Written by Robert Leitch.
Navigating today’s healthcare system can be intimidating, but Cincinnati-based Cordata Healthcare Innovations is at the forefront of a burgeoning business in medicine known as care coordination. When a patient is diagnosed with a disease or condition that requires a continuum of care, they often have to work with a care coordinator to schedule months of follow-up appointments, with a variety of doctors and specialists, in a number of different locations. Each care coordinator typically handles hundreds of patients at any given time.
“We’ve developed software that really simplifies the process for the patient and healthcare providers alike,” said Gary Winzenread, CEO & President of Cordata. “The initial goal is to properly assess the patient at intake, identify all of the care options in a particular area and get the right patient to the right provider at the right time.”
Here’s how the process works: When a patient or their referring MD contacts a spine center or oncology center within a hospital, care coordinators using Cordata’s software work with the patient to assess the urgency of their condition so they can enter the care process most efficiently. Doctors then work with patients and their care team to develop a treatment plan, outlining which therapies they will need and when. The care coordinator then works with the patients using the Cordata software, and can choose facilities and schedule follow up care based on considerations like location, cost, insurance coverage and convenience.
Cancer patients, for example, work with a care coordinator to select the best places to go for services like chemotherapy, follow-up lab tests, imaging or physical therapy. The care coordinator enters the patient’s information into Cordata’s secure, cloud-based system so doctors can access their records in any treatment location.
“Our data is not only helping patients chart their course of treatment, but is helping healthcare facilities be more efficient in their care,” said Winzenread.
The idea for company’s software first began more than a decade ago from working with a group of 17 spine surgeons and their practice.
“The doctors were frustrated because, of all the patients referred to their practice, only 10 to 15 percent actually needed surgery. They were spending 85 percent of their time seeing patients they ultimately couldn’t help and had to refer to other facilities,” said Winzenread. “It was very inefficient.”
The Cordata system remedies those situations by analyzing the conditions and needs of patients, and assisting care coordinators to ensure appointments are scheduled with the correct medical experts at the best time for treatment.
“In cancer facilities, we’ve cut the wait times from imaging to biopsy and biopsy to surgery by up to 25 percent. We’ve also drastically reduced appointment no-shows by up to 45 percent,” Winzenread said.
With the support of CincyTech, a regional partner of Ohio Third Frontier in southwest Ohio, Cordata was able to secure their initial funding. In the spring of 2015, the company received an Innovation Ohio Loan Fund loan for $800,000 to complete their seed round. This will help Cordata reach their goal of creating at least 30 new jobs, more than doubling their current staff.
“Care coordination is going to be a big part of healthcare in the coming years,” said Winzenread. “We’re thankful that the state of Ohio sees the potential and is supporting our efforts to be a leader in this field.”
Currently, Cordata specializes in the continuum of care for spine and oncology patients, but plans to expand their services to include musculoskeletal and neurological conditions. The company also has clients using their product to coordinate care in orthopedics.
“It all started for us in Cincinnati and this is where we want to grow,” said Winzenread. “It’s great that the state is committed to helping firms like us and to keeping Ohio at the center of what will be a booming business in healthcare for years to come.”