The national health care landscape is rapidly changing in the wake of the passing of the Affordable Care Act. Some companies have seen a window of opportunity for business, and one of those companies is Innovative Health Media.
Innovative Health Media was a member of the inaugural SparkLabKC Class of 2013. Chuck Smith, CEO and Founder, and David Wilson, Vice President and COO, saw an opportunity for improvement in the healthcare industry, so they took advantage.
The product Innovative Health Media developed during their time at SparkLabKC was the AWV™ System. All Medicare recipients are required to have an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV), which is free for patients, but physicians are paid more than triple the normal Medicare office visit rate. Essentially, the AWV™ System makes sure physicians get reimbursed correctly and efficiently.
Use of the AWV™ System is very simple. Physicians log into the cloud-based system and work their way through the template. It saves and prints all information for patient’s personal records. This document shows that they have fulfilled all the requirements of the visit. If all requirements are fulfilled, then the physician gets paid the correct amount.
The AWV™ gives power to patients by giving them access to their medical records at any time. The system is also great for physicians who are able to get fully reimbursed for their work.
Chuck has been a registered nurse for 19 years, so he’s no stranger to the healthcare world. I recently sat down with him to talk about the past, present, and future of Innovative Health Media.
The SparkLabKC Difference
When Innovative Health Media applied for the inaugural class of SparkLabKC they had been around since 2010 and were looking for help with marketing. Chuck believes that SparkLabKC saw the passion he had for his product when they accepted him into the accelerator program.
When Innovative Health Media started their time with SparkLabKC they were still in the electronic (beta) stage of the AWV™ System. While developing the electronic version of their product, Innovative Health Media took in as much mentoring and advice from fellow companies as they could. About a third of the way through SparkLabKC, they went live with the electronic version.
Meeting the Needs of the Patient
Chuck’s favorite memory with SparkLabKC was actually before the 90-day-sprint started, but after they had been accepted into the program. Al Eidson and Ace Wagner, two of the SparkLabKC founders, invited Chuck and David to the Bioscience and Technology Center at the University of Kansas. They met with Julie Goonewardene, President of KU Innovation and Collaboration and member of the Board of the American Medical Association.
The meeting with Julie was game changing for Innovative Health Media. Up to that point, the focus of Innovative Health Media had been on profit potential rather than on what the patients wanted. Julie expressed that Primary Care Doctors care about doing the right thing for patients over making money. With this new focus in mind, Innovative Health Media was able to better design their product to meet the patient’s need.
Chuck loved every part of Demo Day, including the lead up to the big presentation.
Not one to shy away from showing his passion for his product, Chuck loved the opportunity to get on stage at the National World War I Museum and talk about Innovative Health Media in front of hundreds of investors.
Seeing his SparkLabKC classmates present their products and ideas was very inspiring for Chuck as well. “I loved watching all the people that we had worked with from the last three months get up and present their vision and what their product is. It’s just really enjoyable!”, he said.
The Future of Innovative Health Media
Since graduating from SparkLabKC, the momentum has continued to grow for Innovative Health Media. Recently they were able to upgrade the e-AWV™ from version 1 to 1.5 through a grant from local entrepreneurship resource Digital Sandbox. They are currently designing version 2. They are also working with another provider to expand their product reach to clinics in the Southwestern region of the United States.
With a major expansion of products planned for the next few months, Innovative Health Media is also looking to get more business in even bigger ways. In September they will find out if they will receive a five-year grant from the Center for Disease Control.
Words of Wisdom
Chuck urges anyone with an idea that is coming into fruition to take advantage of an accelerator program like SparkLabKC. He says, “I think the benefits that you receive from going through a quick 90-day session on entrepreneurship will expand your horizons and jump start your company to reach places you thought you’d never go.”
SparkLabKC is very excited to see where Innovative Health Media will go. With passionate leadership and a desire to help patients and doctors navigate the constantly changing landscape of healthcare, we believe there are limitless possibilities to what Innovative Health Media can achieve.