Episode 17: Leveraging Cloud-Based Platforms for Innovation

Steve O’Quin, Vice President of Technology at OrthoFi,  shares strategies for maintaining patient engagement during COVID-19 and the work he’s doing to help streamline the payment process for orthodontic practices.

Steve O’Quin and the team at OrthoFi recognize the enormous potential for improvement of the end-to-end financial process for patients and providers.  As Vice President of Technology, O’Quin helps develop software and services that stimulate growth for orthodontics practices, managing finances so that patients can feel equipped to pay for orthodontic treatments and providers can focus on delivering the best care possible.

In this episode of How I Transformed This, In this episode of How I Transformed This, Virsys12 founder and CEO Tammy Hawes and her co-host Clark Buckner talk with O’Quin about OrthoFi’s software solutions, the value of using cloud-based platforms, and strategies for maintaining patient engagement during COVID-19.

Equipping Patients to Pay for Treatments

OrthoFi originally started as a third-party financing company, but upon realizing that practices were struggling with processes like insurance, the business pivoted to become a go-between for payers and providers. OrthoFi’s CRM and RCM software helps patients develop a payment plan that meets their needs, which helps orthodontics practices to grow while also streamlining their financial processes.

Before they even step into the office, patients fill out their information through OrthoFi’s programming, which then runs calculations that factor in the person’s insurance to determine their actual out-of-pocket costs.

To do this, OrthoFi relies on a mix of artificial intelligence and human assistance, O’Quin explained.

“We’re trying to leverage machine learning and other solutions behind the scenes to really work with the chain of healthcare and try to automate the check so that we can minimize our operational time, but still having people on the backend,” he said. “If we cannot pick up a machine match, we have people that can really step in and do that check on their behalf.”

Benefit of Cloud-Based Platforms

In order to streamline these complex processes, OrthoFi leans heavily on the tools provided by cloud-based platforms and services that help to cut down on manual processes and create a more seamless experience for both the users and the company.

“By leveraging a lot of the software services, it allows our software development team to really focus on building features and functions that differentiate our product, and leveraging cloud platforms for services that we don’t necessarily have to build or reinvent the wheel for,” O’Quin explained.

Though many people have traditionally viewed cloud providers as simply a hosting platform, O’Quin emphasized the importance of software tools and services that help companies to scale more efficiently. 

“There’s certain things that used to have to be in code, but now you’re leveraging software services, and it’s one less thing you have to build,” he said. “It makes it that much quicker for you to get to market, and do so with a scalable, quality partner.”

Staying Proactive During COVID-19

Since most orthodontic treatments are classified as elective procedures, many offices around the country have closed due to COVID-19. In the midst of this unprecedented change, OrthoFi is working closely with its clients to help them stay connected with their patients. 

The company has adjusted its work cycle from quarterly planning down to a 6-week planning process, allowing for quicker implementation of features like document downloading, text messaging and chat features. 

OrthoFi is also helping their practices to host webinars, setting up virtual consultations, and encouraging clients to stay connected with their patients via social media. 

“They’re reaching out to their patients through phone calls or emails and reinforcing that they’re excited to still meet and work with them and explain how the practice is responding in this time of isolation,” O’Quin said.

And though many healthcare companies are facing new difficulties in the midst of this pandemic, O’Quin believes the industry is fully equipped to undergo the necessary transformations.

“[Healthcare] does have a reputation for being a little bit behind the technology curve, but the technology in the space has improved so much.”

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