A Medical Device Daily

Zotec Partners (Indianapolis), a firm providing medical billing services and licensed software to hospital-based physician practices across the U.S., reported its merger with Susan J. Taylor (SJT; Fishers, Indiana), a provider of practice management solutions to the medical community, with specific focus on anesthesiology. Terms of the merger were not disclosed.

SJT is a licensing client of Zotec, and said it plans to drive additional technology advances in the field of anesthesia billing.

T. Scott Law, CEO of Zotec, said, [W]e are looking for additional specialty markets to expand into, combining our technology advantages and SJT's unparalleled expertise; anesthesia was a natural fit."

SJT currently licenses Zotec's Electronic Billing Center (EBC), software intended to improve patient care, enhance workflow and eliminate unnecessary labor.

The acquisition of SJT is the second for Zotec in the past three months. In April, Zotec merged with Healthcare Management Partners, the 12th largest medical billing company in the U.S.

Zotec said it will service more than 5,500 physicians across more than 42 states this year.

McKesson (San Francisco) said it has agreed to acquire Awarix (Birmingham, Alabama), a developer of a patient visibility system. Terms were not disclosed.

Awarix says that its solution "identifies and helps to eliminate the bottlenecks that delay treatment and extend the patient stay. To highlight activity and patient status, the system provides color-coded, at-a-glance views of the hospital's floor plan mounted throughout the facility."

The deal is expected to close by the end of July.

"The enterprise patient care visibility system is a new category of healthcare technology focused on delivering accurate, real-time information to speed clinical decision time, reduce care delays, and manage scarce resources," said Pamela Pure, president of McKesson Technology Solutions and executive VP of McKesson. "Our customers have requested systems that can help maximize throughput and associated revenue while recommending the most efficient strategy to move a patient through the care process. This solution provides visibility, and visibility equals efficiency."

In other deal activity:

Diagnostic firmsDade Behring (Deerfield, Illinois) andRoche Diagnostics (Indianapolis) reported granting DiaSorin (Stillwater, Minnesota/Berkshire, UK) certain rights for the development and manufacturing of immunoassays that can be used for the detection of HIV-1 group O. Deal terms were not disclosed.

HIV tests are used to screen patients and also blood donations for HIV infections.

Jim Reid-Anderson, president/CEO and chairman of Dade Behring, said that the agreement "enables us to share rights with another company and help them further provide better patient care that's accessible to health care providers worldwide."

The agreement "will allow us to accelerate the development of more reliable tests for HIV and support scientists in targeting this overwhelming disease more effectively," said Carlo Rosa, CEO and general manager of DiaSorin.

• PainCare Holdings (Orlando, Florida) reported signing an agreement with Surgery Partners Holdings , providing for the sale of PainCare's controlling interest in PSHS Alpha Partners (Palm Beach County, Florida), which owns and operates an ambulatory surgery center (ASC) in Lake Worth Florida.

The sale, subject to regulatory approvals, will give PainCare proceeds of about $10 million, and it will be entitled to receive an earn-out of up to another $2.3 million.

Randy Lubinsky, CEO of PainCare, said, "We continue to make strides in finalizing the numerous financial restructuring initiatives that we've been systematically executing since late 2006. The sale of the Lake Worth ASC is a critical step forward in this process and generates a sizable cash infusion that will be used to materially reduce our existing debt obligation to our noteholder.

PainCare is focused on diagnosing diagnose and treating pain stemming from neurological and musculoskeletal conditions and disorders.

• EDAP TMS (Lyon, France), developer of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) treatment of prostate cancer, reported an update to its termination agreement with HealthTronics (Austin, Texas).

On July 9, EDAP entered into an agreement with HealthTronics, to amend their termination agreement as of April, thereby eliminating HealthTronics's obligation to pay EDAP any additional amounts over $600,000.

In the prior agreement, HealthTronics agreed to pay EDAP additional amounts in excess of $600,000 based on a formula related to the price at which HealthTronics resells the registered 200,000 EDAP shares. On July 3 EDAP withdrew its original registration statement reflecting the prior terms of the termination agreement and filed a new statement on July 16, reflecting the new terms.

Under the new Terms, Healthtronics still agreed to pay EDAP $600,000 within 60 days of effectiveness.