Episode 11: Meeting Patient Needs through Personalized Service Platforms

Health Hero Founder and CEO Anthony Diaz explains how his company provides follow-up and a deeper understanding of social determinants to health. 

Anthony Diaz always possessed a passion for helping others, but when his father passed away, that passion led him in a new direction.

Diaz realized there was a huge demand for direct, personalized follow-up for patients who are discharged from the hospital, and he created Health Hero to help meet that need.

In this episode of How I Transformed This, Virsys12 founder and CEO Tammy Hawes and her co-host Clark Buckner sat down with Diaz to hear about the passion behind his company and discuss the ways scalable technology can sustain a values-based market.

Embracing the Entrepreneurial Journey

Growing up with a father who worked with the elderly showed Diaz the power of helping others from a young age.

Diaz took that passion into his work, building and coding claims systems for a mental health care company. But eventually, he started to wonder if he might be able to do more.

“Once you see the impact of your efforts and the scalability of what can be done when you impact a process or technology and impact someone’s life, it creates and instills this further conviction inside you to do it even more,” he described. 

Like many entrepreneurs, Diaz came to the realization that “what I feel I could put in place surpasses the limits of the organization or corporation that I’m currently with.” 

This desire to make a bigger impact was further clarified when Diaz’s father passed away from a heart attack shortly after being discharged from the hospital. Diaz recognized a major need for better follow-up in the industry, and he decided to start his own company to pursue that goal.

“That was a defining moment for me,” he explained. “I didn’t start the company then and there, but I went back and got one of those MBAs, and I went back and started learning everything I could about startups.” 

Providing Personalized Follow-Up

With Health Hero, Diaz equips providers to make sure patients are still receiving care after they’re discharged from the hospital.

The platform provides automated phone calls, text messages and secure chats for patients, including linkage to services like Uber and meal delivery. This information is then added into the electronic health records.

“Everyone needs specific follow-up. They kind of need like a motherly nudge,” Diaz explained. “This values-based market needs something that’s very scalable. There’s not enough nurses and doctors in the world to do the level of follow-up that the economics of the healthcare system now demand. So that’s where our system comes in.”

On top of that, Health Hero works to understand patients’ social determinants to health, so that it can decrease the likelihood of readmission.

Providers can enroll in Health Hero for just $10 per patient, per month, and they can expect to see readmission reduced by at least 40 percent, Diaz said.

“If you’re a CEO for a hospital, independent of all the details and techno babble of what Health Hero does, you should be looking at Health Hero as a way to save $2 million for every 10,000 patients in less than 6 months,” he explained. 

Scaling with Salesforce

Diaz decided early on that he wanted to build Health Hero on the Salesforce AppExchange, and he also enrolled in Salesforce’s Accelerate Program in order to better understand the markets’ needs and how to meet them. 

Most importantly, Salesforce offered Health Hero three crucial benefits that make the company’s apps more scalable, Diaz explained.

First, Salesforce is user-friendly and easy to build with, ensuring that Health Hero’s apps were up and running with as little difficulty as possible. Second, using Salesforce means that companies gain a sales team that’s ready to help sell the new product.

Finally, Salesforce makes it easy for companies to update their apps, ensuring that Health Hero can continue to scale and adapt to the industry’s needs. 

With this in mind, Diaz has big plans for the future of his company. 

“Our next thing that we’re really focused on doing — our big ambition — is to be an embedded service, part of Medicare Advantage, part of Medicaid,” he shared. “That’s our big, audacious goal.”

And at the end of the day, he’s most excited about the ability to provide a needed service that fulfills his life’s calling.

“I’ve never felt more alive than starting my own company, growing this company and attracting people that are driven toward the same, similar calling.”

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