ICMC Downsizes Staff, But Says It Isn’t Closing Its Doors

International and Capital Management Company's headquarters on St. Thomas. (James Gardner photo)
International and Capital Management Company’s headquarters on St. Thomas. (James Gardner photo)

Reports of a full closure of International and Capital Management Company are not true, company officials said Wednesday, but confirmed a series of “organizational and staffing changes” that reports from the community indicate amounts to a reduction of about 90 employees.

That number has not yet been confirmed, but according to a company statement, the changes reflect a downturn in the health care industry.

“Like the vast majority of U.S. healthcare providers and the businesses that serve them, International Capital & Management Company … has found it necessary to make certain organizational and staffing changes to align with declining reimbursement trends,” ICMC officials said in a statement.

ICMC’s spokeswoman Allison Krivatch said Wednesday that the company will continue to provide services to its client.

“Those services will change commensurate with what is going on in the health care industry. As you know, it is a difficult time for health care” she said.

She said she could not provide more details about how many employees were leaving or how many remained at this time. Krivatch confirmed the for profit entity Cancer Treatment Centers of America, headquartered in Florida, is still ICMC’s primary client.

Healthcare industry and specifically cancer care industry profits have been increasing, according to numerous news outlets, industry sources and market indexes. In August, reporter Bob Herman wrote in the online news site Axios that 85 major healthcare companies have reported combined profits of $47 billion just for the second quarter of the year- up from $45 billion for the first quarter and higher than any quarter last year.

“Company after company has posted profits that have exceeded Wall Street estimates, and most firms have raised profit estimates for the rest of 2018,” Herman wrote.

In February, the well regarded center-right British news and economics magazine “The Economist” quoted Eric Schmidt of Cowen, an investment firm, saying cancer treatment has “the highest returns on investment of any therapeutic category.”

The downsizing comes five months after ICMC requested a change to its V.I. Economic Development Authority tax breaks, to reduce its employment requirement from 120 down to 70 employees. Before last year’s storms, ICMC had 122 employees. That dropped to 101 as of June, mostly due to voluntary departures related to the storms, company officials told EDA officials at the time. ICMC was one of several EDC tax beneficiaries requesting temporary reductions in its employment requirements due to storm-related issues.

Because it is privately held, CTCA’s finances are not as readily available as publicly traded companies. In the news, a recent survey by YouGov, a market research and data analytics firm, found patients rated CTCA highly, rating it number one in consumer sentiment and third overall, earlier this year. On the negative side, CTCA has come under media criticism in recent months. In October, the nonprofit group Truth In Advertising released results of a year-long investigation, alleging 90 percent of all cancer centers, both for profit and nonprofit, were using misleading advertising implying greater hope of survival of cancers that have very low survival rates. It singled out CTCA as the biggest spender on advertising overall and on what it regarded as misleading advertising, accounting for nearly $69 million of more than $140 million in total advertising spending by 50 different cancer treatment centers

For its part, in 2016, CTCA officials responded to TINA that “(a)ll of our advertising undergoes meticulous review for clinical accuracy as well as legal approval to ensure we tell our story in an informative and responsible manner, and in compliance with FTC guidelines.”

Meanwhile, in the Virgin Islands, it’s yet to be seen what the community wide impact of the layoffs will be. A benefit of working at the company included subsidized tuition for employee children, with many attending either V.I. Montessori School or Antilles.

Both schools didn’t comment extensively on the circumstances.

“We maintain the privacy of our parents, but our hearts do go out to anyone affected,” Antilles spokeswoman Ananta Pancham said.