LeadingReach Aims to Close Healthcare’s “Weakest Link,” Referrals
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directions, and gives you health literacy information after discharge. For healthcare providers, it can monitor satisfaction rates and social media, monitor Yelp reviews, send social surveys, which can report back to the provider: You’ve seen three patients. This is how they rate you.
Patients get their information via e-mail or text messages; there is nothing to download or install. We have an iPad app for providers. It’s a SAAS-subscription model. It’s free to primary care providers, if you’re doing referrals out. The specialists pay for the referral.
X: How is your product different from other tech-enabled referral services? Who do you consider your main competitors?
T.F.: There’s not a lot of direct competition, having all of these feature sets. Generic EMRs still think of referral management as a one-way handoff. All they have done is taken an offline process [referral sheets] and made it digital. They will send the referral to a provider via e-mail, but that has not solved the problem. Yes, it’s not via fax machine, but it still gets lost in the inbox. It ultimately requires the front desk staff to call the referring-to doctor to get status updates and it doesn’t allow for easy doctor-to-doctor communication or easy transfer of X-rays.
X: What are your goals coming into the company?
T.F.: I was really interested in healthcare. I was intrigued by just how old it was. Most of the companies in the space were from the 1980s. The Internet Web-based software wave had never really taken hold in the medical space. They had old machines. There was no reason to do it. The ACA has really disrupted that market and forced people to do upgrades to software. I really do believe we can be a billion-dollar company.
X: What are your main challenges going forward? Any compliance/privacy/reimbursement issues?
T.F.: We’re regulated by HIPAA. I’m willing to put my infrastructure against everyone’s. We’re hosted in a tier 1 IBM facility; we have all the certifications. I also pay a lot of money for third-party encryption products. At some point there’s a good chance someone is going to break into our infrastructure. We know that it’s encrypted, so it should be worthless to them. It’s not when you’re going to get hacked, but what do they get when they do hack you.
We spend 15 percent of our R&D budget just on infrastructure security and monitoring. Most keep that at 5 percent or less. As we get bigger, the fixed costs will stay the same; we’ve front-loaded a lot of it. We paid for it before a single customer was on the system.