Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hydrocision - Does it Really Produce Fusion Rates Similar to BMP?

Hydrocision reported a 43% increase in revenue for QII of 2009. Yet, as any good observer, TSB must ask, "43% of what?"

Last year, Doug Daniels downsized the company's sales management team, leaving two regional managers in place, and demoting Steve Van Tyle, then the VP of Sales, to a Regional Manager looking to minimize its operating expenditures. Since Hydrocision is a privately held company, one can only speculate what existing sales are on a six-year old company that has raised $28 million in investment capital. Yet, if I were a betting man, I would estimate that the company will finish 2009 at roughly $2-$4 million in U.S. revenues. If correct, not a stellar performance for a company that touts its product as being innovative.

Basically, the company's growth is plodding along at a snail's pace. So why does anyone think that there is a problem? Could it be that there is no billing code for the product? Could it be that their "burn rate" far exceeds their revenue stream? Could it be that distributors are more interested in products that generate large commissions versus measly dollars? Industry sources reported that the company was having trouble meeting its payroll when the downsizing occurred.

If our readers believe Larry Khoo, M.D., the PT Barnum of Spine Surgeons, "Minimally Invasive TLIF using hydrosurgical tools reduces post-op complications to conventional methods while producing SIMILAR FUSION RATES TO BMP." Similar fusion rates to BMP? Are you kidding? Obviously, when the company agreed to this press release, it did not notify the public that Dr. Khoo is a medical advisor and in all likelihood a consultant for the company, but whose company isn't Larry a consultant to?

Round n' round we go, and where this company ends up nobody knows. One common denominator is that there is a connection between Custom Spine and Hydrocision based on the fact that "Demolition" Lew Bennet, an Octogenarian is actively involve in both companies. Could Lew (I forgot what I said) Bennett be attempting to package these two companies in a deal? But who would want to buy a "me too company" and a company that cannot gain real traction after six years? TSB wants to know?


  1. Ouch TSB. Larry Khoo slamaroo. Probably dead on about Hydrocision. I was very reluctant to use it at first because of the expense to my hospital. Their SpineJet can be very useful but any comparison to BMP is really off the wall.

  2. Dr T: Isn't it interesting that the CEO always blames his underlings for the company's inability to be successful, when he or she is the Captain of the Ship? Off with their heads!

  3. TSB, easy on Dr. Khoo. He's about as honest and respectable as they come. He loves new technology.

    If you can't bill for it no one will use it I don't care how wonderful it is. However Medtronic's superb marketing dept sold the industry on BMP despite minimal improvements in fusion rates. Hospitals can't absorb $1,000 to $2,000 per case in incidental costs like Hydrocision's devices.
    Too bad. It's decent technology. Maybe somebody that understands the market will purchase the company and realize you've got to have a billing code to be successful.