I’ve been watching the shutdown of CareSync a little closer than I do most healthcare IT startup companies. Partially because it happened so quickly and partially because I’m an advisor to CareCognitics which has a CCM (Chronic Care Management – 99490) offering as part of their suite of healthcare loyalty products. So, I’m totally biased in this situation.
With that said, I thought that CareCognitics captured my feelings about CareSync shutting down really well. Here’s an excerpt from their post:
For companies like ours that work in the Chronic Care Management (CCM) space, it was big news this week that CareSync was shutting down their offices and laying off employees. The details of why this happened aren’t clear, but it’s unfortunate that such a well-respected company is shutting down. Our hearts go out to all the employees that lost their jobs and we hope that many of their skills and expertise can find a home at CareCognitics. The work we are doing is too important to let that talent go to waste.
The most heartbreaking part of CareSync shutting down is all of the patients that will miss out on the special care they receive from the CCM program. We see such tremendous opportunity and success with chronic care management and so we hope that CareSync’s customers will continue their chronic care management efforts and possibly even find new opportunities to take them to an even greater level.
Read the full post for more details. Obviously, I think CareCognitics is a good home for CareSync users who are looking to continue their CCM efforts but want to do so in the EHR which they control and will always have access to in the event of issues.
It really is unfortunate that one of the biggest names in the CCM space shutdown. I hope that those that are part of the company will share their learnings with the rest of healthcare since managing chronic conditions is such an important thing for healthcare to become what it needs to become. I know a number of them are going around trying to share what they can with others and I’ve talked to a few myself.
While painful, the good news for CareSync users is that there are plenty of alternative CCM companies out there. It won’t be fun to switch companies, but there are CareSync alternatives. It also seems that the Tampa Bay tech community has rallied to help many of the CareSync employees. That’s a good thing even though I’m sure some will still have challenges ahead as they search for a new job.
Does all of this mean that healthcare organizations should stop working with startup companies?
Of course not. If you’ve ever bought a product from a big company, you know that big companies can shut products down just as easily (and in some cases more easily) than a startup company. However, you should be thoughtful about which startup companies you work with and keep in mind the risks associated with working with startups.
Here are some questions and thoughts you should consider as you buy a product from a startup company. What’s the track record of the founding team? Worry less about how much money they’ve raised and how efficiently they’re using that money. People are expensive and that impacts what those of us in the startup world call burn rate. How much money you’ve raised doesn’t matter if you have too high of a burn rate. The best startup companies learn how to balance this effectively. This is sometimes hard to understand from the outside, but is possible if you dig enough. It’s also one reason why 2nd time entrepreneurs are often more successful. They’ve learned how to manage their burn rate effectively.
Other questions you should consider is “What happens if this company shuts down?” It’s never a bad idea to have a backup plan if things go awry like they did at CareSync. This question is also best asked before selecting a vendor. As CareSync users evaluate new CCM companies, this is a great question to ask. The answer to the question may determine which company you get in bed with for your chronic care management efforts.
Outside partners are essential to a healthcare organizations success. It’s just impossible for a healthcare organization to do 100% of what they need to accomplish in house. This is especially true for larger healthcare organizations. So, finding the right partners needs to be a key part of your strategy. Make sure your strategy includes what will happen if you choose the wrong partner. However, the great thing is that if you choose the right partner, you’ll benefit as that partner grows and enhances what you’re doing over time.
As was mentioned in today’s #HITsm chat, “We’re not buying from a vendor; we’re marrying them.”