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 January 1, 1998

Fort Collins mental-health facility purchased

FORT COLLINS — Merit Behavioral Care of Denver has sold several of its mental-health facilities,
including MBC Counseling Services in Fort Collins, to Pacific Applied Psychology Associates of Berkeley, Calif.
John Walsh, triage supervisor for Merit, said the company recently sold offices in Fort Collins, Pueblo, Westminster, Denver and Colorado Springs to the California-based behavioral health-care company.
Merit˜s recent bid for the State of Colorado˜s new capitated mental-health contract for Medicaid eligibles in Denver was turned down in favor of Colorado Access.
And as of Dec. 31, Merit also lost its mental-health services contract with PacifiCare of Colorado. These setbacks prompted the company to sell several of its facilities.
Pacific Applied Psychology Associates manages and operates 16 clinics in California. This is its first foray into another state.
"We˜re now in an expansion mode, and this was an opportunity to assimilate the clinics in Colorado and expand our business," said Gary Mangiofico, chief operating officer for the company.
Mangiofico added that strong relationships with managed-care companies in Colorado — PacifiCare Behavioral Health in particular — enabled them to make their move into the state.
"We intend to grow our business, and by all indications those familiar with us have encouraged us to do so," Mangiofico said.
Pacific Applied closed the deal on the Fort Collins clinic Dec. 31. The transition should be seamless for outpatients at the facility, Mangiofico said. However, Pacific Applied will not provide inpatient professional services as Merit did.
Mangiofico said the company has no immediate plans to open or acquire other behavioral-health clinics in Northern Colorado, but the company plans to pursue opportunities to expand in the region as they arise.

Staodyn plans merger
LONGMONT — Staodyn Inc. of Longmont and Rehabilicare Inc. of New Brighton, Minn., have signed a definitive agreement to merge, forming an international electromedical pain management and rehabilitation company with combined revenues of more than $30 million.
The transaction, subject to approval by the shareholders of both companies, is valued at approximately $23 million.
"The merger of Staodyn into Rehabilicare will help to realize the full potential of these two strong business organizations," said John South, Staodyn president and CEO.
Staodyn employs more than 175 people at its Longmont headquarters and Tampa, Fla., site. The company, which develops electrotherapy devices and accessories distributed in the United States and Canada, reported revenues of $21 million last year.
Rehabilicare designs, manufactures and provides electromedical and rehabilitation products and services used for clinical home health care and occupational medicine applications.
"By combining this broad line of electrotherapy devices with an extensive family of accessories, our new organization will be able to serve a large and growing marketplace," said David B. Kaysen, president and CEO of Rehabilicare.
Kaysen will retain his post as president and CEO of the combined organization, to be located in New Brighton, Minn.New Diagnostic Center open in Greeley
GREELEY — Greeley Medical Clinic has opened a new Diagnostic Imaging Center complete with a state-of-the-art Magnetic Resonance Imaging scanner.
"The imaging center will provide our physicians with the most sophisticated diagnostic tools available in order to make the best treatment plans and decisions with their patients," said Rod Holliman, executive director of the Greeley Medical Clinic.
MRI uses a large, computer-assisted magnet and radio waves to painlessly scan the body and produce detailed pictures of structures that cannot be seen on conventional X-rays. The MRI scanner at the clinic, called a Gyroscan, is specially designed to accommodate very large patients and those who suffer from claustrophobia.
The new Diagnostic Imaging Center also features a new Computerized Tomography (CAT) scanner, a new X-ray machine capability for bone-density scanning, ultrasound, and mammography services.Compliance plan in the works for hospitals
The federal government is coming down on hospitals committing health-care fraud and abuse with a new corporate compliance plan.
The plan, drafted by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association and other private organizations, identifies more than two dozen "areas of special concern," such as double billing, admission policies and documentation.
It is estimated that only 5 percent of the 5,400 U.S. hospitals and medical schools have fully developed compliance programs, though that figure is expected to increase rapidly after the AHA recently voted to encourage all hospitals and hospital systems to adopt formal compliance programs.
Poudre Valley Hospital has had a process of internal audits in place for years, said hospital spokesman Ed Egger. "We regularly and routinely audit all areas of the hospital, and if there˜s a problem, we stop what we˜re doing there until it˜s resolved," he said.
Egger added that the hospital now plans to put its compliance plan in formal written form as a result of this increased scrutiny.Laws call for more mental health coverage
Effective Jan. 1, two new laws — one state and one federal — will affect the way mental illness is covered by commercial health insurers. They are not applicable across the board, but the new parity laws will require some insurers to reimburse on mental-health claims at the same rates used to reimburse on medical claims.
The state law determines that six biologically based mental illnesses: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, depression, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, must be covered as completely as cancer, heart disease and other serious medical problems.
The federal law states that limits placed on mental-health plans can˜t be more stringent than limits placed on the treatment of physical-health problems.
Although the new laws are designed to narrow the gap in mental-health coverage, numerous exceptions and loopholes have raised concern over their effectiveness. For example, the state law doesn˜t apply to self-insured employers, and the federal law applies only to groups of 50 or more, and employers who can prove that the law will raise their health-care costs 1 percent or more need not comply.Clinics welcome new arrivals
Urgent-care physician Dr. Dale J. Kliner has joined the staff of the Greeley Medical Clinic.
Kliner received his medical degree and Ph.D. in psychopharmacology from the University of Minnesota and most recently served as a family practice resident at the Blackstone Family Practice Residency at the medical college in Virginia.
Dr. John M. James recently joined the Fort Collins Colorado Allergy and Asthma Center PC
A native of Arkansas, James received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee. Before coming to Colorado, James was on the medical-school faculty at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.Experts say exercise works
A Health and Fitness Update from HealthWorks health club in Fort Collins reported the results of a recent Harvard University study, which found that a gain of 45 pounds during adulthood puts women at twice the risk of getting breast cancer after menopause, compared with women who did not gain weight.
Additionally, the update cites a recent report by the American Heart Association, which states that the frequency of physical activity is more important than the duration. Researchers said that bouts of 10 minutes or more of activity five or more days per week decreased risk of heart attacks by 46 percent in men.Helen Taylor can be reached at (970) 221-5400, (970) 356-1683 or (800) 440-3506. Her fax number is (970) 221-5432, and her e-mail address is htaylor@ncbr.com.

FORT COLLINS — Merit Behavioral Care of Denver has sold several of its mental-health facilities,
including MBC Counseling Services in Fort Collins, to Pacific Applied Psychology Associates of Berkeley, Calif.
John Walsh, triage supervisor for Merit, said the company recently sold offices in Fort Collins, Pueblo, Westminster, Denver and Colorado Springs to the California-based behavioral health-care company.
Merit˜s recent bid for the State of Colorado˜s new capitated mental-health contract for Medicaid eligibles in Denver was turned down in favor of Colorado Access.
And as of Dec. 31, Merit also lost its mental-health services contract with PacifiCare of Colorado. These…

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