Lawrence Bentvena, DC is founder and CEO of ClickAClinic.
Tell me about yourself and the company.
I have a significant background as a medical practice management consultant and as a healthcare entrepreneur. The impetus for founding ClickAClinic was to fill a significant need for doctors and patients; namely, to be able to communicate their health concerns within a single, fully integrated Web-based platform. Additionally, we at CAC realized that there are a significant group of Americans without health insurance coverage, and so we designed our platform to provide an extremely cost-effective video medical consultation. We believe that most physicians will eventually want to donate a portion of their time to providing free medical care to this population, provided those physicians and related healthcare entities are empowered with a simple and HIPAA-compliant platform they can utilize.
We currently have between seven and eight full-time staff, and at least that many off site helping us to launch. Since we own all of our technology, we currently support two business models – CAC as a direct medical provider model and CAC as an SaaS model. We are focusing equally on both. Enterprise customers and early adopters are seeking us out at this time. With regard to investment funding, we’ve had interest from several very large private-equity funds and individual family trusts.
Did you develop CAC’s telemedicine software in-house, or did you collaborate with a vendor?
I hired U.S.-based code developers that are employed by my company directly. The CAC platform represents over 700,000 lines of code, and required two-and-a-half years of full-time work, and direct planning/architecture and code development.
What EHR does CAC use? Why did you choose that solution?
We currently utilize OpenEMR, an open-source HER that we have licensed and added significantly to its look, feel, and functionality. We believe it was the best fit as it allowed us to remain 100-percent Web based. On a related note, we are preparing to attest for Meaningful Use.
How many physicians have signed up to provide care?
We have two full-time physicians and one full-time ARNP providing care. On our SaaS side, we are in beta currently and have signed enterprise customers. These customers have various numbers of providers. We are beginning our direct provider model as we speak.
How many patients have used your service?
At least 200 so far. That number is growing daily.
CAC made news recently for becoming Florida’s first licensed medical provider of telemedicine services and software. Are you planning to offer services outside of the Sunshine State?
Our current AHCA license provides CAC with the opportunity to be a licensed healthcare facility. This license holds no sway outside of Florida. However, we believe this will allow us to achieve licensure status in the remaining states.
How involved are you in helping to push telemedicine legislation through Florida’s legislature?
I am currently communicating through our spokespeople with various legislative entities in Florida. Some of them have asked our company to provide testimony and/or opinions on telemedicine issues.
Do you think it will finally pass this legislative session?
I do believe it will pass this legislative session, as the various stakeholders have identified and realized that without any law in place in Florida, they may well have too many unregulated telemedicine service providers. Additionally, we are the second most populated state in the U.S., and we are one of the very last to have any kind of telemedicine law at all, so the legislators have realized this is not a good situation for our citizens.
Would you like to share any final thoughts?
Though the obstacles facing our healthcare system seem insurmountable, the advent of new telemedicine applications offers us some hope that a solution is available. Telemedicine, while not a novel concept, is more and more frequently brought to the forefront of efforts to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. Improving patient access to healthcare options and facilitating early detection of complications results in better patient outcomes and, in the long term, a reduction of cost.