In just 5 years, health care tech company Kinetik has already transformed the non-emergency medical transportation industry.
Kinetik’s centralized NEMT billing system streamlines and automates a manual and error-prone process for companies who provide transportation to medical and non-medical services for individuals who receive Medicaid, Medicare or other health plan benefits. In an industry that is fraught with long wait times and missed medical appointments, Kinetik’s provider partners share they’ve saved time and money while improving customer service.
To mark the company’s fifth anniversary, CEO Sufian Chowdhury and his team hosted a launch party featuring a pair of panel discussions that dug into the future of the NEMT transportation industry.
“I’m incredibly lucky because of all of you, who have helped me over the last five years, get Kinetik where we are today,” Chowdhury told an enthusiastic crowd Friday. “There’s no way we can build this technology without the input from the industry. So we’re very grateful that all these folks came together to say, ‘Hey, this is going to be the company that moves this industry forward.’”
The event was held at The Bordone in Long Island City, not far from Kinetik’s headquarters in Queens.
The main discussion was moderated by Effie Carlson, a Kinetik advisor and NEMT industry leader. The panel included Megan Callahan, COO of Twill; Keith Payet, Senior Vice President of product at UnitedHealthcare Community and State; Gordon Wynn, President of Tennessee Carriers; and Bill George, Founder of WHC Worldwide zTrip, the largest national taxi company in the United States. Wynn and George are NEMT partners of Kinetik.
Participants discussed how the industry has changed, how much it still needs to evolve and Kinetik’s leadership in that dramatic transformation.
“Billing can be very labor-intensive and manual. Some states and hospitals even insist on faxing documents and schedules,” George has said, explaining how Kinetik helped transform zTrip. “Kinetik has automated a huge part of that process and it allows our people to deliver a better customer experience because they are not pushing paper.”
Access to health care — and Kinetik’s role in delivering that — was a common theme throughout the day.
“Growth through partnership is the new model, and we must leverage that to improve access to care,” Chowdhury said. “Our job is to put every resource into the tech to make it the best in the country.”
Wynn, who started his company in 1994 with a single wheelchair van that he drove, talked about learning the business by visiting nursing homes and driving people to the doctor. But, he said, there had been a fundamental gap in the industry for decades.
“The software had not kept up with the change that was needed (in our industry) until this young man and his team came along,” Wynn said of Chowdhury. “I liken it to what Tesla has done with electric vehicles. The Kinetik team is that far ahead of the other software companies.”
Grace Andres, Kinetik’s Chief Revenue Officer, led a panel with NEMT providers including Chanel Hernandez, CEO of Aki Mobility Inc., and Jeremy Scalzi, the Director of Business Development at M7. Both talked about how Kinetik has already transformed the industry.
“Kinetik really showed us how to create a more patient-centric model,” Scalzi said. “Every time I get off the horn with Jamie (Moses, Kinetik’s Chief Commercial Officer) and Sufian, I feel like I have to cancel my next meeting so that I can process exactly what I’ve just heard because it’s that groundbreaking.”
Kinetik has cut administrative costs more than half at M7, allowing the family business to provide more personalized service and improve the standard of care, Scalzi has said.
Hernandez has credited Kinetik with growth at his former employer, A&S Transportation Services. The time and money saved with Kinetik’s NEMT billing system helped A&S double its number of drivers to 200, completing about 2,000 trips a day, Hernandez said.
Chowdhury also made a point to thank his team, saying, “There is no Kinetik without all of our employees here and so many dialing in from other countries.”
Earlier in the week, Kinetik announced two additions to its board of directors: Megan Callahan and Stuart Hanson.
Callahan previously was president at Lyft Healthcare. Hanson has been a Kinetik advisor for the past two years, in addition to his work as CEO of Aveneer Health. They join Tom Turner, Barry Peters and James Bellinson on the board.