Episode 23: The Medical IT Industry
Ben Lefever, founder of Certintell Telehealth, recently spoke with the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Executive Director of Entrepreneurial Initiatives, Mike Colwell, and shared stories about the HIPAA-compliant platform.
Certintell is a provider that gives patients access to their choice of U.S. board-certified physicians in an effort to connect underserved patient areas with providers. Ben had some background in the medical industry prior to developing the Certintell solution, but seeing his brother struggle to connect with a provider inspired him to start the company.
Finding an Efficient Solution
As a veteran, Ben’s brother had gravitated to a rural area. Ben saw him struggle with finding the right provider. Certintell Telehealth was born as a way for patients to find mental-health providers and allow physicians to engage with them no matter where they are located in the country.
After realizing the challenges of rural areas, Ben found that urban areas had the same issues with getting access to care. When you focus on underserved low-income patients, you find those patients are dealing with the issue of getting PTO, as well as the time commitment of using public transportation in order to make their appointments.
Legislation has driven the market to a new payment model, but also to improve outcomes. With the Affordable Care Act, they know if the patients are engaged, they’ll make better choices that will lead to better outcomes. They’re incentivizing providers to engage in different ways to ensure value-based care.
Partnerships in Healthcare
Health care can be a hard industry to break into, especially when you are bringing in a new technology. Partnerships have been huge for Ben and his company, from getting the product out to attracting employees.
For Ben and Certintell, it started with finding the resources and mentorship he needed. Once he became a bit more established it was time to build with the help of a larger organization that could help validate their product and share it with their own trusting partners. “You can’t go it alone,” Ben says. The Iowa Primary Healthcare Association (IPHA) is the educational partnership for all safety-net clinics in Iowa. A partnership has allowed the IPHA to help spread the message of Certintell to all of their organizations and be an advocate for what you do.
Ben says partnerships take a lot of time, and in the startup world you can’t expect a partner to sell your product for you. Leveraging your partnership in order to grow the business is done by choosing the right partners and aligning your goals. Also, multiple partnerships with key businesses and investors will ensure you are able to offer the most to your customer.
To find out more about Ben’s projects within the healthcare industry, listen to the podcast. You can also check out Certintell on Facebook.
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