How One Finance Capitalist is Disrupting Healthcare for the Better
Meet our CEO, Roy Rose
“…how does a guy who spent the bulk of his professional life as the purest kind of capitalist switch gears so dramatically?”
I am often asked why I started Health Professionals Alliance when I spent a career focused on economics rather than medicine. I will admit, that is a very good question because if someone had told me ten years ago that I would be the CEO of a healthcare company, I’d have had a good laugh and continued on my way. Even as a finance capitalist, I had never sought to work with the medical community and instead focused all my energy on making as much money as I could through buyouts and acquisitions of privately held companies. Considering the mission of HPA to help doctors retain control of their practices rather than sell to private equities or hospitals, my involvement seems even more unlikely. So, how does a guy who spent the bulk of his professional life as the purest kind of capitalist switch gears so dramatically? The answer may lie in the distant and not-so distant past.
As a kid born and raised in Eastern Oregon, our family had some distinct challenges. When I say we were poor, I mean we sometimes lived out of our car and often heard growling stomachs between meals level of poor. I’m not sure how I came to understand the value of education, but I always knew that my way to a brighter future was to learn as much as I could. So, I studied and worked my way through a college degree that set me on the economic ladder for several decades. Of course, becoming a family-oriented person brought greater purpose and eventually simply making money was not enough.
Once our daughters were grown, priorities began to shift as my wife Linda, and I decided to start a philanthropic adventure. My belief in the power of knowledge through a good education had never wavered so that became the focus of our work. For 12 years, we did our best to feed and educate children in some of the most disparate areas of Africa and saw our programs accomplish much of what we set out to do. To say this level of philanthropy fulfilled us is an understatement but finding outside financing for our efforts became the ongoing challenge. After putting the vast majority of our personal wealth to work for the kids, the day came when we realized I would need to return home and resume my old life in finance. With so many years feeling a sense of purpose in our work, I was not sure how transitioning back to buyouts and acquisitions would go. Fortunately, a new reason to get up every morning was about to present itself.
“Not only did they lose controlling interest in the business they were still obligated to work at every day, but these doctors also lost autonomy of care for their patients.”
Shortly after coming home and entering the world of business once again, a doctor friend in Colorado asked me for help. His practice had just sold to a private equity firm (PE) and once the ink had dried on the paperwork, the doctors realized they hated it. Because of my experience working with PEs, the hope was I could find a loophole to help them get out of the contract. It did not take long to see what an absolute swindle this arrangement was for the providers within the practice. Not only did they lose controlling interest in the business they were still obligated to work at every day, but these doctors also lost autonomy of care for their patients. Sure, they got what seemed like a fairly good check upfront, but taxes ate a lot of that, and the end-result was dismal at best. Even though it was nothing short of highway robbery, unfortunately for my friend and his partners, the agreement was completely legal and airtight. I was honestly dumbfounded at the level of victimization that had clearly become commonplace within the healthcare industry. The comment was made to me, “There has to be a better way!” Despite knowing that nothing better existed yet, understanding the world of finance helped me envision a far superior option for provider owners, so I set out on a new mission that eventually became Health Professionals Alliance (HPA).
I gathered a small group of colleagues together and for two years, we built several models that would evolve into the HPA of today. Early in the process, we settled on one foundational rule that we have never broken and never will. It goes a little something like, “No changes will ever be made to our business unless it is entirely in the best interest of the doctors we serve.” Our goal is to disrupt healthcare by bringing otherwise independent provider-owned practices together in a way never seen before. Afterall, as everyone knows, there is incredible strength in numbers. HPA has simply introduced an entity that elevates doctor owners with services that increase profitability in their practices while offering the option to become part owners of a publicly traded company, which creates a separate wealth generating asset. Our services help physicians and dentists track their actual cost of care, streamline operations, and treat their patients as they see fit. The more providers who join our ranks, the better impact on healthcare we can make overall.
“This chipping away of healthcare efficacy and putting treatment decisions in the hands of non-medical entities has decimated public trust and worse, hurt people. HPA is here to empower doctors to fight back against the systematic high jacking of their profession and help them achieve the security they deserve.”
Now, I do not want to give the wrong impression. While it is true that I have tried to charitably give back some of the rewards the world has given me for my perseverance and arduous work, that’s not what HPA is. What we are is the rarest of companies that create an upside for everyone our organization touches. In fact, my philosophy of running a business may be hard for some finance capitalists to understand. I whole-heartedly believe that no matter what field you are in, nobody wins if anybody loses. That should especially be true for how we approach the business of healthcare. As a self-proclaimed ‘big picture’ guy, I can see that what is best for our doctor members and HPA easily translates into what is best for their patients. And that is so important too.
Allow me to put this into perspective. When a patient cannot pay their exorbitant deductibles, they often opt out of procedures prescribed by their doctor and naturally their health suffers. For example, a pulled tooth is often the first step on a long and steady medical decline but that is generally the chosen option when a patient weighs the cost of saving a tooth or having it removed. Nobody wins in this scenario because the patient is not receiving the best treatment for their ongoing health and the dentist cannot perform the more lucrative procedure for their practice. Part of our long-term vision for HPA is offering our member doctors an affordable line of credit for their patients to cover co-pays so that everybody wins. This is just one plan HPA has for working outside the traditional healthcare box to stop insurance companies and hospitals from making giant profits while doctor reimbursements decrease, and patients suffer.
Dr. John Propp said it best when he told me, “Doctors quit being pillars of their communities when we gave up control of patient care.” This chipping away of healthcare efficacy and putting treatment decisions in the hands of non-medical entities has decimated public trust and worse, hurt people. HPA is here to empower doctors to fight back against the systematic high jacking of their profession and help them achieve the security they deserve. For more information on how HPA can assist you in joining other physicians and dentists in this effort to maintain integrity in the healthcare industry while elevating your own personal wealth, contact us. We look forward to working with you!