Changes set for Om­ni­care

Modern Healthcare - - Late News - Melanie Evans

Big changes are ex­pected at Om­ni­care af­ter the de­par­ture of Joel Ge­mu­nder, 71, the long­time pres­i­dent and CEO, and the re­lease of sec­ond-quar­ter earn­ings that were down markedly.

Om­ni­care, a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal ser­vices provider, named James Shel­ton, for­mer chair­man and CEO of Triad Hos­pi­tals and an Om­ni­care di­rec­tor, as in­terim pres­i­dent and CEO. In an earn­ings call Shel­ton, 57, said the search for a re­place­ment CEO and chang­ing Om­ni­care’s top-down cul­ture were pri­or­i­ties for the Cov­ing­ton, Ky.-based com­pany’s di­rec­tors. “This com­pany is not driven by the op­er­a­tions of this com­pany,” he said. “It’s not field-driven and it’s more of a top-down process and that’s had, I think, a neg­a­tive im­pact on the com­pany.”

Field em­ploy­ees lack cor­po­rate sup­port for op­er­a­tions and growth, he said, and em­ploy­ees have seen pay cuts in the past year. Shel­ton said the com­pany would re­or­ga­nize to align its cor­po­rate and op­er­a­tional in­ter­ests, which he said should not in­creases costs, but in­stead spend money more ef­fec­tively. He said money cur­rently spent on spe­cial teams to pre­vent los­ing cus­tomers should be in­vested to grow op­er­a­tions. “We’ve had too much cor­po­rate wealth and not enough field wealth,” he said.

Ge­mu­nder’s July 31 re­tire­ment trig­gered a severance pack­age worth about $130 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s April 22 proxy state­ment. Ch­eryl Hodges, se­nior vice pres­i­dent and board sec­re­tary, also re­tired from the com­pany. Om­ni­care’s sec­ond-quar­ter in­come from con­tin­u­ing op­er­a­tions was $21.4 mil­lion on sales of $1.52 bil­lion com­pared with $42 mil­lion on sales of $1.54 bil­lion the same quar­ter the prior year.

Shel­ton said the CEO search was ex­pected to take four to five months. A spokesman for Om­ni­care said that Ge­mu­nder and the com­pany’s board have been dis­cussing suc­ces­sion plan­ning for the past sev­eral years. Om­ni­care serves res­i­dents in long-term-care fa­cil­i­ties and chronic-care set­tings.

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