Mobile PET firm opens for business

January 20, 1999

Most companies aim products at cost-effectivenessA California company that sees the PET market as a promising opportunity for shared imaging services is gearing up for business. Mobile PET Systems of San Diego is taking delivery on two PET cameras

Most companies aim products at cost-effectiveness

A California company that sees the PET market as a promising opportunity for shared imaging services is gearing up for business. Mobile PET Systems of San Diego is taking delivery on two PET cameras in the next several months and plans to operate five mobile PET routes by the end of the year, according to chairman and CEO Paul Crowe.

The improving reimbursement environment for PET imaging prompted the formation of Mobile PET Systems, Crowe said. Medicare reimbursement for FDG lung scans is available at a healthy rate of $1980, and federal payments for other indications are on the horizon. These developments indicate that PET is becoming recognized as a modality that can help save healthcare costs, according to Crowe.

Mobile PET Systems’ strategy is to enable hospitals and clinics to gain access to PET technology without acquiring their own PET cameras. The company’s first two cameras, scheduled for delivery in March and April, will be used for mobile routes in the western U.S. The firm will take delivery of three more cameras this year, each at 60-day intervals. All the units are Siemens ECAT PET cameras that will be housed in Calumet self-propelled coaches.

Other regions that Mobile PET Systems is targeting for routes include the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest, Crowe said. All the routes will be near reliable FDG sources, thanks to an agreement the company has with FDG producer P.E.T.Net Pharmaceutical Services of Norcross, GA.

Crowe is no stranger to the shared-services market. In the 1980s he founded an imaging center firm that was sold to LINC Medical Imaging in 1991. Another Mobile PET Systems executive, vice president of sales Jim Corlett, helped develop the mobile MRI program of American Shared Hospital Services of San Francisco.

To help move Mobile PET Systems forward, the company went public in December through a reverse merger with Colony International, a shell company whose stock trades on the OTC bulletin board. Assuming Colony’s public status was a cheaper and easier way to go public than proceeding with the initial public offering route, Crowe said.

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