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Univita assets could provide building block for new company

Univita assets could provide building block for new company ĎThey were the original capitated contract guys,í an industry analyst said of the buyer

MIRAMAR, Fla. - With the Florida assets of Univita Health in hand, Integrated Home Care Investors and its leader Jorge Pereda could be poised to raise a new company from the ashes of the bankrupt provider, say industry analysts.

“It's a fresh start,” said Jonathan Sadock, managing partner/CEO of Paragon Ventures. “He's got the equipment and the accounts, and hopefully he will make something out of it.”

Pereda is the former CEO of All-Med Services of Florida, which Univita acquired in 2012.

Integrated's stalking horse bid of $2.5 million bid was accepted by the trustee for Univita's bankruptcy case shortly before a scheduled auction.

“The principals of the buyer are healthcare veterans with a reputation of operational excellence and a focus on quality patient care,” said Mark Feluren, a partner at Miami-based Genovese Joblove & Battista, which represented Integrated Home Care in the sale.

Other known principals include Paul Pino and Rene Valverde.

All-Med was known for being an efficient managed care provider, say industry stakeholders. Under the guidance of then-president and CEO Raul Rodriguez, the company eschewed the traditional fee-for-service model in favor of using a capitated model. When the business sold to Univita in 2012, it had 1 million patients and Pereda was at the helm.

“They were the original capitated contract guys,” said Rick Glass, president of Steven Richards & Associates. “They were very strong in southeast Florida and reached throughout the state.”

Pereda stayed on with Univita as regional president, but only for a short time.

“Univita did not handle the assimilation of All-Med well,” said one former employee of Univita. “It did not combine the culture, and the people that were responsible for creating the deal left for the most part.”

Integrated's purchased assets include seven Florida locations; office equipment, furniture and fixtures at those locations; all DME, inventory and supplies at those locations; DME in patients' homes along with any related patient information; and third-party administrator licenses.

The deal did not include Univita's accounts receivables, valued at $41 million out of a total $47 million in assets in the company's bankruptcy filing in August.

While Pereda and his partners could have the building blocks for a new company, it could be an uphill battle distancing it from the Univita name—especially when it comes to obtaining managed care contracts.

“I am hearing that health plans in the state are very cautious about being exclusive with anybody,” said the former employee. “They got burned really bad.”


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