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9:53am EDT June 28, 2006
When Jerry Merritt took over as CEO of ZirMed Inc. in 2004, the company was in a downward spiral.

Twice, the Web-based electronic claims company had sent its employees home because it had no money to pay them.

When Merritt stepped in at the Louisville-based company, he instituted two bold initiatives. The first was to give all 40 employees the opportunity to become owners, to instill in them the sense of pride and urgency needed to make the business succeed. And he arranged a “paid by performance” program, which enticed workers to give their all because as the company succeeded, so would the employees be rewarded.

Secondly, he realized that no one knew about ZirMed. To remedy that, he built a new sales and marketing framework teaching employees that to sell the product, they had to know it and believe in it. He focused his approach on the customer, and expanded the company’s service from Web-based claims processing to complete revenue cycle management to provide eligibility verification, payment processing, transcription services, claims, coding and remittance.

Merritt also makes sure his employees have the knowledge and skills to keep ZirMed on the fast track for growth by establishing ZirMed University, in which all employees, from the secretary to the CIO, receive the most current updates on the company’s product.

Merritt’s ideas have worked. In the nearly two years since he took over ZirMed, he has grown the company from 40 employees to 100 employees and continues to grow revenue.

And with ZirMed processing 3 million transactions per month with partners including Humana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and Aetna, Merritt’s goal for continued growth is not out of reach.

And at the end of the day, Merritt is focused on one goal.

“It’s not about just being successful,” says Merritt. “It’s about making a difference.”

How to reach: ZirMed Inc., (502) 473-7709 or www.zirmed.com