CEO, HealthFusion

In Seth's Words

When I was a teenager I took a summer job in a factory in Long Island City, Queens, New York. The factory was a “simple” bus and subway ride from my home in Bayside, Queens. Rain or shine, working men in my neighborhood used the public transportation system to trek to their place of employment. In fact, my dad took a bus and two trains to commute to the World Trade Center for decades. But New York was experiencing record heat waves that summer and, after three weeks of sweaty, crowded commutes to that factory, I sought advice from my mom. I asked: “Is there a job I can get when I grow up that doesn’t involve commuting?” What a setup! She pounced at the opportunity. “So, Seth Flam, you’ll be a doctor.”

My path was forged … or was it?

Fast-forward to making it through medical school and residency; I am in practice in sunny San Diego.  I left the subway and humidity behind, but also great pizza and bagels.

Practicing physicians must reach their frustration with the healthcare bureaucracy almost daily. That frustration can sometimes lead to an “ah ha” moment – and it did for me. I reached my boiling point one day with the eligibility verification system that the payers had put in place. Our billing team advised that our staff should verify eligibility for patients that were scheduled the next day. One afternoon I watched as our staff called the plans to perform verification. They would wait on hold for several minutes, then when they finally got through they would verify two patients and then hang up. To my surprise they would call the same payer again, wait on hold and then verify two more patients. Yes, the health plans had a limit on how many patients could be verified during a single phone call. There had to be a better way.

Fast-forward to the rise of the internet.

I quickly became interested in how Internet-based computing (now called Cloud Computing) could relieve some of the frustrations of day-to-day practice. I loved caring for patients but I thought about the impact I could have if I also made the lives of their physicians a little better. Our first mission: Help to solve the eligibility verification issue. We formed the HealthFusion team and resolving eligibility was only the beginning. We moved on from cloud-based eligibility transactions to building the world-class MediTouch Practice Management and EHR system. Our team has accomplished so much, but technology innovation in health care is still in its infancy. Each day I wake up excited to continue to meet the challenge of inventing new ways to simplify the practice of medicine.

Healthcare is getting more and more complex, and while I no longer practice, I identify with practicing physicians. My mission is to work with the HealthFusion team to continue to invent software that can simplify the practice of medicine.