What brought you into this business?
As a doctor, I have seen how difficult it is for patients and their families to find qualified medical staff and home care. Patients would select nursing homes blindly, with little information other than the facility’s address. I have seen patients rehospitalized due to delays in getting their medical care at home. When emergency care is disjointed, patients fail. I founded CarePort to connect emergency, post-acute, home care, and community care providers so patients can move seamlessly from one continuum to another.
What is your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Healthcare is incredibly complex with many key stakeholders – patients, payers, providers. It is critical for entrepreneurs to understand how their innovations add value to each stakeholder if they are to build a successful company in the long term. Companies that benefit from only one of these components don’t get very big. Companies that add value to one segment but destroy value to another segment are short-lived. Realizing the complexity of healthcare, the most successful entrepreneurs create companies that deliver long-term value to all stakeholders.
Your companies have been acquired several times. What influenced your decision to retain operational control?
What I love is that every stage of the company has new lessons to learn and challenges to overcome. In the early stages, we tried to find out if the solution met the needs of the market. We then turned to the challenges of scaling—how to make our customers successful the next hundredfold. Each acquisition met an important market need or moved us significantly forward, which is why I stayed with them. For example, since the beginning of the pandemic, we have seen a surge in demand for home care. WellSky, now powered by CarePort, has an extensive network of home and community providers, which is strategically important for our clients as more and more healthcare services will be provided in the home.
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What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the impact we have on a national scale. CarePort is currently used for post-hospital care in more than a third of hospital discharges. We enable millions of patients to find high-quality nursing homes, home care agencies and other home and community care options. I was drawn to medicine because I wanted to help patients. I am lucky that I can wake up every morning and do meaningful work at scale.
Who is your role model in or outside of healthcare?
Conan O’Brien is one of my role models. I have a lot of respect for comedians because they are astute observers of the human condition. The best comedians point out the uncomfortable contradictions and hypocrisy that most people take for granted, in a way that brings people closer rather than pushing or dividing them. Similarly, to be an agent of change in healthcare and a leader, you need to see the positive and negative sides of the organization and its people. And, like a comedian, to get better, a leader must highlight those weaknesses in a way that motivates people to come together and work for positive change.
Top 25 Emerging Leaders – 2021 Edition