, "Equicare CS is a unique solution for ensuring that patients who have joined the growing ranks of cancer survivors get the help they need to cope with the health issues that often follow successful cancer treatment.”

Cancer survivors typically require follow-up care for late effects of treatment, secondary cancers and quality-of life issue, such as diagnostic testing, nutritional and counseling services. Equicare is a web-based, patient-centric tool that can help cancer survivors, their caregivers and providers achieve better clinical compliance and improved outcomes, Cogent said.

"The program helps doctors generate a care plan based on best practices and established guidelines, and creates a dynamic link between all the key stakeholders — patients, caregivers, and physicians,” said Len Grenier, president/CEO of Cogent.

In other agreements:

Advocat (Brentwood, Tennessee) reported an agreement with Sterling Acquisition (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), a subsidiary of Omega Healthcare Investors (Ann Arbor, Michigan), to build and lease a new, 119-bed skilled nursing center in Paris, Texas, replacing an older facility that the company currently leases from Omega.

The company last month entered into an amendment to its Master Lease with Omega to provide for the construction and lease of the new facility. Upon the completion of the construction of the replacement facility, the existing building will be closed and the single-facility lease terminated.

Omega will provide funding and the company will supervise the construction of the facility.

The cost of the replacement facility is expected to be around $6.8 million. Costs incurred in excess of $7 million, if any, will be borne by the company. The lease agreement for the new facility will have an initial term of five years with renewal options through 2035.

After occupancy stabilizes, the new facility is expected to generate a return on investment of around 20%, based on the expected cost of the facility.

Premier Purchasing Partners (Charlotte, North Carolina) reported new agreements for orthopedic total joint implants. Contracts have been awarded to Biomet (Warsaw, Indiana) Stryker Orthopedics (Mahwah, New Jersey), Zimmer (Warsaw, Indiana), Encore Medical (Austin, Texas) and Exactech (Gainesville, Florida).

Premier said its OrthopedicAdvisor website will be updated with new tools and resources, including a price modeling tool. Planned are a workshop at Premier's annual Breakthroughs Conference in June and a series of regional orthopedic educational forums to begin in fall 2008 featuring topics such as disease management, best practices, reimbursement and coding.

Lentigen (Gaithersburg, Maryland) said it signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio) to develop a stem-cell therapy for glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer.