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Interview with Ted Quinn, CEO and Co-Founder of ACT.md

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Interview with Ted Quinn, CEO and Co-Founder of ACT.md

Ted Quinn, CEO and Co-Founder of ACT.md, is our latest interviewee. He has 20 years of experience leading healthcare IT and technology based companies. Prior to ACT.md, he served as the COO of Vecna Medical, driving revenue growth and new market penetration. Before Vecna, Ted was the President & General Manager of a Taylor Corporation Company, a Business Manager and Product Manager for the FLEX platform at Teradyne Corporation, and a management consultant at Accenture. He holds a BS in Economics from Brigham Young University, an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and an unflinching loyalty to the Boston Red Sox. Here what Ted had to say…

What’s your elevator pitch?

ACT.md is the platform for team-based care.

Care teams need a way to jointly manage medical conditions in concert with behavioral, social, and functional needs. With ACT.md’s high-tech, high-touch platform and project management-like approach, healthcare organizations can engage in collaborative care planning, efficiently manage in-between visit care, and make safe, reliable handoffs across the care continuum.

Through an elegant and intuitive cloud-based technology, the solution connects all members of a dynamic care team, including the patient and their trusted caregivers. We enable our customers to efficiently develop, reliably execute, and securely communicate a patient-centered care plan across their teams. The technology is complimented with a flexible care coordination workforce service offering to ensure nothing falls through the cracks and clinicians are working at the top of their license.

With ACT.md healthcare organizations scale best practice workflows, reduce duplication, and gain efficiencies. Our customers have seen a 30% reduction in the time spent on care coordination activities and improved compliance to care plans through meaningful caregiver and patient engagement.

What sets you apart from competitors?

ACT.md was purpose-built for team-based care. We have a world-class team of engineers, clinicians, and operational leaders focused on creating the experiences necessary for care teams to effectively manage complex care for high-needs patients. High-cost, high-risk patients require care coordination from integrated multidisciplinary teams. Strong inter-professional and provider/patient communication is needed to:

  • collaboratively develop and manage patient-centered plans of care,
  • engage patients in achieving health goals,
  • and build sustainable, high-quality processes for managing complex care.

EMR/EHR vendors are the incumbents in the market, but they are not designed to do this job. Up to 70% of provider/patient work is conducted in the informal region outside the EMR, especially work related to the coordination of care. We have heard directly from healthcare organizations we are working with that with the leading EMR there is no way to track the status of handoffs, connect with outside providers and family caregivers, and that they really need a “Care Coordination Record.” This is the job that ACT.md is being hired to do, and we are getting traction with large health systems across the country.

act.mdExamples of specific differentiators include:

  • Connecting the Dynamic Care Team: ACT.md connects medical providers and their support staff, behavioral and mental health specialists, occupational and social services, community resources, payers, and patients and their trusted caregivers.
  • Collaborative Care Plan: All care team members contribute to a single plan of care. The multi-authorable, real-time care planning space reflects patient goals in patient-friendly language and is available 24/7 to all care team members. The Care Plan is shareable and contains sophisticated audit trail capability. Collaborative Care Plans increase patient, caregiver, and provider satisfaction by bringing knowledge to patients and driving continuity amongst a team.
  • Content and Methodology: We provide content in the form of evidence based-protocols and operational best practices paired with the ACT.md Health Act methodology to help teams follow standard workflows. ACT.md offers a library of close to 200 Health Act Sets with plans to further commercialize pathway and protocol content for leading healthcare organizations.
  • Flexible Care Coordination Workforce: Technology alone is not sufficient to the job of team-based care. Healthcare needs to meet patients where they are and provide the required experiences to address their needs. Time is the most valuable resource for healthcare organizations operating in hybrid models while transitioning to value-based care. ACT.md provides Health Prompters who act like “Care Traffic Controllers.” Our Health Prompter Service provides non-clinical support to care teams and patients. These tasks include patient outreach, reminders, and survey administration.

What’s your business model?

We have a PMPM business model. Our customers purchase an annual license for ACT.md software and care coordination support from our team of Health Prompters. Upon initial engagement, they also pay a one-time implementation services fee. Our customers can invite external providers to collaborate and participate in the care of their patients through the ACT.md platform at no cost to the external provider. Our goal is to offer a low-barrier solution across the board, from purchasing, through implementation, and into enterprise adoption. This aligns with the accountable care goals of our customers who need their care teams working together reliably and efficiently. We support our customers every step of the way.

Can you share some numbers? How many users do you have?

ACT.md is being used to manage and coordinate care for thousands of patients. There is a lot of interest in care coordination for dual-eligibles, patients with behavioral health diagnoses, and children with complex needs. We expect growth in these areas as well as continued traction with payer/provider collaborations.

Where do you see the company going from here?

We raised $8.4 million in Series A funding this year to accelerate product development and manage the company’s rapid growth. In the upcoming months you’ll see our team growing and the launch of implementations with nationally recognized healthcare organizations.

We’re students of the “job to be done” model developed by Professor Clayton Christensen at HBS (an ACT.md Board Member) and are always testing whether we’re building a solution that will get hired to do the critical job of powering team-based care.

We are also seeking partners in innovation. Our Founders lead the SMART Platforms initiative and are participating in the FHIR Project Argonaut. We are architected as an open platform and have done the legwork necessary to be ready to implement a SMART on FHIR integration, which would bring optimal workflow efficiency.

Where do you see the mHealth industry going?

Healthcare needs simple solutions to its complex problems. mHealth tech is a big piece of that puzzle because it can be user-friendly, lightweight and always-on. It’s required for providers who need to operate more efficiently and those who want to truly activate patients and their families, and get them involved in their care.

  • Care teams comprised of providers and patients will engage in efficient, structured asynchronous communication from the device of their choice. They will be able to manage their notification preferences (frequency and form) – mobile app notifications, text notifications, or if they desire, a phone call.
  • Providers will use their smartphones to communicate with each other – from asking questions about treatment plans to sending referrals.
  • mHealth will bring communities of care – bringing a modern paradigm of social interaction to healthcare.
  • Via their smartphone, patients will have access to their current plan of care (in language they understand). They will use their mobile devices to keep track of what they are responsible to get done and be able to communicate their progress back to their care team. They will be able to access meaningful education and ask questions to their team.

How long are we from seeing modern mHealth technologies going mainstream?

As you know, the first iPhone was released in 2007 and in 2014 sales of smartphones worldwide topped 1.2 billion. We use technology to manage all aspects of our daily lives – except in healthcare. ACT.md is looking to be a part of this change and disrupt the industry. In order to be successful in performance-based contracts and new care delivery models, provider teams will have to operate at the highest efficiency and be digitally accessible to other care team members, including patients and their caregivers. I perceive one of the greatest barriers is fear. Providers are fearful of the potential repercussions from an information privacy and security standpoint. As technology providers, we must provide secure platforms they can trust and promote patient authorization as the gold standard for data sharing.

I still believe we are three to four years away from mHealth technologies being mainstream, but we must continue to push the envelope and advocate for change. It will benefit everyone.

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