EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2014 Florida Awards

Health Care Services

Award Recipient

fla_eoy_JeffBakJeff W. Bak
president and CEO
HealthPlan Services

When HealthPlan Services, headed by Jeff W. Bak, president and CEO, decided to go “all-in” to develop technology and services designed to garner a significant share of the health care exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act, it aimed for 10 percent of the market. It achieved double that goal.
Operating in five U.S. cities, the company provides software designed to enable insurance companies to market products online. Its technology is designed to give consumers a more seamless experience when shopping on the exchanges. Future growth is expected to come from the expanding marketplaces as well as small business and union markets. Based on that, the company recently added space to its Tampa offices where it expects to make additional hires by 2018.
Bak joined the company as a salesman, his first job after graduating from Clemson University. He left to become an insurance broker, returning to the company in 1995, the year it went public. In 2001, with support from management, he took the company private and in 2008 Water Street Healthcare Partners purchased the company.
Throughout his tenure, Bak has emphasized communication and a tight focus on business as the forces that advance the company. Bad news needs to travel twice as fast as good, he says, if the company is to effectively manage potentially crippling situations. His focus as a leader is to be consistent, fair and a good listener with strong emphasis on transparency, accountability and collaboration throughout the organization.
Going forward, and given the new and unpredictable markets the exchanges open up, the company faces a variety of challenges, ranging from managing existing costs while anticipating future costs and developing appropriate services and pricing. To do so, Bak says the company must innovate and help its customers better understand a new generation of consumers. 


fla_eoy_DanielBaldaDan Balda, M.D.
Medicomp, Inc.

Dan Balda, M.D.’s deep-rooted entrepreneurial spirit took hold at age 11 when, as a paper boy, he bought up nearby routes and helped his neighbors with home improvement projects find local tradesmen, which in turn earned him some extra cash.
Balda and his siblings’ first exposure to Medicomp, Inc. came in 1983 when their father purchased the cardiac monitor manufacturer out of bankruptcy. Growing up he worked in many operational facets, gaining a deep level of knowledge and understanding of the company. He earned his undergraduate degree in engineering from Cornell University and a degree in medicine from the University of Florida College of Medicine.
Medicomp develops and manufactures digital heart monitors and provides monitoring services based on a patented algorithm. In 1996, the company adopted the unusual approach of giving away its core technology in return for providing fee-based centralized monitoring services from Florida and Maryland. In 2000, he interrupted his training to assist his father during a business downturn, which later spurred the sale of the company to United Therapeutics Corp.
Balda completed his medical degree and in 2004 was invited to return to the company as CEO, introducing such innovations as a patent-pending finger electrode adapter, a secure iPhone app for physicians and a proprietary cardiac monitoring device so reliable and well-established that even NASA uses the system. Balda, his brother and father repurchased the company in 2011 and they are now looking to expand into the consumer market.
Building on a core of shared values, common vision and complementary skills, the company’s detailed hiring process reflects his dedication to building a cohesive culture that drives the company’s success and promotes employee commitments to the business and local communities. Each year, the company distributes 25 percent of profits among all its employees, payable over a four-year period. 


fla_eoy_RickyCaplinRicky Caplin
The HCI Group

With ambitions that didn’t quite fit the mold of an auditor at one of the big four international accounting firms, Ricky Caplin walked away from his promising career to start The HCI Group.
Founded in 2009, the company’s goal is to bring exceptional value and quality to the field of health care IT. It’s a culmination of Caplin’s ideas for networking and business development, and his passion for being involved in growing a business.
As CEO, Caplin’s leadership style is to identify and develop his employees’ character, communication skills and ambition. This approach has helped HCI achieve amazing financial and employee growth.
While building its reputation on the implementation of electronic health records for leading health care institutions, HCI also offers a broad scope of complete IT solutions for clients, helping them plan, implement and sustain IT over the long term.
The complex health care IT sector in which HCI engages is highly competitive and risky. Caplin’s CPA background has given the company an invaluable advantage to form new, exciting solutions for market demands.
Operating with the initial challenges of Caplin’s non-compete agreement, the company was creative with identifying other business consulting opportunities. Caplin’s approach to capitalize on business opportunities allowed him to identify diverse revenue streams that maximized the use of HCI’s resources.
The company uses a just in time strategy to obtain the highest-quality and best-fit consultants. Caplin measures success based on the feedback he receives from his family and his employees.
The company is focused on adding trusted vendor partners, identifying alternative revenue streams and penetrating the global market, where they can implement their competitive advantage. Over the next three years, HCI expects to grow its core business by offering new approaches to existing services and expanding services to offer customizable solutions.