PRACTICESUITE: Enabling Patient Driven Healthcare Technology

Chithra Vijayakumar
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Chithra Vijayakumar
"INEFFICIENT AND DYSFUNCTIONAL." That's how Vinod Nair likes to describe the healthcare climate that prevailed in the early 2000s. For the Founder and CEO of PracticeSuite, who had spent a good part of his life working for tech giants including Oracle and Juniper, the scenarios in medical facilities reflected redundancy, lost productivity, and the cumbersomeness of preserving paper-based records. "That was the case earlier this millennium," says Nair. "However, a raft of sea changes was underway in the healthcare industry." Technology advances became a low-hanging fruit for smaller practices, as they were once for large establishments-pushing distinct software applications into healthcare facilities particularly ambulatory care settings, resulting in too many vendors offering too many solutions.

Meanwhile, the challenge to sew these disparate systems into a single entity was increasingly becoming more complex than ever. It was this predicament, combined with the yearning to become an agent of change in the healthcare sector that spurred the genesis of PracticeSuite. When Nair finally bowed out to his corporate life in 2004, little did he know, that the company he founded would one day achieve a feat that only a handful of companies can claim to be in the swim of. At its core, PracticeSuite is a healthcare information technology company making the life of a physician plain sailing. "We accomplish this by replacing standalone legacy applications with our integrated modular platform that allows our clients to scale as and when their practice changes or grows," explains Nair. "Our primary focus is on the ambulatory care market and we cover over 155 specialties, mostly private practices and large medical groups."

"As patients take over a greater share of their healthcare cost, the selection of the physician shifts over to the patient. This makes managing a physician's presence online a necessity. Our software allows doctors to automate their online review management"

Not Disease care, but Healthcare

While balancing the equation among three key variables- patient, physician, and payor- Nair's company has identified the burgeoning costs associated with healthcare that makes patients hesitant over seeking medical attention. Per capita expenditure in 2014 was as high as $9,403 in the U.S., which is 160.10 percent higher than the global average. "Last year, an acute hike in federal healthcare expenditure facilitated full play of the Obamacare program that entitles citizens to a free annual physician visit. Such reforms have evidently become the first step toward transforming healthcare as an industry from traditional Insurance-based to patient-driven paradigms. Meanwhile, the inefficiencies faced while reimbursing Accounts Receivables (AR) from insurance companies is becoming a sore point for physicians. Nair elucidates a common scene that every administrator or physician can relate to in hospitals and medical clinics. "Very often a huge amount of patient's balance is found to correspond to an invalid insurance policy or with unpaid due amount, months after the medical visit." In such cases, it becomes too late for the offices to recoup its losses, due to time issues and complexities in reimbursements processes.

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