Q: Did passage of the ACA lead to the startup of RightCare?
A: Re-admissions is not a new problem but ACA accelerated the change. There was a clinical need for patients and a financial need for hospitals. We have a technology that's evidence-based and peer-reviewed, with a decade of research to leverage. We said, "Let's go," and we started in 2011.
Q: How much startup money?
A: We were fortunate to win the Wharton Business Plan Competition and another competition in spring 2012. We got $200,000 in prizes, enough to set up a demo and pay consultants to build a prototype platform we could show potential clients and investors. In October, we raised $1.75 million from two investment funds.
Q: How's the biz model work?
A: We sell an annual subscription service to hospitals. Pricing varies by the number of beds. The service works with their electronic [health] records system, similar to how Microsoft Excel works with Windows.
Q: Who are your clients?
A: We announced our first partnership with Jefferson in November and Penn Medicine in April.
Q: Do you have enough data yet to show how the service works?
A: We're making an impact. [Bowles] presented a pilot study in 2012 at a [professional organization] meeting that showed our platform reduced readmits by 26 percent in high-risk patients. For 2013, the feds are targeting patients with heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia.
Q: Why should hospitals worry about re-admissions?
A: The cost of a hospitalization is the [most expensive] care. If re-admissions are reduced, hospitals can avoid financial penalties. Also, the cost for many re-admitted patients aren't fully reimbursed.
Q: The ACA imposes financial penalties for hospitals?
A: If you're on the wrong side of the national average for one of the three diseases the government is tracking, they can withhold up to 1 percent of what Medicare pays.
On Twitter: @MHinkelman