ContourMed Moves From Bankruptcy, Changes Business Model

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013 12:00 am  

ContourMed Production Manager, Billy Johnson. (Photo by Michael Pirnique)

While Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of the prosthesis at this point, insurance companies do, Corkern said.

“I think we can build a very effective company, even without Medicare reimbursement,” he said.

About 2.6 million women in the United States have had breast cancer and about 1.9 million of those are wearing a prosthesis.

Changing Lives

In 1997, ContourMed was one of the first companies to graduate from the University of Arkansas for Medical Science’s BioVentures, which was formed by UAMS as the state’s first biomedical business incubator, helping researchers commercialize their lab work.

The breast form is custom made for each woman to ensure a perfect fit, Corkern said in a bankruptcy filing. The scanning and imaging are usually done at a location picked by the woman, and the forms are then manufactured at ContourMed’s Little Rock office.

By 2006, ContourMed had about $1 million in revenue and generated a small profit. But then the company lost its focus, Corkern said in the filing. Revenue tumbled 85 percent between 2006 and 2011, when it hit $141,420. Between 2009 and 2011, the company lost $2.83 million.

Its CEO during that period, Dr. Susan Cassidy of Naples, Fla., left in 2011. And Corkern stepped in as interim CEO in September 2011. Corkern has been a member of ContourMed’s board since 2000.

Corkern said the thought of walking away from the company had crossed his mind in recent months. But then an encounter with a customer changed that.

“A woman talks about how fantastic the product is [and] how much this is needed,” Corkern said. “It changes the lives of women and it just needs to be managed well.”



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