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The Briefing

THE BOSS’ MANAGEMENT STRATEGY Entrepreneur Larry Sherman sold the third successful company he had founded in 1997 and quickly got started on his fourth, Encino-based Nations Capital Group, to factor receivables for health care providers. That seems a far cry from the first business Sherman started shortly after finishing business school at the University of Illinois: the Sherman Corp., which handled voice verification for telephone transactions at the Chicago Stock Exchange. With that experience, he founded Audio Magnetics, which manufactured similar equipment for police and fire departments. An acquaintance with that technology led to Advanced Radiology, which eventually became Statewide Radiology with a network of 150 MRI. With the opening of the first Nations Surgery Center in Encino in March, Sherman’s company has moved into the business of providing outpatient surgical services, mostly to workers’ compensation clients. With each company he has started, Sherman said, obstacles he never anticipated have surfaced. His most recent experience is no different, as he told Business Journal editor Michael Hart. “One of the greatest challenges I’ve had is the risk of building state-of-the-art surgical facilities in the face of declining reimbursement and in the face of potential legislation that may reduce reimbursement in the future. You’re putting millions into technology not knowing what your reimbursement will be. “To justify the risk, I hired a lobbyist. There was pending legislation that would have reduced outpatient fees tremendously. Our lobbyist was successful. Once legislators understood that this is a great benefit to California, I was able to fend of fee schedule cuts and, in fact, increase the fee schedules. “Once we knew pending legislation was off for a few years, we could go ahead and build. 1999 is when I started and we opened our first center in March 2001. What I needed to do was catch the ear of the people trying to consider certain types of legislation. “It costs a lot of money to build state-of-the-art technology and every year you’ve got to upgrade it. We have to continue to make speeches and get the word out to businesses that want to reduce the cost of health care, to make sure the legislature does not implement fee schedules that would make centers like ours unfeasible. “So far, we’ve been successful.” Have a Story To Tell? Please write to Editor, The Briefing 21300 Victory Blvd., Suite 205 Woodland Hills, CA 91367 (818) 676-1747 (Fax) Or e-mail us at mhart@sfvbj.com

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