What got you into this business?
As a physician, I saw how challenging it was for patients and their families to find skilled nursing and in-home care. Patients would choose nursing homes blindly with little information other than a facility address. I saw patients readmitted because of delays in getting their home healthcare in place. When post-acute care is siloed, patients fall through the cracks. I founded CarePort to connect acute, post-acute, home- and community-based providers so patients can transition seamlessly across the care continuum.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Healthcare is incredibly complex with multiple key stakeholders—patients, payers, providers. It’s critical for entrepreneurs to understand how their innovation adds value to each stakeholder if they are to build a successful company for the long term. Companies that deliver value to only one of these constituents don’t get very big. Companies that add value for one segment but destroy value for another segment are short-lived. Recognizing the complexity of healthcare, the most successful entrepreneurs build companies that deliver lasting value across all stakeholders.
Your companies have been acquired multiple times. What played into your decision to retain operational control?
What I love is that at each stage of the company, there are new lessons to learn and challenges to overcome. In the early stages, we were trying to figure out if the solution met a market need. Then we turned to the challenges of scaling—how to make our clients successful the next hundred times. Each acquisition solved an important market need or propelled us forward in a major way, which is why I’ve stayed on through them. For example, since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve seen a surge in demand for in-home care. WellSky, which now powers CarePort, has a vast network of home- and community-based providers, which is strategically important to our clients given that more and more healthcare will be delivered at home.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of the impact we are making on a national scale. CarePort is currently used to find post-hospital care for over a third of patients coming out of hospitals. We’re making it possible for millions of patients to find high-quality nursing homes, home health agencies, and other in-home and community care options. I was drawn to medicine because I wanted to help patients. I feel fortunate that I get to wake up every morning and pursue meaningful work at scale.
Who is your role model in or out of healthcare?
Conan O’Brien is one of my role models. I have a lot of respect for comedians because they are keen observers of the human condition. The best comedians point out uncomfortable contradictions and hypocrisies that most people take for granted—in a way that brings people together rather than alienate or divide us. Similarly, to be an agent of change in healthcare and a leader, one must see the organization and its people for the positives and negatives. And like a comedian, to improve, a leader must illuminate those weaknesses in a way that motivates people to come together and work toward positive change.