David Levin, the veteran Triangle entrepreneur who is CEO of analytics startup Bivarus, talks about what’s next for the company which recently raised venture funding, made an acquisition in Hickory, and has big plans for the future.
He also explains why Bivarus bought Jackson Group – in part for something called CAHPS.
Plus, the startup is hiring.
Bivarus, which focuses on health data analytics, has raised nearly $4 million over the past two years. And on Tuesday its acquisition of a Hickory-based consulting and services firm Jackson Group was announced.
Key to acquisition is adding Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (or CAHPS) capabilities to Bivarus.
According to Bivarus, Jackson Group is one of 37 vendors in the U.S. approved by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to offer CAHPS services. Bivarus noted that CAHPS is a “mandatory survey program for an ever-increasing number of healthcare organizations.”
Driving the company’s rapid growth is Levin, a familiar name in Triangle life science tech circles having worked at both Clinipace Worldwide and MercuryMD. (See full bio below.)
- How does the addition of Jackson Group position your firm for growth?
We are now able to offer a comprehensive suite of both patient and employee insight services. Meaning, we can help our customers really understand the issues and experiences of their key constituents, whether those are patients, employees, medical staff, the community at large, etc.
- Why is CAHPS so important? Had Bivarus explored seeking CAHPS on its own? Why/why not?
CAHPS is a program mandated by CMS for many healthcare organizations, including hospitals, requiring them to collect and report patient experience information. This is a vital component in the industry’s transition to value-based medicine.
While we explored building our own CAHPS capabilities, there are many requirements to meet to be a CMS-approved CAHPS vendor. We determined this process would be too time consuming. Instead, we sought an industry partner to provide those services. By partnering originally with The Jackson Group, we realized over time they were a great fit our company and so became an acquisition target.
- So what are the services that Bivarus now can provide?
We can now say we’re a full-service customer experience management company with the goal of helping healthcare leaders capture and operationalize real-time insights.
Services will continue to be organized primary into two market segments:
- Patient experience
- Employee insight
- Community voice
- Community voice
- What factors are driving demand for these services?
There are primarily four factors driving demand for these services:
- Transition to value-based purchasing (this is where CAHPS comes into play)
- Desire for continuous quality improvement (CQI) initiatives (using the Bivarus platform for real-time monitoring of quality initiatives)
- Consumerism (more consumers are tasked with making decisions about healthcare, thus organizations are competing for business based on quality care and positive patient experience)
- Competition (for example, in highly urban or suburban markets, healthcare is hyper-competitive; organizations have to do what they can to differentiate – not only for patients, but for quality employees, as well!)
- Do you plan any further acquisitions at this time?
No, we do not have our sites set on any additional acquisitions at this time.
- Are you hiring? If so in what areas?
Absolutely. We continue to hire in sales, customer success and engineering.
We’re likely to hire between 5 and 10 employees in the Triangle through the end of the year.
- Do you anticipate raising any additional funding in the near future?
We are looking to raise an additional round 12-18 months out.
Meet David S. Levin, Chief Executive Officer, Bivarus
With over 20 years of experience, David is an accomplished leader within the health care and software industries. He was a member of the original management teams at two successful local Research Triangle companies, Clinipace Worldwide and MercuryMD.
After joining Clinipace Worldwide in 2008 as vice president of global marketing, the company became recognized as one of the fastest growing private companies in the country. David played a critical leadership role in the company’s inclusion on the prestigious Inc. 500/5000 list for five consecutive years, recognition as one of Forbes Magazine’s America’s Most Promising Companies, in addition to numerous local and regional business accolades. He made significant contributions to growth strategy, sales, marketing, operations, and helped lead the company through five acquisitions over the past six years. David’s efforts led Clinipace to become a top 20 contract research organization (CRO) globally, and considered a company-to-watch in the industry.
Prior to Clinipace Worldwide, David was a key executive at MercuryMD, joining in 2001 as vice president of product management and marketing. He helped launch several well-adopted software applications into the health care market prior to the company’s successful sale to The Thompson Corporation in 2006.
David holds a master’s in health planning from the University of Georgia and a bachelor’s in biomechanics from Kent State University.