Thought Leader Debrief
Michael Hough is the founder and executive vice president of Advance Medical, a company specializing in human resource services that provides client companies with one-on-one access to physician case managers via a digital portal and phone service. The service is designed to offer the employees of client companies a second opinion on their primary physician’s advice and allows them to ask questions about their current health care options. As more competition enters the field, Hough talks about how Advance Medical will continue to grow by leveraging its unique one-on-one access offerings.
Hough became connected with Advance Medical while he was in graduate school. The company, with offices across Europe, was interested in doing business in the United States, and Hough saw it as a way to fulfill his objectives to work in health care and help people. “My life mission is to help people, and this is a good way of helping people who are in very, very complicated situations and need reassurance,” he explains.
The European company shares the same philosophy and senior leadership, but it and the American side operate as independent businesses selling the same product in different markets. The European mother company helped to fund the American operations, but Hough explains that he mostly bootstrapped the company, which today has roughly 120 employees and some 330 clients.
Path to Growth: An Unusual Service Offering
According to Hough, the U.S. Advance Medical operates with 60 physicians, all of whom are still actively practicing medicine in 18 different specialties. People who go into medical school do it to help people, but when their appointments with patients are only 7 to 15 minutes long, they don’t have time to help in the way that they’d like to, explains Hough, who boasts that Advance Medical offers them unlimited time with patients. “In the unlimited time model, our physician case managers are absolutely getting to apply the trade in the best way that they know how, which is to listen to the patients and then see how we can help to achieve their objectives,” says Hough.
Growth Obstacle: Adding Marketing Muscle
Scaling the sales and marketing side of things is the biggest growth obstacle right now. Since they started with a very small investment, all of their growth has come through new clients. “We’ve invested heavily in operations and member experience,” says Hough. “The accelerator is definitely on the sales and marketing side.”
Guest: Michael Hough
Company: Advance Medical
Headquarters: Westwood, MA
Contact: www.advance-medical.net @AdvanceMedical (Twitter)