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Competitive Innovator - Jason Gorevic

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There are some CEO's who are known for seeing what is next in healthcare.  This week, Jason Gorevic, the CEO of Teladoc will share how he has been able to spot opportunities and his perspective on creating value through innovation. Jason has built an incredible team and will discuss what type of talent is necessary for sustainability and competitive edge in the current healthcare environment.

Transcript

0:04 S1

Welcome to the Health Maven on Blog Talk Radio. Are you ready for new ideas? Join us as the Health Maven interviews innovators and entrepreneurs on the next big thing in healthcare.

0:18 LeAnna J. Carey

Welcome to the Health Maven on blog talk radio. We are live today with co-host, Drew Marshall, the founder and principal of Primed Associates where his focus is on helping client's innovation, product development and building project management teams. He is one of the moderators of a highly regarded in a chat on Twitter and a member of the Innovation Excellence Community. Today, Jason Gorevic is on the hot seat and our very special guest. He is the CEO of Teladoc. He is an extremely prominent healthcare business executive. Before joining Teladoc, Jason worked in various capacities at WellPoint including senior vice president and chief marketing and product officer where he was responsible for their growth strategy. Today our format is a little bit different. Drew and I are going to double team Jason. Trust me, he is a very much after the task. Listeners, please dial in to 424-675-6839. We invite you to put Jason on the hot seat as well. So, welcome to both of you.

1:27 Drew Marshall

Thanks Lea.

1:29 Jason Gorevic

Thanks Lea. Great to be here.

1:31 LeAnna J. Carey

Alright, why don't we jump right in. Jason, you and I have spoken before and I am incredibly impressed with your success journey in healthcare innovation. Who would you say is your most significant business influence?

1:49 Jason Gorevic

You know it's always hard to pick one person out of a four career. My actually influence is start with my parents. I was fortunate to have entrepreneurial parents who, business was part of their lives regardless of what it was or what stage of their careers they were in, and so I was fortunate to always be exposed to that and once I got in to healthcare I had some really phenomenal mentors along the way. I was very fortunate to end up at Oxford Health Plans in the early 90s when it was really reshaping managed care in the Northeast and working with people like Dave Snow and Steve Wiggins and then, again later ended up with some great mentors at Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield and at WellPoint. So, it was a fortunate thing and for me I have always said the opportunity to sort of expand what I could do and what I have the opportunity to do and that's really because I have great people around me giving me those opportunities.

3:01 LeAnna J. Carey

That's excellent. Thank you.

3:06 Drew Marshall

Jason one of the things that strikes me as I look at the team that you pulled together tell about is that in start-up sending in businesses in general, the quality of the team is almost a guarantee of the kind of success that you're going to have over time. Can you share with us what you looked forward to build a team that's going to build that culture of success and innovation going forward?

3:34 Jason Gorevic

Yeah sure. Drew I can agree with you more. The people and the management team are really what creates the success of the especially early and mid-staged companies and I've been really humbled and fortunate to have assembled just a team that I respect immensely and comes from deep, deep backgrounds of all different segments of the healthcare space. I have a few things I tell my team and they would laugh to hear me say it because I think I've said it in every single interview I have ever done. I have really one requirement for my management team and it's that they all act like adults. You can have a team of people who can work together like adults, who take responsibility for their actions and have ambitions of creating things and needing for impact on their environment. So, that's a little bit of a mantra for me. Beyond that, I really focus on intellectual curiosity. People who strive for something may be that others can even envision and a commitment to excellence. So, for me those are table stakes. Integrity is obviously table stakes for me and then chemistry and culture is really, really important.

5:16 LeAnna J. Carey

Well, I think innovation lends itself to the intellectual curiosity. Don't you think?

5:23 Jason Gorevic

Yeah, there's no question. The people who tend to be the most intellectually curious are those who can envision a new dimension or a new way of tackling something that others may not even really realize there's a problem.

5:43 LeAnna J. Carey

Well, __5.44___ competitive advantage prospective in healthcare. What would you say are some of the biggest challenges for large companies to create innovation or culture of innovation or just to keep ahead of the market?

6:06 Jason Gorevic

I send a little blast on this when I say things like this, but I find that a lot of really large companies and you asked specifically the large companies, but they spend so much time and really focused on the mechanics of how they run their business and how they organize that they lose sight of the outside market and I think once you lose sight of the outside market it's really hard to innovate. I'm a huge fan of process redesign and process engineering and efficiency. Those are critical components of running a large company but they don't necessarily lend themselves dramatically to market changing innovation and they really have to pay attention to consumers and what the consumer is looking for and understand the business challenges of all the different constituents and this is especially true in healthcare. In order to really figure out how to create innovation that has a meaningful impact and I've seen many times the large companies just, you know there's the saying that they cannot get out of their own way and it's not universally true, it's certainly there are exceptions that are notable and incredibly successful, but many times they can't get out of their own way because they're always sort of starting up their own bully bunch.

7:34 LeAnna J. Carey

I'm gonna close that.

7:38 Drew Marshall

So, is that along those mindsets and it sounds like one of the things that you're also keeping top of mind for your leadership team as you build this new company, Teladoc, is that you're trying to keep them focused on the external marketplace and the consumer needs. One of the things I've noticed about your business model if you've gone after a very specific unmet need in the healthcare environment. So, as you've gone out to build this company, what are some of the other unmet needs that you see healthcare consumers shouting out for needing somebody to come along and innovate in that space?

8:20 Jason Gorevic

Yeah. I think I appreciate your saying that we have tried to stay at Teladoc, to stay really focused. It's one of the biggest challenges that an entrepreneurial company, a developing company has is to stay focused. It's easy to get spread too thin and try to tackle too many things at once and so that's one of the things that I sometimes coach new entrepreneurs or younger executives on, but specifically in the healthcare sector and this is related the first one I guess is very much related to what we do. The primary care system is really broken, it's under funded. The economic model is a disaster. All the incentives are wrong and it is really, really shortchanging the consumer. There's not enough supply to meet the demand, meaning supply of quality physicians, who have the time to educate their patients and it doesn't meet the demand of the consumer who is really -- the primary care physician and the patient-centered medical home, if we can never get there should be the hub of that patient's interaction of the healthcare system but it's just, it just doesn't work, so I think there is a huge opportunity there. And a related component of it is the really girth of a guide and the ability for clinicians to guide the chronically ill patients through the system. My father was recently diagnosed and he is going through chemotherapy for colon cancer and I'm fortunate because I am very close to the healthcare system and therefore have people who can direct me to these physicians, who provide the best care and he's had a phenomenal surgeon and a phenomenal oncologist and the common thread among the two of those is not only are they great doctors but they take an incredible amount of time to educate him on what's going on and help him with all of the complications that arise from his condition and get him to the related physicians in other specialties but really act as hope for his care. This is a model, as having this discussion with Venture Capitals recently, this is a model for a huge opportunity in business and to really innovate and revolutionize the healthcare system. But it's also incredibly difficult to monetize and it's even more difficult to do on a mass scale across the healthcare system. So I think somebody who can figure out how to do that very large scale will have a huge opportunity in front of them.

11:41 Drew Marshall

Taking the holistic approach and the team-based approach that makes the patient a part of their own care and keeping them informed and in control of the decision making so that they become the hub of the healthcare experience rather than another party and you can pick anyone in terms of the health providers or the insurance companies or any number of different people who become the focus other than the patient in question, interesting.

12:14 Jason Gorevic

That's exactly right. And the really difficult thing is doing that on a scalable model. There have been a few very successful patients under medical home initiatives but they are small and nobody has yet figured out whether that can be scaled on a mass market level.

12:39 LeAnna J. Carey

You know what strikes me about this conversation, first of all is, Jason please consider running for senator of your state.

12:48 Jason Gorevic

(Laughing) I can't resist.

12:51 LeAnna J. Carey

You seem to unravel things so simply, but I think that's what makes you this big CEO, this big thinker. So can you share a little bit about the business model, about the Teladoc business model? I'm very curious about this.

13:07 Jason Gorevic

Yeah. Teladoc is a very straightforward business model as I have to admit, you went through a little bit of my background at the outset so I'm a recovering health plan executive. It's one of the...

13:25 Drew Marshall

Is there a program for that, Jason?

13:27 Jason Gorevic

Yes there is (Crosstalk)

13:28 LeAnna J. Carey

20 steps.

13:30 Jason Gorevic

More than 12 steps. You know, so I used to go to parties and people would ask me what I would do and either throw a drink in my face or throw a roll at me or something like that. And now I told them what I do and first the nicest thing is that they understand me usually in about 30 seconds to a minute and the other nice thing is the next question is how can I get that? So Teladoc is fundamentally 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week access to a physician no matter where you are, anywhere in the country and we provide that access via phone or web-based video conference and the most common call that we get is "I woke up this morning, I wasn't feeling well, I called my doctor" and my doctor said "Yes, you'd probably need to be seen but we don't have an appointment available until next Tuesday." But that doesn't work for me so I need to talk to a doctor now about my emerging sinus infections, my flu symptoms, the urinary tract infection, the pink eye, whatever the common ailment is. And so our job is to find a doctor for that patient and we do that usually within about 20 minutes. So from the time a patient asks for a consultation with a doctor, they are speaking with a board certified physician who is licensed in the state where they are usually within 20 minutes. So it is remarkable that when you do something that's intuitive and really meets patient needs, the power that you can get out of that and so...

15:29 Jason Gorevic

Well, I used to get hate mail, as a health plan executive, I now get a fan mail from our customers. We've recently launched a new product that takes the exact same model using the same technology, electronic health records and queing technology, the same video platform and things like that and instead of focusing it on providing patients with access through their health plan or through their employer, we've spun it around and we've said you know, we can really help physician's offices by not only giving them this technology but also wrapping our national network of physicians around their practice so that no matter what time of day it is, they always have a covering physician who is there for their patients and this really gets through to the point that we were making about having a scalable patient-centered medical home that can always be there for their patients. And so our new product called TeladocConnect gives a physician's office the ability to be always available for their patients whether it's the physician themselves and we give them the first opportunity to respond to their patients' needs or our network of physicians who is always there as sort of a safety net for any time if that physician is not available.

17:09 Drew Marshall

Interesting. That sounds like a really interesting extension of the Teladoc brand. Are you selling or packaging the services for practices so that they can brand them as their own and it's a service that they provide under their own label so to speak? Or is Teladoc essentially becoming their online business partner?

17:32 Jason Gorevic

We do it both ways.

17:33 Drew Marshall

Okay.

17:34 Jason Gorevic

So generally for smaller practice, we become their business partner so it's under our brand that we facilitate all of their communications with their patients and provide them with all the technology and then we also are going to large health systems to do it under their brand so that we can provide the service for their entire network of your own though affiliated physician practices.

18:10 Drew Marshall

Fantastic, great. I guess this brings to mind a pretty clear question for me. It sounds like given your signs, you've developed this great infrastructure that is direct to consumer so to speak, the healthcare consumer, but now with this new model, it sounds like you've actually - you're stepping into a range of new service offerings. Do you have a product pipeline or a service pipeline that you're developing, and if so, how deep is it? How far are you looking out?

18:43 Jason Gorevic

You know, we do, we have a pretty well-developed product road map and it goes out probably two years with __18:56__ dates and specifications and then it's more of a strategic framework beyond that. So some examples are, we'll launch a mobile platform next month, which enables both the physician and the patient to interact by video directly from their iPhone or from their iPad to video consultations directly from that device. So that's an example of an extension of our capabilities that will really open up additional utilization of our service, new ways to interact using new technologies. We're also looking at extending beyond. Today, we really focus on primary care so we work with internists and family practitioners, pediatricians, emergency physicians. So we're looking at extending into some other specialties, I think probably, dermatology and behavioral health will be the next two both examples of services that are very well. There is well worn past of success in doing remote TeleMedicine or TeleHealth efforts in those areas, but they haven't necessarily been built into a scalable model. They also happen to be specialties that have low, they have access problems. They desire enough providers for the demand. So we will -- you will see us extending there and then the last thing is we're working now on some efforts to partner with some health systems to do some offerings to direct the consumer in partnership with the health system really doing some work to co-branch so that we take the best parts of each organizations brands and bring our technology to bear with their clinical infrastructure. So I think there's gonna be a lot of opportunity there.

21:16 LeAnna J. Carey

So gentlemen our phone lines are actually lighting up, so are we ready to start with caller number one?

21:24 Drew Marshall

Sure.

21:26 LeAnna J. Carey

Sure, caller number one. Can you please state your name, and your company, and the question that you would like to ask Jason and/or Drew and please feel free to comment as well?

21:40 Dennis Salinas

Hi everyone, Drew, Lea, Jason, Dennis Salinas of VioSearch, talent acquisition consultant. Interestingly, I think we all know that social media has created literally on standard access for companies to be engaging employees and top performers of their competitors. With that in mind, Jason, what advice would you give to firms to remain innovated and to remain competitive on how to better onboard new highers, how do make them feel welcome in your firm and most importantly how do you retain your top performers and prevent them from going to your competitors?

22:24 Jason Gorevic

It's a great question. So for me, there are two components of on boarding that are really critical. There is the knowledge and skills component and then there is the cultural component. I think generally companies focus on the knowledge and skills component and frequently they forget about the cultural component and so for us we spend as much time as we can on a cultural component because the cultural on boarding process really is determinant of how quickly they become a part of the fabric of the organization and without that I found in my history that you run the risk of in spite of the fact they may have the skills and knowledge, they may not be successful. So we really focus a lot of time and effort there. I try really hard to build and open an informal culture that you know we are still, we have the good fortune of being a small company and so it's important to maintain that feel even as we get much bigger and then in terms of retention of talent, you know I believe just from my ushering prospective very much in painting a strategic vision and making sure that everyone buys into the strategic vision, but also understands their role in achieving that strategic vision and you know my best thing about retaining -- my best advice about retaining talent is making people really understand the role that they can play and the company's overall success in helping them to be successful and in carrying that out.

24:32 Jason Gorevic

The people who are most loyal are the people who are continually challenged, engaged and feeling successful about the work that they are doing and then everything else sort of falls out of that you know compensation and equity and the ownership and the company are all components of it, but if somebody does not feel like they are fulfilled with their job, then they are, you're not gonna retain them no matter what you pay them.

25:02 LeAnna J. Carey

That's excellent and Dennis how can our listeners follow you as well.

25:08 Dennis Salinas

Well, I have a link and profile Dennis Salinas. My website viosearch.com, V-I-O-S-E-A-R-C-H, and I look forward to hearing from everyone out there.

25:22 LeAnna J. Carey

Yes, yes. Please stay online too. We would like you to stay on and give more insight. We do have a second caller. Dr. Virginia Gurley out of Boulder, Colorado and Dr. Gurley, can you let us know who you are with and your question for Jason and/or Drew. Dr. Gurley? Okay looks like we might have lost her.

25:48 Dr. Virginia Gurley

Yup. Here I am, sorry.

25:49 LeAnna J. Carey

Okay. Good. Alright there you go.

25:51 Dr. Virginia Gurley

I'm caught in the delay. Thanks Lea and thanks for us giving this call today. My question relates to something that you mentioned at the beginning of the show, Jason, about the misalignment of incentive in primary care and I think in healthcare in general with fee for service or with the way that the rewards has to be set up for everyone who participates in patient care. There doesn't seem to be any real reward for the outcome, the quality of the outcome and I'm wondering if you have any vision within Teladoc's business models for being able to address that or any thought in general about how we can start working on this problem of misalignment of incentives within patient care and healthcare and the system.

26:46 LeAnna J. Carey

And Jason just let me interject that we have a two-minute warning now. This time has gone very quickly.

26:54 Jason Gorevic

Sure I will be as brief as I can with the very complicated question. Virginia, thanks for asking that. You are absolutely right. There is a lack of payment for outcomes. There is too much payment for activity and services, which really is the wrong set of incentives that incentives is in sense doing things rather than achieving things and we actually when we work with our clients generally on the health plan and employer side, we put parts of our fees at risk for improving the care that the patients receive and for reducing the overall cost of care by eliminating the unnecessary visit to the emergency department and by getting people to the emergency room who really need to be there, because they are having you know some sort of a more serious situation then they thought. So we put parts of our fees at risk specifically focused on outcomes and results and you know I think that's generally that we will see the market move in that direction as we move towards the kind of a care organization and more risk sharing arrangements. I think there are a whole host of complications with that, but there is a significant shift towards looking at those kinds of arrangement.

28:35 LeAnna J. Carey

Well, thank you. Thank you very much, Dennis and Dr. Gurley, thank you for calling in and I also want to thank our co-host Drew Marshall and Drew, can you let everyone know how to follow you?

28:49 Drew Marshall

Yes, Lea. Thank you so much for inviting me to participate today. It's been really in informative. I am on Twitter at DrewCM and you can read all about me and the work I do at thinkprimed.com and I look forward to hearing from you in the future.

29:13 LeAnna J. Carey

And you can follow Teladoc on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube they are on as Teladoc. And Jason I can't thank you enough for your insight, but also being part of healthcare transformation to innovations. Thank you very much.

29:29 Jason Gorevic

Thanks Lea. Thanks Drew. It's a pleasure and I look forward to following up.

29:34 LeAnna J. Carey

And have a great weekend to all of our listeners and thank you for joining.

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