One big reason? Obamacare.
The Affordable Care Act’s goal of lowering health care spending is prompting small physicians’ practices to consider mergers to control their overhead expenses. And when practices join forces, they need firms such as the Rutherford-based PriorityOne to deliver the IT solutions that get all the doctors behaving like a single business — not isolated silos with their own medical records and billing systems.
Once PriorityOne gets a system up and running, the company provides ongoing tech support for a flat fee — creating an incentive to avoid costly IT glitches.
And when problems do arise, the price is right.
“If it takes one hour to fix or 100 hours, it’s on me,” company founder and Chief Executive Nelson Gomes said. “So I tell the doctors: ‘I don’t want you to call, and I don’t want to go there.’ Is that realistic? No, but it’s what we strive for. And we do a lot of work in the background to make sure problems don’t happen.”
Gomes studied IT at DeVry University, then learned the intricacies of health care IT as a senior systems engineer at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood from 2000 to 2004.
“I really gained a lot of experience in health care IT (at Valley),” Gomes said. “I had an opportunity to see how the big guys work.”
Gomes started his own part-time IT consulting business in 1997. Soon after, physicians affiliated with Valley began asking him to sort out the IT problems in their own offices. That led Gomes to leave Valley to devote himself full-time to PriorityOne.
The company provides IT services for 60 medical facilities, including ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), which are freestanding facilities where doctors perform surgical procedures that don’t require an overnight stay.
There, PriorityOne’s setup process, like the surgeries, requires a clean environment.