eHealth Technologies, a provider of medical record retrieval and organization and image-enabled health information exchanges, has a new owner in Aldrich Capital Partners. Together with its Virginia-based investor—known for its ability to scale companies to become market leaders—eHealth expects to continue to develop health information technology offerings that support clinicians and improve patient experience and outcomes.
In the Beacon’s first installment of Four Questions, eHealth CEO Jeff Markin discusses the company’s future and its commitment to Rochester.
Q: Aldrich Capital has invested $41 million in eHealth. What does that mean for the company in terms of strategy? What do you expect to use the funds for?
A: Aldrich Capital Partners’ $41 million investment in eHealth Technologies secures majority ownership. In addition to ownership, there are funds to invest in the development of expanded products and services. ACP is known as the “entrepreneur behind the entrepreneur.” The firm partners with organizations that can scale their companies to be market leaders.
ACP sees the opportunity for growth based on the critical nature of our services, given the current interoperability gaps in health care, and our existing track record of growth and success over the past 10-plus years. ACP is well-connected in the health care space and talked to many of our customers and even non-customers to better understand how eHealth Technologies provides support in caring for their patients. The feedback ACP received was overwhelmingly positive—demonstrating not only the superior customer services we provide, but also the integral role we play in helping customers meet their business and patient care goals.
eHealth Technologies will be able to leverage the expertise that the ACP team has in the health IT space and its vast network of contacts in both clinical and non-clinical settings. This will give our organization the opportunity to tap into new markets and new contacts to grow our customer base and explore new service offerings. We will also be able to devote resources to developing new technologies that will increase efficiencies and streamline operations to better support our customers.
Q: Does this give Aldrich seats on the board? Who will represent Aldrich? Also, does their presence provide an opportunity for previous shareholders to get a return on their investment?
A: As a result of the transaction, a new board will be constituted under the direction of ACP. One hundred percent of equity and stock (including shares held by shareholders) was purchased by ACP.
(ACP’s founders are) well-rooted in the health IT industry with over $1 billion in technology investments since 1999, (so) the creation of a new board with ACP’s support will be extremely positive for the company. Not only will a new board be beneficial, but ACP’s principals are investors and operators who provide active support of their portfolio companies at the operational and business planning level.
While we will work in conjunction with the ACP team, eHealth Technologies will continue to be headquartered in West Henrietta, and the current leadership team will manage day-to-day operations under my leadership as CEO. Being able to stay in Western New York and support regional economic growth is very important to our company. The opportunity to work with the ACP team on strategic planning will be invaluable as we look to scale the growth of the company over the next several years.
My colleagues and I have come to know the ACP team well and admire their deep commitment to furthering innovation in health care and their strong desire to work with companies that have a culture that is steeped in ethics and responsibility and an energized and engaged workforce.
Q: eHealth employs nearly 300 people in Rochester and has an expansion under way. What does this investment mean in terms of employment?
A: Our company has experienced double-digit revenue growth each year over the last 10 years. Just five years ago, we had 100 employees; now we employ approximately 275 people in Monroe County. As our customer base and demand for services increases, so does our need to fill critical customer support specialist positions in our operations center. These team members are doing the day-to-day work of managing patient record requests and facilitating those requests with our customers.
One of our fundamental goals with ACP is to increase our growth trajectory, which means we will continue to hire for positions in our operations center. In addition, as R&D activity ramps up for new product and technologies development, we will have an increased need for technical roles. We are confident that we will be able to fill these engineering and IT positions from our regional talent pool, given the technical hub that exists in Western New York.
One of ACP’s founding partners, Mirza Baig, was drawn to eHealth Technologies, in part, because of his Western New York roots. Mirza spent time in Buffalo during his childhood and attended Cornell University. He is well aware of what the region offers in terms of a high-tech workforce. Being able to tap into these resources as we look to grow eHealth Technologies was very appealing to the ACP team.
Q: What can the Rochester community expect from eHealth in 2019?
A: I have made mention of this before, but I can’t reiterate it enough. eHealth Technologies is committed to the Rochester region. Our company was founded here, has experienced considerable growth here, and we plan to stay here. We have a dedicated team of individuals who work hard every day to care for our customers’ patients. Our team supports doctors and nurses who help people who are going through very difficult times—often having been diagnosed with a critical and potentially terminal illness. They know that the work they do with hospitals around the country can make a difference in the outcomes for a patient, and their commitment shows.
Not only will our growth add more jobs to the region, but we are also focused on our own organization’s advancement. We are always looking for opportunities to help employees add to their skills sets and advance into positions that are a good fit for their background and future career aspirations.
We live and work here in Rochester and community-based initiatives like the United Way Day of Caring and American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Walk are just a few of the many ways that our team members engage with the community to give back. For me, one of the most rewarding activities we do as a company is creating Thanksgiving dinner baskets in partnership with the Society for the Protection and Care of Children and Rochester City School District each November. We have been doing this for the past six years, and each year the number of families that we adopt continues to grow. This past year we provided food for 50 families. Knowing that we can positively impact so many families and seeing the generosity of our team members to make that possible is extremely humbling. I am honored to lead this talented group of individuals.