Gerald Bedwell on Working with Velvetech

In his own words, Gerald Bedwell, Sr. Vice President of Information Technology at MedAdept LLC, tells the story of working with Velvetech on a business-critical solution.

Success Story

Read MedAdept’s story about their collaboration with Velvetech to accelerate the development of an innovative care coordination application for use in post-acute health care continuum.

Medadept, LLC

Our Business Domain

Medadept’s business involves providing cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) for post-acute health care providers.

In the past, reimbursement for health care services has mostly been on a fee-for-service basis. In an effort to contain skyrocketing health care costs, governmental and commercial payers are increasingly moving to payment based on the value of services provided to patients. In this emerging reimbursement environment, providers are paid more if their patients experience good outcomes.

Hospitals have worked very hard on quality inside the four walls of the hospital. But most people, even those with serious chronic health conditions, spend most of their time outside the hospital… at home or perhaps in a post-acute program such as outpatient rehabilitation, home health or even hospice care. Most of the patient’s quality of life is based on what happens outside the hospital.

The post-acute service environment is also where cost savings can occur by preventing avoidable (and expensive) emergent care and hospitalizations.

Medadept provides a set of tools for use outside the hospital (post-acute care), and our tools do several important things. One thing we do very well is coordinating care to the patient so the patient’s care team can detect and manage exacerbations of chronic disease processes as well as other health complications.

A significant percentage of hospitalizations occur when a health crisis occurs due to:

  • a mix-up or problem with prescribed medications,
  • a fall,
  • an exacerbation of a chronic disease like COPD or congestive heart failure.

Right now, it’s challenging to determine what’s really going on with the patient outside of the hospital, so there’s a big problem in coordinating the post-hospital care the patient needs.

Challenges

If we can help people be healthy enough to prevent avoidable hospitalization, we can reduce the cost of healthcare.

We need new tools so everyone can stay in touch and engage each patient in taking more responsibility for their own health.

The cost of a short-term stay in a US hospital can range from $12,000 to $22,000.

Preventive care costs much less and improves the quality of life for patients and their families.

Physicians, nurses, therapists and care coordinators can provide outpatient and in-home care at a fraction of the cost of inpatient care.

Third-party payers certainly want to reduce health care costs, but patients are also realizing it’s a lot less expensive for them if they make efforts to maintain their own health.

For Medicare patients with certain diagnoses, a readmission after a hospitalization less than a month later for the same cause, can trigger Medicare penalties that can reduce hospital reimbursement. So, preventing avoidable readmissions helps the hospital too.

Our Software

We create software that connects a health care team to certain populations whose health needs to be carefully monitored.

There are other companies out there working on similar things; but Medadept has been innovative in our approach, and we have growing interest in our product and service offerings.

The product that Velvetech worked on with us is an important new addition to our suite of software applications. But, we didn’t have the resources in-house to address the market opportunities as quickly as we wanted.

Having the help of a very capable contractor accelerated our development and cut many months off the time required to get the new application into production.

Enter Velvetech

We were introduced to Velvetech by a Medadept client who was working with them. We took a close look at the work they were doing for the client and realized they could help us too.

We segmented our development plan and decided what parts we wanted Velvetech to take on, based on their strengths in custom healthcare software development. The shared development process involved a coordinated effort utilizing some Medadept resources and some from Velvetech.

We asked Velvetech to build some critical pieces that slot into our larger application suite.
  • Stellar reference from a client
  • Strong experience in healthcare
  • Flexible approach

On Velvetech

Working with Velvetech has been a very positive experience for Medadept. We certainly enjoyed working with Yuri, Eugene, and the rest of the team.

We’ve had significant experience working with offshore teams before, but Velvetech is one of the best. I would look forward to the opportunity to work with them again.

They were professional, polite, knowledgeable and articulate.

Our Work Method

We appointed a Medadept project manager who drafted, monitored and updated the project plan. We needed to be able to show our stakeholders progress as we went, so we used the Agile development approach for all phases of our work with Velvetech.

The team at Velvetech gave us an estimate of time and costs and brought resources to the table to make sure they could meet our deadlines.

We met on a weekly basis to review progress. It was a very smooth process.

We continued through multiple phases. Each time we reached the end of a phase Velvetech sent a request for signoff before moving on to the next phase.
  • Agile approach
  • Weekly status calls
  • Direct input from stakeholders
  • Dedicated Project Manager

The Medadept managing partners were very interested in this project with Velvetech. They made input into the specifications for the project deliverables, and they remained engaged and excited about the entire project.

Bright Moments

A challenging aspect to this project was designing the look and feel of the mobile interface to suit a diverse population of end users. We must have asked Velvetech to rework the UI about a dozen times.

With a “can do” attitude and a good sense of humor, Velvetech made the best of the situation, and we ended up with a great mobile UI that looks good and performs well.

We’re very pleased with how Velvetech performed on this complex project, and I look forward to working with them again on other projects.

Case Study

Post-Acute Care Management System

Read on to find out how we assisted MedAdept with the development of a web-based post-acute care coordination system and a cross-platform mobile medical surveillance app.

Read Now

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