Provider NewsWire

Provider NewsWire

Noteworthy

PSAI Chief Needs Pay Cut, Shareholder Group Says: Pediatric Services of America’s chief executive officer, Joseph Sansone, must take a salary cut to keep his job, according to a group of shareholders led by David Nierenberg, a shareholder who holds a large interest in the Norcross, Ga.-based company.

In a letter to PSAI Chairman Edward Wissing, the shareholder group – which has a 14 percent stake in the company – said that CEO compensation must be driven only by corporate performance and the creation of shareholder value. The PSAI board of directors recently approved a $200,000 2002 cash bonus for Sansone, which the group is asking be eliminated in 2003, along with an $80,000 automobile allowance.

In response, PSAI said compensation for Sansone “is fair and just,” and reflects the interests of PSA shareholders. PSAI said the company’s board of directors approves of Sansone’s performance and of the company’s strategic direction.

Court Dismisses Class-Action Lawsuit Against Apria: The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed a class-action lawsuit, filed against Lake Forest, Calif.-based Apria Healthcare Aug. 1, 2001, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division, the company announced Jan. 23.

Alleging that Apria made false and/or misleading statements in its public disclosures concerning a civil investigation of its Medicare billing documentation, the original complaint has been pending since 1998.

In October of last year, the District Court dismissed the case, but the plaintiff appealed the dismissal. The Appeals Court’s ruling terminates the litigation and leaves standing the District Court’s dismissal.

WHI to Provide Home Care Services to Humana Health Plan Members: Louisville, Ky.-based Humana’s national preferred provider organization, ChoiceCare Network, has added Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens Health Initiatives as a home care service provider. Members of Humana PPO plans and other health plans served by ChoiceCare Network now can receive home care services from WHI at in-network benefit levels.

Essentially Women Expands Vendor List: Essentially Women, a women’s health buying group in Oxford, Mich., has added Christina America, Global Health Products and Juzo to its list of participating vendors and distributors.

Fraud & Abuse

Medicare Contractor Executives Receive Prison Sentence: In the final chapter of a whistleblower case against former Medicare contractor General American Life Insurance, a judge for the Eastern District of Missouri Jan. 17 sentenced two company executives to prison.

During the investigation – which in June 2002 led to a $76 million settlement with General American – Carl Messina and Mary Wimbley admitted to concealing payment errors during a Medicare review.

Messina will serve 27 months in prison and pay a $6,000 fine; Wimbley will serve three months in prison and spend three months confined to her home.

People & Places

Matria Vice-Chairman Resigns: Jeffrey Kepsell, vice chairman of Marietta, Ga.-based Matria, has left the company. Thomas Hall, Matria’s chief operating officer, will assume Kepsell’s responsibilities for the company’s European operations and facet technologies.

For breaking news, go to www.homecaremonday.com , the electronic news service of the home medical equipment industry.

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