Milestone not in Amex compliance

Milestone Scientific (Livingston, New Jersey), which makes computer-controlled injection systems for the medical and dental markets, received notice from the staff of the American Stock Exchange (Amex) that it no longer complies with Amex's continued listing standards requiring shareholder equity of at least $6 million, as a result of the losses in its five most recent years, and that its securities are therefore subject to delisting.

The company said it will appeal that determination and request a hearing before a Listing Qualification Panel.

The company also reported that Stuart Wildhorn has resigned his position as president of the company effective June 30.

Medtronic commends CMS decision

Medtronic (Minneapolis) said it “commends” the recent national payment policy decision by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS; Baltimore) for implantable cardiac device evaluations using remote monitoring technology.

The decision is expected to simplify physician billing for remote monitoring technologies that benefit thousands of cardiac patients across the U.S., the company said. Remote device monitoring systems, such as the Medtronic CareLink Network, provide information that may allow physicians to monitor their patients and make important treatment decisions without the need for an office visit.

“Medtronic initiated discussions with CMS about remote monitoring technology years ago to establish consistent reporting of these services for all Medicare providers and beneficiaries,” said Steve Mahle, president of the Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management business at Medtronic. “We're proud to have led the way to a decision that allows physicians to maximize efficiency in their practices while continuing to provide a high level of patient care. We will continue our efforts to eliminate barriers for patient access to innovative therapies, and provide inventive systems for patient follow-up, to aid physicians in treating the full spectrum of patients' chronic cardiac conditions.”

Pacer Health to replace Georgia facility

Pacer Health (Miami), an owner/operator of acute-care hospitals, medical treatment centers and psychiatric care facilities in the southeastern U.S., reported that it has purchased 15 acres of land with an appraised value of $2.5 million adjacent to I-20 in Greene County, Georgia. The land will be used to construct a replacement facility for Minnie G. Boswell Memorial Hospital, which Pacer Health has managed and operated since June 2004.

Pacer Heath formally closed on the transaction and concurrently reported that it has initiated the process of designing the new hospital.

An accredited Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations facility, Minnie G. Boswell is comprised of a 25-bed acute-care hospital and 29-bed skilled nursing facility primarily serving the residents of Greensboro, Georgia. The hospital's current facilities were constructed in 1949, and though Pacer Health said it has “substantially improved” the property, the structure itself remains outdated, resulting in costlier implementation of new technologies.

Premier opens new PET center

Premier PET Imaging of Jacksonville (Jacksonville, Florida) reported that it has opened its PET/CT medical diagnostic imaging center.

Michael Fagien, MD, board-certified nuclear radiologist, is the medical director for Premier PET Imaging of Jacksonville. The imaging center houses a new-generation General Electric Discovery ST 16 slice PET/CT imaging system, the most advanced PET/CT imaging system available in an outpatient fixed-site facility in Jacksonville, the center said.

The imaging center's PET/CT system integrates the most advanced positron emission tomography scanner with the fastest and most sophisticated 16-slice computed tomography scanner technology all in one exam. PET creates images of high metabolic activity in the body, rather than creating images of anatomy only. CT scans allows the physician to see the internal structures within the human body. Together, the PET/CT scan allows physicians to view metabolic activity and pinpoint where abnormal lesions are located so that they may accurately target the disease.

Advanced Magnetics stock switches markets

Advanced Magnetics (Cambridge, Massachusetts), a developer of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles used in pharmaceutical products, reported that it will list its common stock on the Nasdaq National Market, effective June 27 under the symbol AMAG. Advanced Magnetics has been listed on the American Stock Exchange since 1991. As of the close of market on June 26, Advanced Magnetics' common stock will cease trading on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol AVM.

“We believe that the Nasdaq National Market will not only provide more recognition for Advanced Magnetics in the investment community, but also create a more liquid and transparent marketplace for the trading of shares of our common stock,” said Jerome Goldstein, chairman and CEO of Advanced Magnetics.

Zimmer opens dental implant training facility

Orthopedics giant Zimmer Holdings (Warsaw, Indiana) reported that its Zimmer Dental division has opened the Zimmer Institute (Carlsbad, California) professional training facility. The Zimmer Institute will be a specialized center dedicated to helping clinicians further the knowledge, skills, and confidence essential for the practice of contemporary implant dentistry.

“One of our core strategies at Zimmer is 'value-added education,' and this is another expression of our determination to differentiate Zimmer on the basis of our ability to provide dynamic professional training,” said Ray Elliott, Zimmer chairman, president and CEO. “With this milestone, we can deliver advanced dental implantology training utilizing simulated patients with life-like soft tissue and bone.”

The institute will offer four levels of instruction, providing both general practitioners and specialists with educational experiences for learning implant dentistry techniques.

Firm opposed to use of its products in executions

Aspect Medical Systems (Newton, Massachusetts) spoke out against the use of its Bispectral Index (BIS) technology in execution settings as described in a Perspective article published in the June 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The article by Dr. Robert Steinbrook, “New Technology, Old Dilemma – Monitoring EEG Activity during Executions,” highlighted the case of Willie Brown Jr., who was executed by lethal injection in North Carolina in April. During the execution, Brown's electroencephalogram was monitored using BIS technology.

“As described in this Perspective article, Aspect Medical Systems does not support the use of the BIS technology in conjunction with lethal injections,” said Scott Kelley, MD, vice president and medical director of Aspect Medical Systems. “While BIS technology has been shown to be very effective in helping clinicians reduce the incidence of intraoperative awareness and improve recovery from anesthesia, our product was never intended to be used in conjunction with lethal injections.”

He added: “Such use is inconsistent with Aspect's mission to improve patients' lives by helping healthcare professionals deliver the best possible patient care. In addition, it is inappropriate to use the BIS technology without the benefit of the clinical judgment provided by trained medical personnel.”

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