60 Seconds with ... Richard K. Matros, chairman and CEO, Sun Healthcare Group
Q: How do you characterize Sun's rise from bankruptcy proceedings less than five years ago? A: I don't think we could have anticipated a few years ago we'd be where we are today. Look, we were left for dead, and everybody knows it.
Q: Do you think there will be more consolidation in the industry?
A: Not necessarily. But I can see more private equities and big guys taking out more regional players. Whether there will be more real estate buys, who knows. I don't see that as being positive for the sector. Part of our mission has to be to provide quality patient care.
Q: How does the climate compare to the boom of the late 1990s?
A: The guys running companies today are really focused on improving operations. The guys in the 1990s were acquisitive to a fault. I think today the fundamentals are stronger, even though we previously had a cost-reimbursed system.
Q: You're very in tune with national lobbying efforts. What are the prospects for the Medicare therapy caps exceptions?
A: They are set to expire Dec. 31. But I have optimism that they'll be put back in place retroactively (by Congress next year). There seems to be a high level of sensitivity on both sides of the aisle that this hits beneficiaries. That said, we still have to come up with a permanent fix for the caps. I am optimistic that will happen. We can't expect more of the exceptions process rolling into 2008.