The future of health care is transforming thanks to growing access to virtual care. CirrusMD, a Chamber member, is at the forefront of this change; making their mark on Denver.
We sat down with Andrew Altorfer, co-founder and CEO of CirrusMD to learn more about his company and how digital health care is influencing Denver.
Taking Care of Business: Tell me briefly about CirrusMD. How did CirrusMD get started?
Andrew Altorfer: CirrusMD is a telemedicine platform that allows value-based health care organizations to offer secure text messaging, image sharing and video visits to their patients.
CirrusMD Inc. was co-founded in 2012 by Blake McKinney, M.D., a former U.S. Marine Corps captain and practicing ER physician in northern California. He had been answering his friends’ and family’s medical questions for years, but after helping his sister-in-law with her new baby over text and through FaceTime, he knew the iPhone and other smart devices would fundamentally change the way we deliver medical services.
TCB: What makes your company unique?
AA: CirrusMD is helping organizations future-proof their investment in telemedicine by operating within a value-based model, meaning we partner with health systems, health plans and self-insured employers to provide access to their members at no cost to the end user.
Our unique business model combined with our “closed loop” approach to data integration and physician staffing creates an opportunity for significant savings for both the patient and payer by eliminating high-cost, unscheduled visits to the ER and urgent care.
TCB: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your business?
AA: Health care is hard and so is change – so naturally trying to create change within health care is really hard. A lot of this comes from a conflict between the legacy interests in the industry butting up against the changing business model and new requirements from the federal government as a result of the Affordable Care Act. It’s a lot to tackle, but we’ve learned that if you have the wherewithal to break through those obstacles you can make really great things happen. And that makes it all worthwhile.
TCB: What do you think is the future of health care?
AA: Technology is going to be critical to improving access to care and provider organizations will need to be more closely aligned with payers to develop further efficiencies to correct the misalignment caused by the legacy fee-for-service model in health care.
TCB: Why do you love doing business in Colorado?
AA: Colorado is awesome! There are so many people and other businesses here that are really interested in making Denver, specifically, a hub for digital health, so it is the ideal place for us to be located. As a company, the state has proven to be fertile ground for us to be able to connect with companies that want to change the way health care is delivered. It’s also made it easier to find employees who are as passionate about the cause as we are. Those employees have a great quality of life. We can go out and enjoy the beautiful state with our friends and family on the weekend, so we feel refreshed and ready to do the work that needs to happen on Monday morning.
Laura James is the marketing and communications coordinator for the Denver Metro Chamber.