Healthcare Dealmakers: The Future of Healthcare is Putting People First

For the modern healthcare company, business leaders say using technology and innovation to focus on people is essential to growth and success. The Ritz-Carleton Hotel was the home of the 2019 Healthcare Dealmakers Conference hosted by law firm Polsinelli, where a number of speakers and panels educated attendees on several aspects of the business of healthcare.

“Each year, the Healthcare Dealmakers Conference serves as a critical opportunity for leading healthcare services providers to come together and discuss opportunities, as well as ways to overcome obstacles, for improving our healthcare system,” said Polsinelli Shareholder Bobby Guy, chair of the conference, via release. “M&A activity and technological advancements are catalyzing positive change, bringing greater efficiency and more streamlined processes, to better support patients, practitioners and providers.”

Companies discussing the next wave of change in the healthcare industry focused on a people-centric business plan in a panel Thursday morning.

In the dental health space, Lydian Dental COO Azar Zaidi discussed how focusing on the customer separated them from the competition. They wanted to put people first, provide iconic and memorable service, and wanted it to be fun (a tall order for a dental office, he says). They refer to the waiting room as a family room, where digital check in kiosks and a photo booth help patients seamlessly check in. They are able to log into their own Netflix accounts and watch on Beats by Dre headphones while they wait. If the appointment is cavity free, imported chocolate from all over the world is available on the way out.

Lydian has brick and mortar locations in Austin and Arizona, but also has a mobile trailer that is able to travel to employer campuses to provide easier access to care. The tiny home experience hopes to reduce work absenteeism, and they have directly contracted with employers to provide dental care. “We want to impact how they perceive dental experience,” Zaidi says.

Graham Healthcare Group CEO David Curtis built a small home care company in Detroit into one that does $300 million in business each year with 2500 employees around 10,000 patients, and he is all about investing back into the business. “Traditionally, businesses underperform because they under invest,” he said.

It is his goal to attract great clinicians and keep them there through that investment. An early adopter to electronic medical records, the company also invested in fleet cars for caregivers. “Surprise them by giving them what they need,” he said. It has resulted in record retention rate, with 84 percent of nurses returning each year.

Rick Greene is the CFO of Austin-based Epiphany Dermatology, and says that the core values of having fun and promoting patient engagement have allowed the company to focus on the patient and practitioner. A single platform for billing, records, and security makes for a seamless transition for employees, and the company has to make adjustments for generational differences amongst patients. They have focused on middle America, where access is an issue, but hope to use telemedicine to address dermatology deficits in rural areas.

The practice has quickly expanded from two locations in Waco to 36 locations in eight states, with more on the way. But as they acquire new practices and apply their Epiphany branding, they know to prioritize people and not partner with the wrong business. “We will walk away from transaction that isn’t a fit,” Greene says.



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