Taking on a challenge Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2010
Award Recipient
Health Services

Despite the economic trends, the uncertainty in health care, the Wall Street skeptics and the competitors’ view, despite all of the signs pointing to no, Dr. A.K. Desai wasn’t changing his mind. And that was a good decision.

Desai, the chairman, president and CEO of Universal Health Care Group Inc., went through with his plan of investing and expanding in the private fee for service line of the health care business. Although not a popular move at the time, Desai thought if he could think outside of the proverbial box, it could lead to innovation.

That was a good thought, too.

In 2006, while submitting Medicare Advantage bids, Desai identified an option that would allow people to give back the annual Part B allocation money that is provided by the Social Security Administration. The benefit was built into Universal’s marketing for the next year.

With no other health care plan providing the benefit and its marketing strategy, the company received 100,000 new applications within a 30-day period in 2007, compared to 45,000 new applications the prior year.

Universal was poised for tremendous growth. But the sudden success created a large challenge for its financial and operational infrastructure. During the challenge, Universal was able to follow through on its mission of providing world-class health care while producing sufficient numbers to satisfy regulatory constituents.

Desai, a lifelong geriatric physician, maintains that innovative vision today. He founded Universal in 2002 and it quickly spread throughout Florida.

In 2007, the company expanded out of Florida into seven other states. Universal currently markets its services in 11 states and plans to expand to all 50 states by 2015.

How to reach: Universal Health Care Group Inc., (866) 690-4842 or www.univhc.com