Maxum manager sets up consultancy

May 6, 1992

Following 16 years of marketing diagnostic imaging equipment andservices on a corporate level, Joseph M. O'Hehir has venturedout on his own as an industry consultant. O'Hehir served mostrecently as senior vice president for Maxum Health, a

Following 16 years of marketing diagnostic imaging equipment andservices on a corporate level, Joseph M. O'Hehir has venturedout on his own as an industry consultant. O'Hehir served mostrecently as senior vice president for Maxum Health, a Dallas-basedmobile MRI provider. Prior to his work with Maxum, he was vicepresident of corporate marketing for Diasonics.

Based in San Rafael, CA, O'Hehir plans to target all areasof the medical market including manufacturers, managed-care andhealth maintenance organizations, physicians and group practices,and outpatient facilities.

More information sources will be needed as the different segmentsof the medical imaging industry become more interrelated, O'Hehirtold SCAN.

"We are starting to see the payers, namely the insurancecompanies and the managed care entities, looking to work directlywith the providers of the services or the developers of the product,"said O'Hehir. "This is a win-win situation for diagnosticimaging and one of the solutions to cost-effective health care."

Consultants who possess enough understanding of the entireindustry can close the gap between products and services, he said.

"There needs to be more of a bridge between the equipmentdevelopers, the technology, and the providers and payers of theservice. What's needed is a better understanding of each of thesefacets of diagnostic imaging. What I am trying to do is positionmyself to provide management consulting services to any one ofthose circles," he said.

Shortly after joining Maxum in 1989, O'Hehir assisted withthe leveraged buyout of the company from VHA Enterprises--a for-profitdivision of Dallas-based Voluntary Hospitals of America. Priorto the spin-off, Maxum was called VHA Diagnostic Services.

As a senior vice president in charge of corporate development,O'Hehir assisted in raising Maxum's revenues from $18 millionin 1989 to $35 million by 1991. A public offering that same yeargarnered an additional $17 million in equity. He will continueto work with Maxum on a consulting basis.

O'Hehir spent nine years with Diasonics, joining the firm duringits initial start-up in 1980. During the next nine years he workedup to vice president of corporate marketing, in charge of nationalaccounts totaling $35 million. His association with Maxum grewas the firm became Diasonics' largest customer for the 0.35-teslamobile MRI system. Toshiba America Medical Systems purchased Diasonics'MRI division in 1989.

Prior to joining Diasonics, O'Hehir served four years as aproduct marketing manager of nuclear medicine for Picker Internationalin Cleveland.

According to O'Hehir, his switch from medical imaging equipmentto services stemmed from a belief that service companies likeMaxum will ultimately direct the future of diagnostic imaging.

"The service side is more closely aligned to where thebusiness of diagnostic imaging is going," O'Hehir said.

The real differences between MRI systems are slight after peelingaway layers of technological positioning related to the benefitsand features each company offers, he said.

"An MRI system is an MRI system. The real difference isin the way the service is delivered," O'Hehir said.

BRIEFLY NOTED:

  • Changes are under way at Philips Medical Systems worldwide.Hans van Bree is retiring this month as president and CEO of theworldwide PMS organization, based in Best, the Netherlands. Hisdeparture comes shortly after van Bree steered PMS into a generalreorientation of the company away from less profitable productlines, such as nuclear medicine and dental x-ray, in order tofocus on ultrasound, MRI and other imaging modalities with greaterrevenue potential (SCAN 10/9/91).

No successor has been chosen as general manager of PhilipsUltrasound in Santa Ana, CA, following the departure of ThomasE. Bird in February. Michael P. Moakley, president and CEO ofPhilips Medical Systems North America, has taken operational controlof the ultrasound business on an interim basis. Philips is inthe midst of discussions with cardiac ultrasound leader Hewlett-Packardthat could have implications for the Dutch vendor's ultrasoundbusiness (SCAN 2/26/92).

  • Former or current Hewlett-Packard executives are now atthe top of three of the four largest ultrasound vendors with ATL'shiring of David Perozek as president and COO last month. Perozekwas general manager of HP's medical products group in Andover,MA, until 1989, when he left that unit of the company to supervisethe newly acquired Apollo Computer workstation business (SCAN6/7/89).

While at HP, Perozek cooperated closely with Acuson founderand president Samuel H. Maslak, who worked at Hewlett-PackardLaboratories. Perozek was replaced by Albert S. Kyle three yearsago at HP's medical group, and Kyle remains in charge there. Leadershipof Toshiba's ultrasound business, meanwhile, is up in the air(see below).

  • Toshiba is facing more turnover at the top in its ultrasoundorganization. Rick Smith, vice president of ultrasound businessunit operations and a long-time Toshiba executive, left the companylast week. It is not clear where he has moved.

Lyle Mussman has been named acting business unit manager. Mussmanreplaced Smith as national sales manager for ultrasound last yearwhen Smith moved up to fill the top slot vacated by Daniel Dugan,who returned to former employer Acuson (SCAN 4/24/91).