Sean Bledsoe’s roster is about to get a lot bigger.
The basketball-coach-turned-entrepreneur launched his medical services company in April and had 16 employees by late August. He expects to employ more than 100 workers by spring.
“Every day we have potential new clients calling,” said Bledsoe, CEO of Healthy Plus LLC, based in Independence. “We’re adding three to five new clients a month, and for every two to four clients we add another call center employee.”
Healthy Plus works with physician offices to maximize the benefits of the Medicare annual wellness visit, an in-depth appointment with a primary care doctor to create or update a personalized prevention plan. The visits are 100 percent covered by Medicare.
Healthy Plus calls Medicare beneficiaries to schedule appointments and uses automated reporting software to calculate patients’ risk factors.
An ounce of prevention
“Prevention in health care is what everyone is trying to do,” Bledsoe said. “We took what Medicare is trying to do and we put it in a system. We have unique tools to gather patient data. Doctors can only spend about 15 minutes in a room with a patient because of scheduling obligations. We pull all that data back to the provider. The software does a lot of the work for the physician.”
Bledsoe said 16 clients with 68 doctors who care for 38,000 patients are using the Healthy Plus system. He expects that to grow rapidly based on an agreement with Athenahealth Inc., which has a network of more than 100,000 physicians.
Bledsoe said his call center employees have medical training, including certified medical assistants and nurses.
The company already has expanded to include chronic care management. Employees communicate each month with patients and update patients’ primary care physicians via electronic health records systems.
Employees also offer educational information related to topics like nutrition and exercise.
Bledsoe said Healthy Plus also is partnering with a diabetes management company to provide a wearable device and an app that monitors patients’ hemoglobin A1c.
“We’ve become a resource,” he said.
Bledsoe spent nearly two decades in college basketball, with assistant coaching jobs at Bowling Green, Cleveland State, University of Missouri-Kansas City and Urbana, and a head coaching stint at Wilberforce University. He said he left the sport to spend more time with his growing family. He saw his parents struggle to navigate the health care system.
“When they would go to their providers, they really have a hard time getting their questions answered,” he said.