August 30, 2014

Small Business Profile

Consult A Doctor makes bottom lines healthier

Wolf Shlagman
CEO Wolf Shlagman [Photo: Daniel Portnoy]
Wolf Shlagman admits that 2008 wasn't a good time to ask companies to spend money on anything, especially an unproven service. He knew that the company he had founded the year before, Miami-based telemedicine provider Consult A Doctor, could save employers and insurers money by replacing some employee visits to the doctor, urgent care or emergency room with less costly telephone consultations. The company provides 24/7 access to doctors while handling billing and everything in between, including insurance claims. Consult A Doctor charges a monthly fee for each patient who has access to its system.

But as the recession was beginning, companies were reluctant to pay for their employees' memberships. So Shlagman focused on marketing to insurance companies and brokers. The company conducted pilot programs to get the data it needed, bringing companies onboard by guaranteeing they would save money on healthcare costs. Doug Smith, founder of Minute Clinic, joined the company as chief medical officer.

Armed with venture capital funding, Consult A Doctor expanded rapidly last year, with revenue in "the $3-million to $5-million range," Shlagman says. Customers include Pepsi, hospital chain HCA and Minnesota-based health plan Medica. It expects to release an iPhone app soon, with an Android app to follow.

With healthcare legislation drawing attention to cost savings and access to care, Shlagman believes the company is on the verge of "hyper" expansion. He has been flying around the country looking to raise capital to fund it. "There's quite a bit of appetite right now for these types of solutions, so the investment community is looking hard at this space," he says. This fall, the company was selected to present at both the Enterprise Development Corp.'s Emerging Technology Business Showcase and Florida International University's Americas Venture Capital Conference, where it won the grand prize as "Top Global Innovative Venture."

Tags: Miami-Dade, Healthcare

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