It is practically impossible to avoid news of the battle going on in Washington, DC over the future of healthcare. If there is one area of consensus, all parties seem to agree that the high cost of healthcare needs to be addressed. MediTract, Inc. has found one way to do just that—better technological oversight of contract management. Having been in business since 2000, the company has a small corporate office in Saddle Brook, NJ; its main operations center is in Chattanooga, Tenn., and the company’s national sales force works independently.
Two years ago, MediTract recapitalized through investments made by Tudor Ventures and GE Healthcare Financial Services.
MediTract now touches about 1,400 hospitals—roughly 25% of the non-government-owned acute care hospitals in the US. That doesn’t include the number of its customers’ satellite facilities where the company’s technology is used, which amounts to more than 5,550 additional sites that include clinics, medical groups, foundations, long term care facilities, outpatient services, and medical office buildings. Its user base equals more than 70,000 users who hit their contract databases at a rate of about 100 million times per year and growing. Currently, MediTract is in various stages of implementing its system at approximately 125 hospitals and healthcare facilities.
The company’s TractManager solution helps hospitals and healthcare facilities manage all of their contracts, everything from physician services, finance, research and information systems to legal, payor contracting, real estate, risk management, and supply chain. The solution can be customized to suit the needs of hospitals, healthcare systems, and payors of all sizes. No other company provides this type of hosted contract management solution to this scale of hospital and health system customers.
President and COO Scott Jeffery said MediTract separates itself from the marketplace through its multifaceted strategic outlook. The most important part is the backbone of its business model—complete product implementation on MediTract’s own nickel using its patented process. Once a customer comes aboard, the obligation to cover the cost of the implementation falls on MediTract. Its customers pay a monthly subscription fee once the contract management solution implementation has been completed.
“For the vast majority of our customers, that includes converting all of their contracts and related hard documents and files into electronic files,” said Jeffery. “We send people to our customers’ sites to take care of the conversion and scanning process, and they go back for training. Customers don’t have to write us a big check upfront or pay our expenses associated with traveling to their sites. They get to see the finished product before they get their first monthly invoice.”
The second aspect revolves around the notion of turnkey service. MediTract provides consultative advice, delivers the finished product, and conducts user training, and the company is also responsible for database hosting and help desk support. The burden of service delivery is always on MediTract, including user support after implementation.
And the company’s team is wise enough to know that it can’t be all things for all people. It specifically chose to focus on the hospital and health system market and took the time to become familiar with the market’s nuances. By understanding everything from how its customers handle contract management on the front end when contract documents are created all the way through relationship management on the part of the contracted party, MediTract has been able to integrate more aspects of what matters to its customers into its software.
MediTract continuously looks to improve its application with a lot of customer input, particularly on the compliance management side. The company also includes enhancements to its application at no cost. Unlike having to pay for upgrades to something like a Microsoft operating system, new upgrades and enhancements are included in the service arrangement. All of these factors combine to give customers a set of solutions that has a positive impact on efficiency and the bottom line.
“Not only do our customers see the organizational effectiveness that comes from having a controlled database like this, they realize a hard return on investment,” Jeffery said. “They stop paying on expired contracts, consolidate contracts for operations, and improve the access and controls on contract processes and documents. They can operationalize compliance programs and manage them, which makes them consistently compliant with regulations. These things have made our solutions appealing.”
To help manage customer relationships, MediTract has a client retention group within its client service group. Their role its to be responsive through help-desk services, receive feedback from customers, and stay close to the end users working with the solution.
“We get suggestions on improving, enhancing, and developing our solution, and those often become the next projects for our inhouse technical group to improve the application,” said Jeffery.
MediTract also has a long relationship with Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA) and American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA), sponsoring some of their activities and as a vendor at many national and regional conferences. Jeffery said those relationships expose the company to everything from regulatory requirements to best practices, which helps with developing functionality features and new releases of its application. In fact, the company is about to launch TractManager 4.0, the latest release of its solution.
“We are in the middle of testing a huge rewrite and upgrading all of our customers’ databases. The new solution will come with even more of what our customers’ wish lists for enhancements are,” said Jeffery, noting the biggest additional function is the integration with the Microsoft Office product suite. “The project has been in planning for the last two years, and we’ve spent a lot of 2009 in the development of much of the new functionality.”
In a time where financial resources are at a premium, especially for healthcare companies, MediTract is well aware of the fact that its technological expertise is only as good as the value it provides to customers. Jeffery pointed out that MediTract doesn’t think of itself as a tech company. Rather, it is a service company that offers technological solutions. The key to the company’s future is to provide customers with maximum value per dollar spent, not only in the functionality of its technology but also with high touch customer service.
“Contracts represent a significant piece of expenditures in the provision of healthcare. There is no better way to get control of your business than to get control of the outflow of money,” said Thomas Rizk, CEO of MediTract. “We touch about one out of four hospitals in the country, and our ability to serve our clients well is reflected in our high customer retention of clients and the success we’ve had in helping them become more efficient.”