A Medical Device Daily

Patterson Companies (St. Paul, Minnesota) and Sirona Dental Systems (Long Island City, New York) reported the extension of Patterson's distribution agreement for Schick CDR digital dental X-ray products in the U.S. and Canada through Dec. 31, 2009. Schick is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sirona.

Patterson Dental, Patterson's dental unit, has been the exclusive distributor of Schick digital products throughout North America since 2000.

Patterson is a value-added distributor serving the dental, companion-pet veterinarian and rehabilitation supply markets. Its dental unit provides a range of consumable dental products, equipment and software, turnkey digital solutions and value-added services to dentists and dental laboratories throughout North America.

Sirona makes dental products, including CAD/CAM restoration equipment (CEREC), digital and film-based intra-oral, panoramic and cephalometric X-ray imaging systems, dental treatment centers and handpieces.

In other agreements:

MedQuist (Mount Laurel, New Jersey) reported an agreement with Financial Medical Systems (FMS; ) to provide a clinical coding platform and coding services for FMS customers nationwide.

MedQuist offers credentialed coding professionals and CodeRunner remote coding technology.

Pam D'Apuzzo, VP of Complete Management Solutions, the coding compliance sister company of FMS, said, " At the end of the day, we give hospitals a headache-free alternative to their current mode of operation."

MedQuist exports data directly from the CodeRunner remote coding solution to its customers' billing systems.

FMS provides a full range of billing and receivables management outsourcing services to medical centers, hospital systems, and private physician groups.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH; Charlotte, North Carolina), a not-for-profit system operating nine hospitals, physician practices, and a variety of other healthcare services in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, has selected Premier (San Diego) as its group purchasing and supply chain services partner.

ARH joins Premier as an affiliate of Norton Healthcare (Louisville, Kentucky). The combined annual supply spend is expected to exceed $200 million including pharmacy. ARH's new relationship is through Alliant Purchasing (also Louisville), Norton Healthcare's outreach arm for Premier affiliations.

ARH operates seven hospitals in Kentucky and two in West Virginia.

Premier Purchasing Partners (San Diego) also reported new agreements for laparoscopic suction irrigation products have been awarded to Cardinal Health 200 (McGaw Park, Illinois), GeniCon (Winter Park, Florida), and Stryker (Kalamazoo, Michigan), effective May 1.

The 36-month agreements are effective May 1 and offer discounted pricing for laparoscopic suction irrigation products to all members of the Premier alliance.

Serving 1,700 hospitals and almost 45,000 other healthcare sites, Premier bills itself the largest healthcare alliance in the U.S. dedicated to improving patient outcomes while safely reducing the cost of care. Premier is owned by non-profit hospitals.

People in Places

• Arlene Graime has been named director, government affairs and special rojects, for NeoStem (New York). Previously, Graime was senior director of marketing at Coach. NeoStem says it is the first company to specialize in the collection, processing and storage of stem cells from adult donors.

Henry Schein (Melville, New York) reported that Hal Muller, its VP and general manager of special markets, has been elected co-chair of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's HealthCare Sector Coordinating Council (HSCC) for a two-year term, and has been re-elected head of the Medical Materials sub-council for a second one-year term. HSCC's mission is to coordinate plans, policy advice, and actions to preserve and restore the critical functions of the nation's healthcare delivery system and to support effective emergency preparedness and response to all hazards, including natural and manmade disasters.