Mark is an entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience building ventures, commercializing healthcare solutions and driving client and partner relationships. Prior to launching HealthQx, he was the co-founder of IntelliSource Healthcare Solutions, which was sold to DST Health Solutions in 2011. Previously, he was the founder and CEO of Frontline Solutions and also served as the Director of Health Care for IBM Corporation. Mark attended Drexel University, where he currently serves on the Board of Drexel University’s LeBow School of Business. He also holds an MBA degree from Columbia Business School.
You’ve built and scaled a number of healthcare ventures. Is there a common thread between these companies that has led to successful exits?
I think the most important theme is to first focus on building a great company. I’m a firm believer that if you build a solid company, the exit opportunities will always be there. Typically when you launch a new business you are looking for either a disruptive technology to solve a market pain point differently or a solution to solve a new business challenge. In either case, you are creating a solution to fill a void in the market. My experience has been that the larger technology companies are doing less and less in way of innovation and as a result there is a vacuum that innovative, early stage companies can fill. In effect, building innovative solutions that fill a void in the market will always be attractive to larger healthcare IT organizations.
What challenges are inherent in the HealthQx mission – improving the quality of care while reducing costs?
At HealthQx, we are in the middle of a major transformation in the way in which healthcare is paid for. The massive shift from fee for service to value based payment models is happening now and the pace is quickening. We like to characterize the market as having reached a “tipping point” based on the major announcements from HHS, CMS, and the Commercial Payers. The challenge for HealthQx is this transformation is happening in real-time and the market is trying to figure out how to get started, where to get started, and what models to adopt. This leads to a bit of uncertainty in the market as payers and providers are making their strategic bets. We have created a solution to assist payers and providers with a roadmap to assist them with how to get started with launching and tracking value based payment programs.
How is HealthQx’s flagship product, ClarityQx, poised to add value to healthcare organizations?
ClarityQx was designed with a vision of helping payers and providers operationalize new payment models such as episode-based bundled payment programs. Payers in particular have experimented with bundled payment programs but have run into scalability issues and speed to market challenges with internally developed solutions. ClarityQx is a turn-key solution to help payers and providers scale these payment models. We take in client data in our cloud-based platform and within hours provide actionable information back to our clients via our SaaS platform, ClarityQx. In effect, we are partnering with our clients to eliminate the complexities of implementing, scaling, and operationalizing new payment models through our platform.
What are the most important factors in selecting the best fit candidates to add to the HealthQx team?
I have always targeted “A” players – top performers have always proven to be worth the investment. It is very tempting to settle for mid-tier candidates due to the speed of our business but finding the top players has proven to be effective. As Warren Buffet says “look for 3 characteristics in new hires – 1. Intelligence 2. Energy 3. Integrity” and if they don’t have the last one don’t bother with the other two. There is something that a high energy candidate brings to the table. The willingness to work hard is also a trait that is always so critical and often overlooked, particularly in an early stage company.
What occupies your time outside of the office?
I have 3 boys that all play sports and I have spent many a late night and weekend on a baseball diamond or basketball court coaching one of their teams in some far off town. We have created some great memories as a family – although at times my wife will say that we have missed some beautiful weekends at the beach! There is nothing better than spending time with your kids in pursuit of their passions.
I also spend quite a bit of time at my alma mater, Drexel University. I serve on the Board of Drexel’s LeBow College of Business as well as supporting the Drexel Baseball team with a variety of fundraising activities.