TeleQuest execs leave company in restructuring

August 1, 1997

TeleQuest execs leave company in restructuringTeleradiology services provider TeleQuest is reportedly restructuring its organization, due to slower than expected growth in new overread contracts at the Philadelphia company. TeleQuest CEO William

TeleQuest execs leave company in restructuring

Teleradiology services provider TeleQuest is reportedly restructuring its organization, due to slower than expected growth in new overread contracts at the Philadelphia company. TeleQuest CEO William Straub, president Michael Moore, and other high-ranking executives have left the company in recent weeks, and the company's venture-capital backers are said to be examining the firm's operations to find ways of increasing profitability.

TeleQuest was formed in 1994 with the goal of establishing a nationwide network of luminary sites that would provide subspecialty interpretation services to hospitals, imaging centers, and other healthcare providers via teleradiology links. The formation of the company was seen by many industry analysts as an example of how teleradiology would change the face of healthcare by bringing high-quality radiology interpretations to healthcare facilities.

TeleQuest has been controversial among some radiologists, however, who see the company's business model as an intrusion on their turf, and who are loath to give up lucrative subspecialty interpretations to an outside provider. TeleQuest's marketing effort may also have misfired, and the company has been unable to achieve the sales goals initially set up for it. In addition, a host of other teleradiology service providers sprang up not long after TeleQuest was formed, creating heavy competition for potential customers.

Representatives from TeleQuest's main financial backer, Fidelity Investments of Boston, are reportedly behind the company's restructuring effort. Fidelity declined to return phone calls as of press time.

One of the changes under way at TeleQuest regards the management of the company's teleradiology network, which is being turned over to Access Radiology of Natick, MA. Access in the past has provided TeleQuest with teleradiology equipment, but will take over management of the firm's network and associated support functions, tasks previously performed by TeleQuest and third-party providers.

Access maintains a 24-hour teleradiology technical support center that can be used to monitor TeleQuest's network and make sure it is running smoothly, according to Scott Sheldon, president and CEO of Access. Access can also conduct other maintenance functions, like calibrating x-ray film digitizers and ensuring that TeleQuest equipment meets American College of Radiology quality assurance specifications.

More importantly, however, the change will allow TeleQuest to focus on its core business of providing overread services while helping the company cut costs, according to Sheldon.

"We offer TeleQuest the opportunity to provide services at a lower cost than having to internally provide those support services," he said. "They want to get more squarely into the business of practicing healthcare."