Warburg Pincus, a private equity firm focused on growth investing, has merged DocuTAP and Practice Velocity— two major contributors in the on-demand healthcare and urgent care space. The new organization will operate under the brand name Experity.
“We thank all of our clients and partners for the overwhelming enthusiasm and support since announcing our intent to merge,” said Dr. David Stern, CEO, Experity. “Not only is this an exciting time for Experity’s employees, customers and partners, but for the industry as a whole. We’ve all witnessed the evolution of urgent care and growth into nontraditional, on-demand healthcare. This merger is a reflection of industry growth and the need for solutions that can further power the patient-centered healthcare revolution. Patients have more choices than ever before, and the unification of these great brands will further enable current and future clients to deliver an unmatched patient experience.”
David Stern, former Practice Velocity CEO, has been named CEO of Experity. Eric McDonald, former DocuTAP CEO, will remain actively involved in the company’s future direction as a board member and strategic advisor.
“There are no limitations on what these two forward-thinking companies can do together as they continue to drive innovation during this crucial time in healthcare’s evolution,” said Eric McDonald. “I look forward to assisting the transition in my new role and am very enthusiastic about what the future holds for Experity.”
Serving more than 4,000 clinics from coast to coast, Experity will continue to support and invest in all current software platforms and services previously provided by the merging companies. In addition, customers of each company will have access to new services and solutions, such as patient engagement, teleradiology, business intelligence, remote patient registration and contracting/consulting.
“DocuTAP and Practice Velocity’s current customers remain our number one priority,” said Matt Blosl, Experity CRO, former DocuTAP CRO. “Both companies have always focused on providing amazing solutions and customer service — this will not change. In addition, the scale and resources of the combined company will empower us to speed up our pipeline of software production and significantly amplify our impact on the rapidly expanding urgent care industry.”
“These two distinguished companies have driven significant expansion in the on-demand healthcare space having been perennially recognized by Black Book and KLAS for excellence in the field,” said Andrew Park, managing director, Warburg Pincus. “Both organizations have helped urgent care providers carve out their own place in the increasingly diverse ecosystem that is healthcare. We expect to see continued, rapid growth in this area of healthcare, and we are confident that this newly-combined company will play a key role in shaping and defining the future of on-demand healthcare.”
Warburg Pincus led the financing for the transaction. Teleradiology Specialists, Clockwise MD, Urgent Care Consultants, Journal of Urgent Care Medicine and Institute of Urgent Care Medicine are also part of the deal. No other financial details have been disclosed.
Experity will maintain its existing locations and teams in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Atlanta; Machesney Park, Illinois; and Phoenix as the company continues to drive strategic growth across offices.
To learn more about Experity, visit experityhealth.com.
By Christina Boyd, vice president of client solutions, DocuTAP.
Switching to a new EMR is never easy and can be a real challenge for urgent care providers. However, when the current system doesn’t align with your practice’s goals, you’ve got to take the plunge.
Leadership may see the benefits, but getting the staff on board can be more difficult. This is perfectly understandable, since they’re the ones in the trenches every day and learning to use an entirely new system can be daunting. To make the transition successful, the support of staff is crucial.
In the best-case scenario, staff will not only support, but also understand how their lives will actually be easier after the switch. And therefore, it is up to leadership to set the tone by providing insight into the why and how weeks before the actual change is made. The question is: What are the specific steps you need to take to get staff to buy-in?
Choose technology wisely
A smooth transition begins with choosing the right solution, so it’s important to find a solution that’s intuitive and user friendly – in essence it should work just like the technology the staff uses as consumers in their daily lives. Take the time to make sure it’s the right solution to prevent a subsequent change, and your confidence will trickle down.
Prepare and plan
There is no substitute for good preparation and planning. Know and communicate the plan for pre-launch training, go-live and post implementation support because the unknown is often a source of anxiety. If everyone on staff knows the process and the plan they will be more confident in managing the change.
Additionally, knowing how to discuss the change with staff is critical to effectively lay out the vision. What you are changing and why? How will this change impact each person? How will success be measured? At the end of the day, employees need to understand why the new technology is an improvement – not an inconvenience.
Choose a physician champion
Find one physician that believes strongly in the vision for the practice and the value a new EMR solution will bring to the clinic. The entire team is more likely to get on board if they hear the enthusiastic support of a respected colleague.
Start at the top
Urgent care owners know their staff best, so foster this personal relationship and secure the support of team leaders first. Start by asking them what they see as top challenges for the organization when it comes to the EMR or other technology used and allow them to offer solutions. Think about their roles and responsibilities and approach them individually to talk about how the change will affect their work life. This approach shows leadership recognizes the unique challenges each team member will face, and it matters to them.
DocuTAP crafts on-demand healthcare software and services that make over a thousand urgent care clinics run efficiently. We design a tablet-based EHR and PM, offer RCM services, and refine patient workflow.
A better urgent care experience.
In May of 2000, DocuTAP’s founders realized that wireless devices would play an increasingly important role in the delivery of healthcare. From that day, DocuTAP software was designed for use on handheld wireless devices. Founding CEO, Eric McDonald dreamed up the idea behind DocuTAP in his basement back in 1999. Eric spent his time consulting with physicians. In 2000, Eric officially started DocuTAP as a company with the help of angel investors. Today, he leads client relations and provides company direction and vision for technology and product design while being viewed as a thought leader in the urgent care industry.
DocuTAP works with urgent care clinics to provide a range of solutions and services including electronic health records, practice management, patient engagement solutions, analytics, billing services and consulting. As the healthcare industry continues to adopt on-demand models to serve the evolving healthcare consumer, DocuTAP provides the necessities for facilities to deliver efficient, affordable and good quality care.
The healthcare industry is changing. Patients are becoming consumers, and the healthcare consumer wants access to quick and convenient care- without booking out months in advance to still wait in multiple waiting rooms. DocuTAP serves urgent care clinics, however increasingly other healthcare verticals such as pediatrics are adopting on-demand business models increasing the different markets that are in search for the tools and solutions DocuTAP provides. As with every other industry, healthcare must now market themselves to the healthcare consumer, to not only attract visitors but keep them coming back. By keeping patients out of the waiting room with online scheduling and monitoring, allowing physicians to finish a chart completely in under two minutes, and optimizing the work flow of the front desk, DocuTAP gives urgent care clinics the resources to market all of these capabilities to consumers and deliver on these promises each and every time.
Who are your competitors?
DocuTAP has competitors that offer some of the services and solutions they offer, but not in the end-to-end capacity that DocuTAP does. Given DocuTAP’s all-encompassing service and solution offering, DocuTAP considers a few companies who offer similar services competitors.
How does your company differentiate itself from the competition and what differentiates DocuTAP?
DocuTAP’s key differentiator is they are not just a software provider, they are an end-to-end business partner. Each customer who works with DocuTAP relies on them for software, consulting, strategic advice, technical support, and expert insights. Whatever a customer needs, they are able to go to DocuTAP for, something competitors are not offering.
DocuTAP has a deep and extensive log of valuable data, available to visualize and pull out useful trends and findings that give them an edge in the market.
Guest post by Eric McDonald, founder and CEO, DocuTap.
Expediency, exceptional service and a reasonable price. It’s the ideal for American consumers, particularly in healthcare. Because of that demand, patients were the drivers behind the adoption of the urgent care industry.
It started in the late 1970s and early ‘80s. Family practices started taking walk-in patients. While it wasn’t branded as such, that was the inception of urgent care. Since then, the urgent care industry has morphed into what it is today – a walk-in facility with extended hour service for adults and children with acute illnesses and injuries. But, that definition doesn’t do urgent cares justice. Urgent cares are setting the tone for what healthcare consumers want. They want unscheduled appointments, they want stellar service, they want a location that’s easy to find with accessible parking, they want distinguishable amenities, and they want the cost to be lower and more transparent.
There are approximately 9,000 urgent care centers in operation, according to the Urgent Care Association of America. The UCAOA’s 2012 Urgent Care Benchmarking Study concludes that urgent care centers see three million visits per week, totaling more than 160 million visits annually. The urgent care industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country. With roughly two clinics opening every day, it’s expected there will be 15,000 urgent care centers by 2019.
With the boom in the urgent care space, some in the healthcare industry are concerned about the flow of patient information. Considering urgent care visits are typically one-offs, some patient information isn’t getting back to the primary care providers and health systems as it should. However, the healthcare industry is making strides to combat this through technology, interfaces, federal initiatives, and health systems partnering with urgent cares.
Guest Column by Val Van’t Hul, Meaningful Use Project Manager, DocuTAP.
Providers at urgent care centers around the country are preparing to attest for either Stage 1 or Stage 2 meaningful use this year, and knowing the differences in reporting periods can make a huge difference in the process. Reporting periods vary depending on which stage an eligible professional (EP) is in, and whether a provider is attesting through the Medicaid or Medicare EHR incentive program.
To further explain this process, here are the reporting periods for 2014 indicated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS):
An EP must select any 90-day reporting period that falls within the 2014 calendar year. Since Medicaid is state government-based, urgent care centers are tasked with researching any particular rules and regulations that pertain to their location, as these vary from state to state.
An EP participating in the first year of meaningful use (Stage 1, year 1) must select any 90-day reporting period. However, to avoid the 2015 payment adjustment the EP must begin the reporting period by July 1 and submit attestation data by October 1, 2014. This grace period is designed to help clinics that are still working out best practices and processes for attestation.
Medicare – An EP who is beyond their first year of Meaningful Use (Stage 1, year 2 or beyond) must select a three-month reporting period that is fixed to the quarter of the calendar year (i.e. July to September or October to December). There is not one quarter that is better than others for reporting, but clinics should keep in mind that there should be ample time to implement any changes in clinical workflow prior to the start of the reporting period. If an EHR vendor is properly certified for Meaningful Use and the urgent care client can begin the process, they may choose a later reporting period to allow time to properly order their workflow.
Meaningful Use Tracking & Reporting
Urgent care centers should monitor clinical workflow progress often to benchmark the eligible professional’s progress in working toward achieving Meaningful Use objectives. It is wise to run meaningful use reports from the EHR software, as well as conduct a provider analysis every few weeks to find out where and how adjustments need to be made in the progression toward these objectives. If EPs are falling below a preferred threshold in any area, this benchmarking provides ample time to get up-to-speed on clinic initiatives.
In addition to implementing tracking measures, it is necessary to understand the importance of delineating between “yes or no” and numerator/denominator reports. While the former are fairly self-explanatory (i.e. as with drug interaction checks), clinics should take careful documentation measures to prove compliance, including taking regular screenshots of what is happening in a clinic’s EHR software system during the reporting period. For example, when pop-ups of patient medicinal allergies occur, a screenshot of this notification, along with a date/time stamp, should be taken and a copy kept on file for up to six years, as this is the standard amount of time for which CMS may audit the eligible professionals.
Guest post by Darin VanderWell, Director of Product, DocuTAP.
Rumors about the next phase of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) EHR Incentive Program has prompted concern among healthcare providers. To truly understand meaningful use Stage 3 and its impact, it is important to differentiate between the rumors and the truth.
The final rule for meaningful use Stage 3 has yet to be published, so discussion on its effects are based on available drafts. Even those drafts are in question since the December 2013 announcement that Stage 3 would be delayed until 2017. One reason cited was to allow more time to research the impacts of Stage 2 before finalizing Stage 3. The delay will be particularly important for that research, since compared to Stage 1, 2011 Edition, there are so few Stage 2 vendors certified currently.
As for what is expected, the attention turns from data capture and access (Stage 1) and information exchange (Stage 2) to improved outcomes in Stage 3. One expected goal is to simplify and reduce the reporting requirements on those attesting. Some of that change can be achieved by consolidating the program’s current objectives, which I expect hospitals and providers will welcome, provided it truly reduces the reporting burden and does not coincide with other, new objectives and reporting requirements.
Stage 3’s goal of improving outcomes will be incredibly interesting – through November 2013, CMS had disbursed nearly $18 billion in incentive payments. Until now, the program’s success has been judged by the number of participants adopting certified EHRs. At some point during Stage 3 (or thereafter), we will know whether those payments have truly improved outcomes.