2 min read June 2022 — In an interview with Invest:, Anurag Jain, chairman, and CEO of Access Healthcare, talked about what the company has been able to achieve over the course of the pandemic and what the future of healthcare looks like. Jain reflected on Access Healthcare’s ability to get back up and running early in the pandemic, and how it has continued to make a difference in the community through his nonprofit side with the program Get Shift Done.
How does your personal commitment translate into your leadership style and priorities for Access Healthcare?
For us, the community is always vital. When I set up my first company and got my first check, we took a thousand dollars out of that and went and bought McDonald’s burgers and distributed them to people in need. That’s how philanthropy and corporate responsibilities have been baked into what we do. Today, the company gives 2% of its proceeds to people in need around the world. We are big on food banks as food is a basic necessity.
What are some of the ways in which Access Healthcare continues to grow?
Going back to when the pandemic first began in the United States, we were afraid that volume was falling off because people could not go to the doctor. At the same time, we were used to an in-office operation. We had over 12,000 people who simply couldn’t go to the office one day. In five days, we procured over 12,000 data cards, got computers, packed them and got them to people’s houses with the data cards. We were completely up and running in six days, whereas some of our competitors took a month or two months. We were able to do that because of the proprietary platform we use to manage everything.
The pandemic has been a blessing for the healthcare industry as some of the things that the industry was averse to, such as remote work, digitalization, and telehealth, are now a reality. Because of that, we have grown as well, at about 40% a year. The healthcare industry needs to change its model and we are well-positioned to fit that bill.
We are now expanding the depth of our revenue cycle services portfolio, creating automated solutions, building, and running the applications our clients use and expanding to payer services.
On the nonprofit side, the way our food bank works is that we need over 30,000 volunteers a year to help package and distribute the food. The pandemic made volunteers stop coming, so Get Shift Done was born. We raised some money, hired these laid-off hospitality workers and gave them a small stipend to work at the food banks and get food to people who needed it. Access Healthcare was the first supporter of that program. Over a few months, we got to over 110 organizations, put over 28,000 people back to work, and distributed over 60 million meals. On both sides, we have shown our leadership during the pandemic.
What differentiates you from your competitors?
Healthcare is known to be important, but it’s not known to be cutting-edge technology. We took a manual and repetitive back-office process and digitized it, building technology that makes the process more efficient, makes it transparent, makes it easy to scale and makes it easier for us to continue running, even in situations like the pandemic. What we bring to the table is a better process using technology and a better team.
What strategies have been implemented to mitigate labor challenges?
The labor force is extremely tough to find on the clinical side, where the care is delivered. On the back-office side, which is where we come in, it has also been impossible. For that, we need three things. We need more technology to help reduce the amount of human work done, and we need to adopt a global workforce. The third is being more digital, which means doing things more efficiently without the need of a human being.
What areas require special attention from companies and regulators?
We deal with very confidential information, and as a community, we are responsible for protecting that information. I think the consequences of being lax will continue to increase, which is why we’ve got all the essential certifications, the best technology, and the best process to protect a patient’s information. Patients are also tired of surprises when it comes to pricing. The local and federal governments will increase legislation to eliminate surprises, ensuring that we do things in a more transparent way for the patient. The third thing that I see is making telehealth more ubiquitous.
What is your outlook for Access Healthcare and your top priorities?
We grew about 40% last year and have clients secured already, so I think that we will continue to see 30-40% growth for a period. Remember, it’s a $100 billion marketplace, and only $30 billion is outsourced. There’s no other marketplace where that little is outsourced. We are specialists and are well-positioned to serve and grow this market.
We will also continue to evolve our service offerings so payers and providers will get closer and closer and eventually collide.
The third thing is that we see technology making things better for patients and doctors. It will also help reduce costs and make processes more efficient through robots, AI, and machine learning.
The last factor is M&A. We bought two companies in the past and are looking to buy more.
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