In our continuing series on Leaders & Influencers, we chat with Abraham Palmbach, President and COO of Wellbe, a provider of patient engagement and care coordination solutions for hospital service lines.
Tell us about Wellbe and how it started in 2009.
Wellbe helps hospitals guide patients going through a major episode of care, such as a joint replacement surgery. Our web-based platform enables patients and their families to participate as partners in their care, and allows hospitals to coordinate and monitor large patient volumes more effectively.
James Dias originally started the company in 2009 with more of a pediatric focus designed to help parents with kids who had major chronic health conditions, which is where the idea for patient partnerships really came in. In 2010, Wellbe pivoted to working with hospitals and their patients who were undergoing major surgical procedures. We launched a second generation of the platform in 2014, building off of learnings we’d had with a wide range of customers since that first-generation platform in 2010. Today our software is used in hospitals nationwide to help improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.
What role has Madison played in Wellbe’s development?
Early on, James participated in the MERLIN Mentors program through the University of Wisconsin to help get the company off the ground. More recently, Wellbe is on the steering committee of Madison Health Tech, an organization devoted to establishing Madison as a nationally recognized hub for health technology companies. It’s since become a more formal organization and is facilitated by the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce.
Wellbe was founded in Madison because James was here at the time, but we’ve stayed in Madison because it has ready access to really sharp people in healthcare. Beyond Epic Systems, there are a number of healthcare companies in the area, and the workforce here understands that business very well.
We’re also really proud of the fact that all of the local Madison hospitals are paying customers of Wellbe, so we have support from the local hospital community, and from a commercial standpoint, that’s been very beneficial. We are fortunate to have forward-thinking hospital systems and people that are willing to adopt new technologies.
What are the particular rewards and challenges for Wellbe today?
We’re in a very exciting yet tumultuous time in healthcare as the risk shifts from payers to providers, and it’s really forcing providers to look at how they need to restructure their business, as well as the tools they use for their business. So for the providers, there’s this really foundational shift going on right now, and it’s exciting for us at Wellbe to provide a set of tools that can really help organizations make that shift. It’s really going to change how healthcare is paid for going forward.
Visit Fine Point Consulting for more information about the great tools and services we use to help clients like Wellbe succeed.