Rising tide

Jason Beans financed Rising Medical Solutions by maxing out his credit cards, liquidating assets and sleeping in his car. It launched in 1999 as a two-person team in an 80 square foot “closet.” Now, with a nearly 200-person force across 14 states, the company is headquartered in a 30,000 square foot Chicago riverfront landmark and is ranked as one of the fastest growing private enterprises in America by Inc. magazine and the Private Company Index.

Since his “bootstrapping” days, Jason has led Rising to substantial growth despite numerous obstacles such as much larger, better funded and publically-traded competition; a technology, infrastructure and cash intensive product offering; and a slow moving, highly regulated insurer client base.

Because of this, Beans was named one of 2010 Smart Leader honorees by Smart Business and U.S. Bank. We asked him about the dramatic shift, what innovation means to him and the importance of giving back to the community.

Tell us about a business challenge you and/or your organization faced, as well as how you overcame it.

While the company is, indeed, growing, our success did not come without high hurdles. I’ve never taken a penny of outside or venture capital money. The very same day Rising was finally able to move out of our “closet” and into a suitable office, I learned our primary client went bankrupt – shattering the company’s revenue base. Unwilling to change my business model so that banks and investors could experience the quick rate of return they were used to during the “dot.com” boom, I ultimately opted to continue self-funding the company.

Unlike many entrepreneurs at that time, I didn’t go where easy money could be made; I built this business in a conservative industry and around an area in dire need of remedy – healthcare.

Since my “bootstrapping” days, I  have led Rising to substantial growth despite numerous obstacles such as much larger, better funded and publically-traded competition; a technology, infrastructure and cash intensive product offering; and a slow moving, highly regulated insurer client base. In fact, many naysayers believed it was impossible to enter such a complex market, let alone build a successful company, without significant capital.

In what ways are you an innovative leader, and how does your organization employ leading edge innovation?

I spotted a problem in the system and quickly reacted by creating the most viable solution in the marketplace, keeping American’s health and wallet in check. Launching our most recent innovation – Rising’s Medicare Set Aside Patient Web Portal – took only six short months from inception to completion. The reason for the quick turn time? We surround ourselves with people who embrace the same entrepreneurial spirit we have – most of our hires are former business owners or self-motivated innovators with lots of ideation.

We push the technology team to go above and beyond the industry’s standard solution, a printed “kit” that attempts to help patients manage their often six-digit MSA fund; however, patients rarely read the “kit” and seldom understand it. Rising’s MSA Patient Web Portal is interactive, bilingual and understandable, bringing compliance to a whole new level of transparency for the consumer, the corporation and the government. It’s also Rising first real step into the B to C marketplace. Rising’s MSA Patient Web Portal brings big benefits to the marketplace:

  • Helps the US taxpayer community by ensuring they aren’t picking up the tab for medical treatment that should be paid for from MSA funds and not by Medicare.
  • Reduces liability for payers, defense attorneys, plaintiff attorneys and structured settlement brokers – not just with Medicare but with claimants themselves who could sue for bad-faith claims handling and/or malpractice.
  • Protects the injured claimant. No injured claimant should have to deal with the headache of losing their Medicare benefits or have income taken away from them – jeopardizing their physical and financial health. Too often we see claimants opting out of medical treatment, even though they desperately need it, because they’re frightened by the complexities of the system.

“Doing the right thing” has always been Rising’s mantra for healthcare and it’s visible in every aspect of the MSA Patient Web Portal. The “easy thing” would be to ignore Medicare’s mandates, the risk involved for our client and industry peers, and the claimants struggling with the complexities of MSA compliance.

Instead, when there’s an MSA involved, I try to provide measurable risk reduction to all settlement parties. Moreover, our innovation keeps the federal government happy by demonstrating a watchful eye on Medicare’s and the taxpayer’s best interests.

The Patient Web Portal is as easy as using a check book. It records, manages, tracks and reports to Medicare every detail of the claimant’s medical bill and payment history through the life of the MSA fund. It also has repricing tools that reduce medical bills to the appropriate state’s rates, per Medicare guidelines. If an authority questions a claimant’s use of the money, necessary proof is at their fingertips to help safeguard them from litigation and keep their Medicare benefits intact.

How do you make a significant impact on the community and regional economy?

When people sit down with me, I’ll tell them about how the costs of an inappropriate nose surgery nearly caused my family to go bankrupt, yet ignited my company’s mission: to protect the financial health of healthcare.

So at 29 years old, I set off to do just that and have since decreased the US healthcare cost structure by more than a billion dollars through hiring the brightest people and developing the most innovative technologies to detect fraud, inappropriate charges and duplicate billings.

I take an even-handed approach to creating affordable healthcare, which we hope helps all parties by increasing billing accuracy for insurers, rapidly resolving payments for providers and clearing red tape for patients.

We’ve grown Rising despite a number of hurdles, including a lack of capital, fierce competition and turbulent politico-economic times.

Aiming to cultivate happy employees that are passionate about keeping healthcare healthy, we instituted Rising’s core value system which includes “Energy that Inspires,” “Laugh Often” and “Create Ecstatic Customers” – something the Company does very well, maintaining a 98 percent client retention rate. We also started Rising Cares, an employee-generated community service initiative supporting various programs annually, from Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital to the Village of Vision for Haiti.

How to reach: Rising Medical Solutions, http://www.risingms.com/

In October 2010, Smart Business and U.S. Bank recognized nine business leaders for their commitment to business excellence and the impact their organizations make on the regional community. Treated to a keynote address by Middleby Corp. Chairman and CEO Selim Bassoul, these nine leaders composed the honor roll:

Nancy Ruscheinski
Bill Skeens
Dave Brittsan
Amanda Lannert
Scott Morey
Joel Fruendt
Jason Beans
Jim Signorelli
Larry Neibauer