Valor HealthTech Corner, with CareCloud's Ken Comee

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Valor HealthTech Corner, with CareCloud's Ken Comée

Happy 2018 all you Valorians!
Our 2018 Valor Health Tech Corner kicks off with Ken Comée, CEO at Carecloud. We’ll talk with Ken about CareCloud’s evolution, our dynamic Medical & Health Tech economy as well as what we can expect from CareCloud in 2018.
Let’s get right to it:

-Drew Ramsey

Q:Tell me about yourself and why you took the opportunity at CareCloud.
I relocated to Miami three years ago after spending my entire career in Silicon Valley in the tech industry. I’ve had the opportunity to lead companies spanning the infrastructure software, big data and analytics spectrum. My true passion is helping early stage companies reach their full potential by building high performing organizations. I’m drawn to companies that are in some phase of transformation, whether in a turn-around or high-growth phase. I’ve also been very purposeful in moving toward where tech is going – and being ready to quickly take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. That’s what happened with CareCloud.

I actually was on CareCloud’s Board of Directors for the first three years starting back in early 2012. I came in shortly after Norwest Venture Partners invested. About three years ago, they asked me if I would be interested in taking over the helm. The company saw very fast growth but hit the classic early stage stall. While I may not be a 20+ year health care veteran, I am a cloud software guy who knows how to build and scale companies. So, when I came on board as CEO, it was really about getting back to the basics, slowing things down, recognizing that not all growth is good growth and focusing on the fundamentals of the business, which is developing great products and not just product itself today, but where the market is going and what are the products we need to be developing for the next one to three years.

Q:What most excites you about the market opportunity for CareCloud?
We sit today in the middle of what I call four legs of the stool that are just massive accelerators. The first one is the move to the cloud. Physician practices that are changing their infrastructure are not going to another client-server platform, they are going to the cloud. We are well positioned because we were born on the cloud and have had the opportunity to learn from other enterprise cloud platforms such as Salesforce and Amazon as we've built our healthcare cloud platform.

The second leg of this stool is the trend towards larger practices. As physician costs rise, and as payments and reimbursements decrease, the only way for physicians to get out of that dilemma is by getting more efficient or aggregating and taking advantage of economies of scale. If you're starting to acquire different practices, you can't succeed with on premise systems -- you have to be on the cloud.

The third is the rising importance and influence of the consumer. CareCloud always has been focused on delivering incredible software to the people who deliver healthcare, whether it’s clinicians, practice administrators, billing professionals or others in the practice. With the paradigm shifting from a payer-provider to a provider-patient focus, we’re building technology that allows patients to have the same kind of technology that they have in other parts of their lives, whether its booking a restaurant, checking in for a flight or paying their bills online. In 2017, we took a big step in capitalizing on this trend by launching Breeze, our patient experience management platform. This is patent-pending transformative technology for both our customers and their patients and we’ve only just begun to tap into its potential.

The fourth is the move from fee-for-service to value-based care. Those practices that don't reengineer their technology systems to demonstrate they are delivering quality care will be penalized. Those that do embrace new technology will be rewarded with higher reimbursement. CareCloud is sitting right in the middle of these technology needs with our ability to provide the level of visibility and clarity into patient-based outcomes that payers are demanding.

Q:You recently announced a new collaboration with global fintech and consumer payments tech leader, First Data. What does this mean for CareCloud's position in the market?
We have a very active and collaborative strategic investor in First Data that is helping us apply best-in-breed consumer technology from banking and retail to the physician practice setting. Breeze is the first of our products to be developed with First Data and we’re working with them to make this new patient experience management platform available to the thousands of medical practices that use First Data’s Clover payments technology directly or through their channel partners. This partnership will allow us to scale Breeze faster than we could on our own.

Q:What progress do you see the rest of the technology and software industry making in your space, and how is CareCloud staying ahead?
As the traditional small practice model of medicine changes, so has the health technology landscape supporting it. Most of the legacy electronic health record (EHR) companies, revenue cycle management (RCM) and practice management (PM) companies are going extinct because it’s not enough to just digitize medical records on a piece of local-server-based software anymore. Large practices are serious businesses - with IT leads seeking technology that scales quickly, runs savvy analytics and flexibly connects to other systems.

I joined CareCloud because we have an exciting opportunity to build the health technology platform that will serve physician practices – and their patients -- for the next decade. We really are having a nice run in terms of winning new business because we're bringing a modern, next generation ambulatory platform for healthcare.

We will stay ahead by applying state-of-art enterprise cloud technology from other industries through strategic collaborations with companies like First Data. I think our open API strategy is another important competitive advantage in that it allows us to plug and play with telehealth, care coordination, patient engagement platforms and really whatever our customers need, fast and in a way that is integrated with other workflows and technology platforms.

Q:CareCloud has been able to effectively attract some pretty elite talent these last couple of years. What goes into this and how have you been so successful here?
Anyone in tech knows that it is a very competitive market for talent. We’ve been able to build out a team with a balanced skill set across technology and support functions and I attribute our success to a set of really important things we do as a company and as a leadership team:

● Offering the opportunity to be part of something bigger than yourself -- transforming healthcare.
● Being willing to take advantage of talent wherever they are.
● Hiring those who will complement the skills and backgrounds of others on the team. Doing so taps into the diversity of experiences and ideas that you need to be successful in this complex and changing environment.
● Offering opportunities for employees to stretch and grow, promoting from within wherever possible. Facilitating cross team mentorship is a big part of this strategy; this approach lets employees know there are different places to land within the company.
● Facilitating a culture of entrepreneurship within the company and creating the environment for employees to flourish.


Q:We are moving fast into 2018. What are the important 2018 initiatives for CareCloud, and where do you see the company by the end of the year?
I believe 2018 will be a transformational year for healthcare technology and for CareCloud. I’ve visited and connected with our most forward-thinking customers across the country, and I know that these high-performing medical groups will be using technology in new and innovative ways - to differentiate their practices, to attract new patients, and to support clinical quality and cost-management initiatives.

I expect that by the end of next year, we will have made incredible advances in how we are supporting our customers in the transition to value-based care, which requires an entirely new approach to business infrastructure and technology.

I also am excited about the work we’re doing with First Data and their channel partners to bring Breeze to their network of physician practices.

We are very well positioned to capitalize on where the market is moving, particularly as groups evolve to accountable care organization business models and accelerate growth through mergers and acquisitions. I fully expect that we’ll continue to grow along with our customers – and that we’ll deliver some more breakthrough technology into medical practices in 2018.

Ken Comée

Ken Comée is Chief Executive Officer at CareCloud, responsible for the strategic and operational performance of the company. Mr. Comée joins CareCloud following a successful track record of helping cloud-based technology innovators to secure and extend market leadership. He brings more than 20 years of executive management experience in both private and public companies.

Mr. Comée was formerly the CEO of PowerReviews, the world’s largest social commerce network, which powers customer conversations on over 5,500 websites including Staples, REI and Toys“R”Us. He oversaw the scaling of its operations and fast growth in the market. Prior to PowerReviews, Mr. Comée was CEO of Cast Iron Systems, growing the company into the #1 brand in cloud integration. He took the company from a start-up venture to a global leader in the cloud integration sector, leading to a ten-fold increase in revenue and a strategic acquisition by IBM to bolster its cloud strategy in April 2010. Previously, Mr. Comée held executive positions at CollabNet, a software development pioneer in the cloud, and at product lifecycle leader PTC. He has also held several various high-level management positions at Amdahl/Fujitsu in Europe and the U.S. Mr. Comée is a graduate of Santa Clara University and received an MBA from the London Business School.
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