Health Tech: Hadi Chaudhry On How CareCloud’s Technology Can Make An Important Impact On Our…

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Health Tech: Hadi Chaudhry On How CareCloud’s Technology Can Make An Important Impact On Our Overall Wellness

Delivery is the next cog in the wheel. The greatest product on earth will help little if people don’t know it exists. Communicating how our solutions help providers solve their challenges is such an important aspect of our business model. It comes in a variety of traditional forms, but also comes from sharing perspectives, like we are doing today.

In recent years, Big Tech has gotten a bad rep. But of course many tech companies are doing important work making monumental positive changes to society, health, and the environment. To highlight these, we started a new interview series about “Technology Making An Important Positive Social Impact.” We are interviewing leaders of tech companies who are creating or have created a tech product that is helping to make a positive change in people’s lives or the environment. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Hadi Chaudhry, CEO of CareCloud.

Many tech companies are doing really important work, making monumental positive changes to society’s collective wellness and health. We would like to feature and interview leaders of tech companies who are creating or have created a tech product that is helping to make a positive change in people’s health or wellness. The tech can be software, apps, robotics, consumer electronics, (or similar technology).

A. Hadi Chaudhry, CEO and President, joined CareCloud in October 2002 as Manager of IT, and later served as General Manager and Chief Information Officer through his appointment as Vice President of Global Operations in October 2016 and President in 2018. Today, he serves as CareCloud’s CEO and President. Mr. Chaudhry has extensive healthcare IT experience and served in various roles in the banking and IT sector prior to joining CareCloud. Mr. Chaudhry received his BS in Mathematics and Statistics and holds numerous information technology certifications.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory and how you grew up?

Thank you for the opportunity to share. I was born in Pakistan and completed my education there. At university, I earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Statistics, then embarked on a course of study to become a chartered accountant, which is similar to a CPA in the U.S. As I progressed down that path, I discovered an interest in the field of computer science. So, midway through, I switched to a computer science program and at the same time took a job at an IT university in Pakistan. I was able to combine those backgrounds by later taking a job with a financial institution prior to joining CareCloud, then named MTBC.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Yes, I’m very fortunate to work closely with my mentor, Mahmud Haq, who is the founder and chairman of CareCloud. He was the one who believed and supported me in transitioning from the pure computer science role I previously held into the business management role I now hold with CareCloud. When I think of the influence he’s had on my career, I see how he has pushed me to challenge the status quo and to move away from my safety net to take risks focused toward a specific goal.

These are qualities that he not only encourages in me and others, but that he also demonstrates in his own career. One example that stands out in my mind is when CareCloud was going public back in 2007. We were a relatively small company, with revenue around $10M. We had strong reasons for wanting to be a public company, and we believed in what we were doing. But because of our size, many people with whom we spoke, including bankers, weren’t convinced. Mahmud managed to not only pull off a successful IPO, but to keep our entire team engaged and supportive despite the headwinds we faced. In the end, it was right path forward as it provided a platform to fulfill our mission in bigger ways.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

One quote that has significance when I look at my life is, “Excellence is what we strive for; perfection is God’s business.” I think in today’s rapidly evolving and competitive world, we always have to keep moving forward, doing the best of which we are capable as we progress. If we wait until we’ve reached perfection to take the next step, we’ll be left behind. As we keep moving forward, while striving for excellence, success will keep coming to us.

You are a successful business leader. Which character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

The fundamental character traits of integrity, honesty, being a hard worker, having vision and commitment are critical for any situation. Those are foundational to any type of success. Beyond that, I can emphasize two qualities I find to be really important:

  • Be persistent. Regardless of what failures or setbacks you may encounter along the way, be sure to keep your vision and stay focused. Eventually you will find a way and succeed.
  • Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. I’ve learned most of what I know in life this way. The key is to quickly accept that you’ve made a mistake and try not to repeat it. This is so critical because if you are afraid of making mistakes, you won’t have the freedom to make big moves; you’ll be paralyzed by fear. Think boldly, and you will succeed.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about the tech tools that you are helping to create that can make a positive impact on our wellness. To begin, which particular problems are you aiming to solve?

As a company, our goal is to enable the business of healthcare by providing a comprehensive suite of integrated business solutions, so that providers can stay focused on caring for patients rather than solving business challenges. For many medical practices, regardless of their size, there are so many administrative, regulatory and technical burdens, including staffing, selecting, deploying, and maintaining software. Our solutions are designed to address most of these challenges, which today include electronic health record systems, practice management, patient engagement, revenue cycle management, and robotic process automation.

To give you an example, CareCloud Wellness aims to address chronic care needs of the healthcare industry. Most of the U.S. healthcare system today operates on a fee-for-service model, whereby providers treat a patient and then are paid for that treatment. Among many other initiatives, the government has focused on moving toward a pay-for-performance model, meaning providers are paid based on how well they treat each patient or how much the lives of patients have been improved through the treatment and management of their health conditions. This represents a shift from the way our healthcare system has historically operated because it makes the provider responsible for the wellbeing of the patient.

The government has been gradually transitioning toward that objective. Several years ago, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) initiated a chronic care management program, the Merit-based Incentive Program known as MIPS, targeting patients who are simultaneously managing two or more chronic conditions. This work involves motivating patients to be consistent with therapy and interventions to help achieve a lasting, reasonable quality of life while reducing the hospital burden for these diseases. The program incentivizes and motivates providers to engage with patients to the maximum level and helps them keep up their diagnostic and prognostic evaluations.

The program is good because it centers around better care for patients and incentivizes providers for providing that extra care. However, participating in the program entails additional time to engage with patients, to enact the care and also involves a fair amount of administrative work. That’s where technology such as CareCloud Wellness can help — it supports chronic care management through automation to alleviate administrative burden on staff.

How do you think your technology can address this?

CareCloud Wellness is one product in our portfolio that addresses this situation specifically. It consists of technology that identifies and tracks patient activities, manages care plans, captures payer information for reimbursement, verifies eligibility and more. It also provides patients with access to a group of care managers, who can identify chronic care conditions, call patients monthly, follow-up with patients, update care plans, and schedule appointments, which relieves providers and staff of costly and timely administrative burdens. Another piece is revenue cycle management activities, whereby staff ensure that providers are reimbursed at correct and appropriate levels. So, our solution is a hybrid technology, software and staffing that enables better patient care and more revenue for providers.

We have a range of other products that focus on different aspects of patient care. For example, we have telehealth solutions that can integrate with existing electronic health record systems and patient portals. This integration makes it easier for patients to connect with providers and for providers to connect with patients. Other CareCloud solutions make it easier for providers to offer appropriate staffing for engaging with patients to make sure they understand how to take their medicines or are following appropriate regimens. The aim for all our products is to streamline administrative burdens so that providers are more available for patient interaction.

Can you tell us the backstory about what inspired you to originally feel passionate about this cause?

The healthcare industry has undergone a significant transformation over the past 20 years. In thinking back, healthcare providers had racks and racks of paper records that staff had to pull for each patient’s appointment and use to hand document notes. When patients received prescriptions, they were on a piece of paper they had to drop off at the pharmacy. Now, most providers are using some sort of electronic health record and prescriptions are sent directly to the pharmacy of your choice with no need to drop it off then come back for pick up. This has been the first phase of the transformation of the industry.

The second phase of healthcare transformation will take us even further. We are in the beginning stages where the industry is working to make virtual care, or the ability to engage with telehealth, more widespread for patients and providers. We are going to see preventive care from a population health perspective, with a shift toward pay-for-performance and other real transformations as commonplace. There are so many things in the works that will become everyday reality over the next 20 years that will impact our health and the way we receive (or provide) care. It’s an incredible time to be in this field, and I’m thrilled to be part of the transformation. That’s what keeps me passionate.

How do you think this might change the world?

Put simply, the relentless focus to improve the delivery of healthcare helps drive two monumental outcomes. It ultimately allows us to live healthier, happier lives and it allows us to expand care where it couldn’t be provided in the past.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

To be fair, in those cases, I think you are referencing an extreme of technology, whereas with our company, we are working with helpful technologies that operate in the carefully regulated area of healthcare. Our technologies are not complicated or fiction-based. We have been in the market in some shape or form for the last 20 years. Since we launched our first product in 2002, our offering has evolved. More pieces have been added. On one side, we have focused on removing administrative burdens for providers so they can focus more on patients. On the other side, we have focused on making healthcare more convenient for patients, such as with portal or telehealth systems.

It’s really hard to see unintended consequences of our software of the sort you might find in science fiction. The unintended consequences that are possible track with the risks of running any healthcare practice, whether that practice is accessing solutions such as ours or managing all of the work in-house. As far as I see it, we are offering an added advantage to the current situation.

Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, can you please share “Five things you need to know to successfully create technology that can make a positive social impact”? (Please share a story or an example, for each.)

The fundamentals for developing technology are not unlike many other products and services that exist today. While this may seem like a general formula, the truth of the matter is this is a relentless quest for most companies to do it well. It certainly is on the mind of every CEO out there.

It starts with clearly understanding the pain points that exist in the industry. We focus on developing products that healthcare needs and is asking for, not what development thinks they need. Our global workforce enables us to scale our resources on-demand. This flexibility not only helps us react quickly, but allows us to tap into critical skillsets no matter where they are located.

Delivery is the next cog in the wheel. The greatest product on earth will help little if people don’t know it exists. Communicating how our solutions help providers solve their challenges is such an important aspect of our business model. It comes in a variety of traditional forms, but also comes from sharing perspectives, like we are doing today.

I can’t say enough about implementation and support. When we put ourselves in our customer’s shoes, it’s easy to see their unique needs and goals. We must help them get there by creating a seamless transition that allows them to get up and running quickly with the latest technology. Finally, we need circular learning. We learn from each engagement and utilize that knowledge to continuously optimize this process.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

I’d really circle back to a theme from earlier in the interview: do not be afraid of making mistakes. Keep moving forward, acknowledging where you’ve made mistakes, fixing and correcting them, then pressing on toward bigger goals. I think that mindset is really necessary today. Even if you make 10 mistakes, keep learning, keep going on.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I would love to have a private meeting with Elon Musk. He is never afraid of going against the odds toward goals that, on the surface, really look like they have a small probability of success. He has failed many times, but he never stops moving toward his goals. His goals are big — outsized, you might say — and they have a huge impact on humanity. When he created Tesla, he really was going against the odds. The idea of a company focused on electrifying cars seemed unlikely at best. Now he’s sharing ideas about AI and finding life on Mars — he just thinks at a completely different level.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

You can always find what we’re up to at CareCloud by visiting our website. You can also find my profile on LinkedIn. I’d love to connect!

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success in your important work.

Health Tech: Hadi Chaudhry On How CareCloud’s Technology Can Make An Important Impact On Our… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.