Software firm Patientco expands in Buckhead, GA … will add up to 100 jobs
By Urvaksh Karkaria Staff Writer Atlanta Business Chronicle
JULY 22, 2015 – Atlanta-based health care payments software firm Patientco is expanding in Buckhead, with plans to add up to 100 jobs over the next several months.
Patientco signed a 26,000 square foot lease, or a full floor, at Terminus 200 where it will more than triple its workforce in the next 18 months. The company is part of a wave of tech firms, including Amazon and CareerBuilder.com, relocating in Buckhead — once a financial and real estate office hub.
Patientco’s software makes it easier for patients to understand and pay for their health care expenses, so they are likely to pay their health care providers faster.
The primary reason health care providers don’t get paid on time is patients don’t understand what they’re paying for, CEO Bird Blitch said. More than 80 percent of payments received through Patientco are made-in-full payments, compared to about 33 percent without Patientco.
Patientco’s software also handles payment management for health care providers, giving them a single platform to manage every payment that is processed at any point in the health system.
Patientco is a consumer payments company for health care, said Mark Buffington an Atlanta investor familiar with the company. Patientco connects the disparate software platforms that doctors and hospitals use that don’t talk to one another.
“It’s a win-win deal,” Buffington said. “The hospital is happy with the increase in payments due to improved understanding by consumers, and the patient is happy because they gain a clear understanding of the large number of bills that result from a visit to the hospital.”
The software-as-a-service allows health care providers to offer discounts to encourage patients to pay faster. For instance, a hospital can offer a 10 percent discount to the patient and get paid within 30 days, rather than have to pay 30 percent to a collection agency and get paid on day 150, Blitch said.
“We’re a First Data for health care,” Blitch said. “We’re a payments company focused on the health care vertical.”
Patientco gets paid two ways — a fee based on the number of online medical statements the company sends out; and a percentage of payment transactions.
Patientco is chasing a big market, estimated to be about $4 billion annually. The company has about 250 clients and is focused primarily on hospital systems and hospital owned physician groups.
These customers handle large amounts of payments from patients and for whom revenue cycle management software is a need-to-have r ather than a nice-to-have, Blitch said.
Patientco has raised $3.75 million from BlueCross BlueShield Venture Partners LLC and Chicago-based Sandbox Industries.
While Blitch declined to disclose revenues, he said sales have doubled in the past year.
Healthcare reform, and the rapid adoption of high-deductible health insurance plans have put the patient on the hook for a greater share of the health care bill.
Five years ago, patient payments accounted for about 5 percent of revenue for a typical hospital, Blitch said. Today, it accounts for 20 percent-to-33 percent of revenues.
“One of the fastest growing revenue sources for hospitals and health care systems is the patient responsibility portion,” Blitch said. “Hospitals are having a hard time managing to that shift.”
Sandwiched between the Gen Y-rich intown neighborhoods and the northern suburbs, Buckhead offers a prime location for tech companies. Buckhead’s vibrant retail and restaurant culture is catnip for the 20-something set, who are the lifeblood of tech companies.
On July 15, Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported CareerBuilder’s plans to put a 30,000 square foot sales office at Two Live Oak. In April, Amazon landed a 20,000 square foot lease at Terminus 200.
Earlier this year, Salesforce began an expansion of its Buckhead office that will create about 300 jobs. Last summer, Silicon Valley-based marketing automation firm Marketo opened an East Coast hub in Buckhead that will grow to 200 jobs over the next few years.
Patientco will hire software developers, account managers, and sales and marketing employees.