Earlier this month, WEDI Communications Committee Chair, Matthew Albright, sat down with Eugene Sayan, Softheon Founder and CEO, for a podcast on the growth of health IT. Softheon simplifies member administration from enrollment to servicing. Using an 100% US-based staff, Softheon creates flexible, adaptable, technology-driven solutions, eliminating the administrative burdens many health plans face.
The podcast has been transcribed below. You can also listen here. This is what you can expect in the 44-minute segment:
- Eugene’s background and how he ended up in healthcare
- The future of the exchanges under the new administration and in the midst of the pandemic
- Consumer-driven healthcare
- Transparency rules
- The future of healthcare
Episode 19: Setting, Aligning and Meeting Expectations with Softheon Founder and CEO Eugene Sayan
Matthew: “Hello and welcome to another episode of the collective voice of Health IT – a WEDI podcast. I’m your host, Matthew Albright. My day job is Chief Legislative Affairs Officer for Zelis Payments. Zelis’ mission is to enable providers to simplify and save on their payments and claims. I also serve as the Communications Committee Chair for WEDI (The Workgroup of Electronic Data Interchange). WEDI is a national membership organization, where the health information community connects, collaborates, and creates solutions for a better health system.
Also, in our virtual studio today, we have Eugene Sayan, Founder and CEO of Softheon. Softheon is making administrative simplification a reality in the ACA Marketplace, in Medicaid Managed Care, and many other areas. Eugene, we’re very excited to talk to you today, and honored to have you on our show.”
Eugene: ”Thank you, Matt. It’s an absolute pleasure of mine to join you. And I look forward to the opportunity.”
Matthew: ”And, we’re coming at a very opportune time. It’s the beginning of the year. There are lots of things that happened last year. We’ve got a changing administration. We’ve got lots of things on its plate. But, before we look to the future, I wonder if we can spend a little bit of time where you can tell us a little more about yourself. It’s always interesting to hear the background stories of healthcare leaders - how they ended up in healthcare. And, so often we hear that, sometimes, other lessons they learned earlier in life or in other experiences, they can then apply to healthcare. So, maybe tell us a little about yourself and where you’re coming from, and how you ended up in healthcare.”
Eugene: ”Absolutely! I am the Founder and CEO of Softheon. And, by the way, CEO stands for Chief Expectations Officer. So, it’s my job at Softheon to set the expectations and align the expectations and meet those expectations. Basically, Softheon is a technology company, foremost. For myself, I pursed a degree in Electrical Engineering. Later on, [I] pursued my American Dream, came to the U.S. and changed a little bit of a pivot around computer science, if you will. On my way to a PhD program, I realized I need[ed] to get a better job. So, I ended up working for companies like IBMs and a few others, and since 2000, I started Softheon. Softheon is a 20-year-old company - as what we call an overnight success – 20 years in the making. In that sense, it’s a little bit contrarian. The company has grown organically without any outside capital and financing. And, that also speaks to our contrarian culture we have at Softheon.
Primarily, a lot of computer scientists, those with degrees in finance and others, we look at healthcare as a target-reaching environment for optimizations and modernization. And, that is our entry point. In fact, one of our pivotal points, milestone points in Softheon’s history was back in 2008. We partnered with a large ASI, system integrator, and they were invited to an RFP from the states of Massachusetts to build this thing called the Health Insurance Exchange. Nowadays, we know it as RomneyCare. I, myself, and a few people at Softheon at the time when I believe we were 10 or 11 people, took off on the critical part of the implementation, architectural design and whatnot. And, believe it or not, we implemented RomneyCare in 90 days back in 2007/2008. Of course, it’s not the same exchange, the one we designed. It was more of a MVP approach to what we know as a health insurance exchange, too. But, it did have the core elements, core assets being a Marketplace where the supply meets the demand.
As you know, by now, we have literally 150 million individuals in the USA, in one form or another, subscribe to government programs, known as Medicare and Medicaid. And now, we expand up to the ACA Marketplaces. The numbers amount to about 44 million in Medicare, 79 million Medicaid, 12 million in Marketplace. And, if you combine 29 million people uninsured, that number is about 154 million individuals, [total]. It’s nearly one out of two people in the US is in part of one of these programs.
So, Softheon’s mission really is to make what we call making healthcare affordable, accessible, and plentiful, using data and technology and modern capabilities. I don’t want to keep throwing that buzz, AI machine learning, but we do those things in our day-to-day operations. So, the company today is about 200 people. To be exact, maybe 180 or so, but since the pandemic started, we have grown about 30%, and we continue to hire. And we are a rapidly growing organization, and we are truly proud and privileged to be partnering with government entities – from government to state entities – to insurance companies, and now to associations, like AARP and a few others. So, that’s the background on Softheon and myself.”
Matthew: ”Very, very good. I appreciate that - that overview, Eugene. And I think CMS just came out yesterday and said they had a good year, by comparison, with the Federal Exchange Enrollment and added at least half a million people that lost their own employer-provided healthcare. Where do you see the exchanges going with those kinds of numbers, and perhaps under the new administration, and within the midst of the pandemic?”
Eugene: ”I think, as we all know, at least for the last 4 years, the ACA had a major headwind coming from the White House, the administrations, and multiple states. Barring the political - I’ll say motivations and drivers - the ACA clearly closed that gap, or donut hole, however you want to describe it, in that government-sponsored healthcare and access and care clearly has great opportunities to help millions of people get back into a healthy status, all together, too. We have seen this similar kind of a playbook going back to, again, in Massachusetts. They have been running a state exchange since 2006, in fact. So, I think the ACA definitely has a great opportunity, great purpose to bringing those individuals in this transitional. Let it be a young, invincible demographic, recently graduated and looking for a job, and now they’re over 26 and they have to come off their parents’ plans. Or young couples starting a business. They need something along the line of that they need to be able to afford insurance for themselves, for their young families, or their loved ones. Or, early retirees, 50+, giving the rapid pivot interest toward the gig economy. Individuals are deciding that maybe it’s time for me to start my own business.
So, clearly, I believe that early estimates were that 40+ million individuals qualified. Of that, 12 million already were enrolled into ACA. As you know, the number was slightly higher – I believe 14-15 million in early years. But, with the headwinds, unfortunately, this shortening of the Open Enrollment period, as you know, from 4 months to 45 days, previous to the Obama Administration, the Trump Administration shortened the OE to 45 days. And then, of course, mountains of lawsuits around the different provisions of the ACA, let it be individual mandates, or helping the insurance companies bear the cost of providing insurance for someone. Ultimately, we did expect the excessive utilization of healthcare services, which created an additional burden for insurance carriers. And, as you know, the commonly known as a cost-sharing reduction, which is a reinsurance program, was deemed initially something that was not part of ACA, but later on, was challenged by the Supreme Court, and those payers were forced to go out of business.
So, fast forward to today, I think ACA plays a pivotal role. As we all know, healthcare is one of our most precious commodities that we have. Our bodies are the most important thing, on what we do, how we function. Unfortunately, healthcare has been on a rampage of excessive growth, if you will. I believe the latest number we’re up to is 3.6 trillion dollars. Just within the last year, healthcare expenses went up by 5%. This far exceeds the inflationary or CPI indexes. So, cost of healthcare continued to go up and ACA provides a sensible opportunity for those individuals who are in that transitional cycle in their life, whatever that may be. Going forward, we see an ACA under the Biden Administration - that headwind now becomes a tailwind. I believe that the Secretary-elect already has indicated that part of the Department Treasury’s plan to revitalize the economy is going to be through healthcare. These are merely predictions, all predictions. We believe that we are going to see an increase in subsidies as a direct correlation declining income. Most, 20 some million people unemployed as a condition that, I will say, we will see Feds reacting in additional support of subsidies. Whether those subsidies will be directly correlated to the healthcare expenditures or some other form of subsidies. Could be something like HSA distributions or whatnot, as well. We are also expecting and projecting that the eligibility category will be increased to be on 400% FPL (federal poverty levels). Now, we don’t know whether that number will be 500% or 600% FPL, but clearly the population addressable market size for ACA population may far exceed that initial. Which [will be] up to 40+ million to maybe 50-60 million, depending upon how aggressive the Biden Administration will be. As it relates to promoting the ACA, at the same time stimulating the economy, [and] at the same time bending the cost curve and other reasons.
Matthew: ”Yes, okay, very good, Eugene. And I think they’re already talking. The Biden Administration is already talking about certain vehicles for expanding the eligibility, expanding the economic health for people who want to go to the exchanges through some of the consolidation bills, or maybe even through the COVID relief bills. Thank you.
When we come back, we’re going to continue our discussion with Eugene Sayan, and I’d like to talk to him a little about consumer-driven healthcare and how that relates to, as he mentioned, the 154 million people now that are in government programs. But, for now, let’s take a quick break, and hear from our producer, Michael McNutt.”
Michael McNutt speaks about WEDI educational offerings – The Quest for Health Equity on February 23/24 on Zoom.
Matthew: “We’re back, and we’re talking with Eugene Sayan, Founder and CEO of Softheon on another episode of the Collective Voice of Health IT - a WEDI podcast. So, Eugene, we left off and you were talking about the exchanges and how many, like almost 1 in 2 individuals in the United States, are under government programs for their healthcare. How does that relate to consumer-driven healthcare? And, while we’re on that topic, how has the pandemic affected consumer-driven healthcare? And [what] I’m thinking is that there’s a little tension between if the government is taking out over 1 out of every 2 subsidies, or has some part in 1 out of every 2 individuals’ healthcare benefits, does that decrease the possibility for consumer choice and consumer access? And maybe, how has the pandemic played into that? I think I just asked you about a dozen questions all at once, but I’ll let you go.”
Eugene: “Alright, I’ll do my best. I’ll go in some order of fashion. So, really going back to the early days of 2008. As I mentioned, working with Massachusetts and working with 11-12 carriers in the early days of creating this more of a market analogy I’m going to use altogether. It was truly an eye-opening experience for us. We saw the need for, obviously a demand, we just talked about it – 154 million individuals. Right now, the ACA shopping experience is very limited to obviously certain programs - the ACA marketplace, altogether too. But we’re also seeing the early signs of kind of a decision-making, empowerment shopping experience for, as we know, Medicare, MA Product - especially a managed product - and Part D for over 65. And we are also seeing parts of a kind of consumer empowerment within the Medicaid program. And one notable example will be the Health Indiana Program. In fact, the program was designed and built by Seema Verma, as you know our current CMS administrator, back then under Governor Pence. Whereby, Indiana, in fact, was one of the very few states to have taken in the 1332 waiver of ACA rather than building a state marketplace for that 133% to 400% FPL population. They wanted to design a shopping experience, and more of a consumer empowerment experience for the entire Medicaid population.
So, the thinking that a program today, in fact, serves (if I’m not mistaken) a little over or higher around 500,000 individuals in Indiana, whereby they receive their health benefits through some form of HSA cards, and what we call a power cards, and they can go and shop and spend that money, and there are some incentives that actually the members can use to carry over a portion of their unused funds, if you will. So, if you step back, for us, really the early days of ACA, when it was implemented, we wanted to do something a little different than many of the payers, or healthcare players, in the ACA market which was to do – we wanted to make a marketplace – truly a marketplace, where the insurers can come in, and they can quote unquote “stock up our shelves with their product and services”. As the consumer starts coming in, they can pick and choose those products.
And, unfortunately, most of the industry went toward creating their own shopping experiences, so the best analogy I can give to you is: if you are looking to buy an airplane ticket, you can go to your favorite airline - most likely the one that gives you the most miles, frequent flyers - and mine was Delta. The last time I’d flown [was] about two years ago. It feels like a century ago. You can go to Delta.com or you can go to Expedia.com. If your focus is on price and comparison, [in healthcare] you will go through multicarrier exchanges like the ACA. But, if your focus is the BIP and using those points, [in airlines], you’ll go to Delta.com. But Delta is fully aware. In fact, if you were to go ask the Delta CEO how many websites that you can buy a Delta airline ticket, if you will, I think the answer would probably be, “I don’t know”. It could be hundreds; it could be literally thousands of websites. The process [that] happens in the healthcare industry is through this consortium called OTA, open travel agency. 20 years ago, basically every airline, every major hotel, came together and created this interchange of data between all the parties. So, the shopping experience for the consumer has basically gone [from] chasing travel agencies, [to] now go through one site and you can compare all of the products and services. Similarly, obviously, [to] the consumerism taking place in every part of our lives. Amazon has done that very well on their eCommerce site – we don’t have to go to malls anymore. Our living rooms are the malls. We can now pick and shop anything that we want. Same thing happening in banking. Same thing happening in other parts of the organization of our lives. I think from that perspective, that was our approach to the consumerization in healthcare. So, obviously we had to do a lot more work in that sense because the systems that we had to design had to be open to everyone and anyone that wants to participate. Through the process, numerous health plans would be able to put their products on the shelves, rather than building their own retail stores, quote unquote. Also, on the consumer side, they have the ability to now come to one side and they can just basically shop and compare so many different products and services from so many different healthcare payers. So, that’s our definition of consumerization in healthcare.
How does it relate to the pandemic? Well, to be frank with you, I think the pandemic [has] just simply accelerated that transformation, which was already slowly happening, even before the ACA, as you probably recall. Private exchanges were the topic, or the word of the town. We felt that every employer will be asking or creating their own multicarrier exchanges for their employers. And the ACA kind of pushed that concept to the side and everything that had to be done because it was a mandate – everyone had to do something with it. Well, COVID is another form of a mandate, the way we see it. What COVID did, it basically accelerated the paradigm shift from brick-and-mortar healthcare to [a] new era, where the healthcare, specifically the telehealth component, is delivered near real-time, if not in real-time. And here’s the twist. It could be delivered by known or unknown partners or healthcare providers. Your doctor is no longer a couple of miles down from your house or where you live. It could be in any part of the country in current status, altogether too. So, all of a sudden now, we have this paradigm shift that you don’t even know who your partners are. You are building real-time partnerships with organizations like Teledocs, [which] helps you find the aggregator.
It’s another way – how Uber aggregates the cars available nearby you in case you need a ride. I think that we’re going to a world where the services are being delivered to you in near real-time, or just-in-time. And, just as the Delta CEO doesn’t know how many outlets are selling their tickets, I think we are moving rapidly into the area where healthcare payers, in this case partnering with partners or unknown partners, for delivering services. Not just by traditional hospital or healthcare systems, but we are seeing a plethora of companies that are funded by venture capitalists and private equities, and they all want a have a piece of that 3.4 trillion-dollar basket. That’s what we call healthcare spending. And to be frank, as you can see in the current pandemic, healthcare IT companies and public companies, had the highest return in 2020 in an average of 89% in their stock performance. So, there is definitely a big push toward the digitization of these products and services because the market has exploded in an unpredictable and surprising way due to COVID.”
Matthew: “I love how you describe the Affordable Care Act as really a mechanism that was for the good of the consumer. I love the analogy that you’re using with Amazon, and the rest, with the idea of a marketplace being one place that you can shop. And that idea, the second idea that the pandemic has showed us is that you don’t have to shop at the store next door. With telehealth, it’s again like Amazon. You might be ordering something from China for all you know. Or, it could be Indiana, [or] it could be right around the corner. So, you’ve got the cost comparison and you’ve got the access.
What’s interesting is the new transparency rules are now doing the second part of that cost comparison. Right? So, if the ACA and the exchanges and the marketplace [were] getting to see plans and getting to shop with plans, and what the various cost of health plans would be, now with these transparency rules, and the transparency provisions and the no surprises act, we’re going to get the other half where you actually get to shop among hospitals. And, as you’re saying, maybe even shop among Teledocs, and some of those Teledocs might be in completely different states. So, let’s go on to the transparency rules. What is your view on that in regard to consumer healthcare? And, maybe, let’s talk a little bit about where we are with the transparency rules, and if we are actually going to see them get implemented this year by hospitals and next year by the plans? And again, I’ve asked you about a dozen questions, but I’ll let you go.”
Eugene: ”Not at all. We welcome that opportunity. Again, I think that in a way we are feeding off each other. So, this is what happens when you bring likeminded people. We are all kind of believing in the same mission. To be frank, I don’t think I answered your first question about Softheon’s culture. You know, it started with myself. We talk about being a contrarian company. You know, organically grown to the point that we have been rated one of the fastest growing companies by Deliotte, nationally by Crane in New York. So, the company has achieved some great success because we feel very passionate about making healthcare affordable, accessible, and plentiful. And, here’s the insider for you, by the way. The affordability, accessibility, and plentifulness is the definition of a commodity, as per Webster dictionary. So, our goal is to actually – of course we did not want to say - ”we want to make healthcare a commodity” – right, that kind of throws you off your guard a little bit. But affordability and accessibility are really paramount, we believe, in bending the cost curve because the healthcare expense is going in a record pace. You know 3.4, soon 4 trillion dollars. 23-million-dollar budgets, we’re talking about 20% of our GDP is being spent on healthcare. And here’s the sad part about it. Despite all of the money being spent, I’m afraid to say that the spending will continue to grow not in direct correlation to the outcome.
As you know, the 3-4 services model and basically shift to that value-based and outcome-based models, if you will, have been the topic for at least several years, to the best of my knowledge. It’s very difficult. It’s how do you achieve those goals? How do you measure outcomes? How do you measure value in the absence of data? And interoperability is the primary means of collecting that data and then measuring the data and then acting and putting as a feedback. And the typical AI machine learning model. You check the input, you look at the output, and you try to predict what’s inside the box. And, using those analogies, using that simple data, you try to apply to larger datasets, so on and so forth. I think the colored paradigm shift, if you will, it will enable companies to start gathering a lot more data. And this is where I think interoperability plays a critical role. I, unfortunately, I think interoperability will continue to take a little bit of a backseat, given the economic condition we are in and given the healthcare spending that is needed to basically control this pandemic and keep this pandemic under control. So, I think I continue to see spending increases not in direct correlation to the outcome. And, interoperability, I think slowly and gradually will become a primary means to getting that data availability in the hands of the consumer.
A great example, by the way, we talk about the travel industry. This is one of the things we do at Softheon. We like to look at everything from first principal thinking. As you know, Elon Musk made this really, really popular. He talks about this every day – how you can approach new problems. We like that. We pretty much, our Softheon culture, quite a few of them, with the exception of myself and a few others, skew the [age] numbers at Softheon. Because our average engineer employee at Softheon is probably 26-27 years old. With 80% of our staff 30 and younger. And that is how we look at the problems. That is how they look at the problems. When we were on this journey to building the next healthcare consumerism platform, we just simply went back to the drawing board to say, “Okay, let’s look at the examples. What other industries have executed this transformation?”. And one notable one was no different than we do today – ATMs. You can go to any convenience store, put your card, identify yourself, and you have access to your bank account in any part of the world, for the most part. I travel to Europe quite often, and I have real-time access to my bank accounts here in New York. How does it happen? How does this process happen? Because my bank, Bank of America, doesn’t know the ATM that is located at a convenience store somewhere in Hembrook. How does that process happen?
So, this is the kind of curiosity that put us on a track to create the platform that we created. So, just to talk a little bit about Softheon on that piece, with the exception of physical buildings, we built our own data center, we acquired our own hardware, software, our own compliance because we are one of those unique organizations that have achieved the CMS Enhanced Direct Enrollment status. What Turbotax and HR Block to the IRS is – Softheon is that energy to CMS. We have direct connection to the IRS and department of homeland security and whatnot. So, within the context of interoperability, we have to comply and meet with specifications like NST800, FISMA, MARSE, and so on and so forth. So that we wanted to build the foundation that a straw will continue us to expand and grow. At some point in time, as you know in Europe, there are a series of data protection rules, also known as GDPR. We already know that California Consumer Privacy Act actually took effect in January 2020, and it will be increasing demand. So, switching back to CMS interoperability, we think that there is going to be an opportunity. It’s going to be a slower adoption. We think that given the current economic conditions, the Administration will probably relax some of those mandates. They will continue to push health, as they have done. As a result of COVID, some of the deadlines were already being delayed and postponed 6 months to a year. We think that will continue to happen. We think some of the penalties associated with not meeting the interoperability mandates will probably be waived or be forgiven for some time or if nothing else, minimized. But interoperability is going to be a key element to it.
The only concern that we have at Softheon is going to be enough to repeat some of the mistakes that we did in the early days of meaningful use. Remember EMR and EHRs and everything else where not that many hospitals and doctors in the US did not have an electronic means of gathering the medical records. And then, there was a movement to happen at a record pace. Now that I think, probably high 90s about the medical record. But the problem through that process, we ended up, no disrespect too – we ended up creating these large silos called Epic and Cerner. Now, the information is locked up. I think interoperability, hopefully, will allow and unshackle the data, so that organizations like Softheon can create the conduit, can create the aggregators, where the consumer can come in. They can collect all their data about their health and wellness, and then use some smart engines, like Amazon’s shopping decision support. Softheon has a similar type of decision support, propensity models, about the behaviors or whatnot. So, using machine learning, using gamification of healthcare, we think that we are able to provide access to affordable healthcare to be provided. Like you said, a doctor down the road or it could be a doctor in another part of the country. In the same fashion, as will be done, if not better, using the technology.”
Matthew: “I appreciate now what you’ve said that at the beginning of this show. You said Softheon was an overnight success, over 20 years. Is that how you put it?”
Eugene: ”That is one of our inside humors.”
Matthew: ”That’s exactly right. But now it seems like you’re perfectly placed with the interoperability rules coming through and certainly with the exchanges having headwinds. Having some air beneath their wings at this point. And under the new Administration, it sounds like you’re well-placed. You know, something that stuck out at me. You said that affordability, accessibility, and plentiful were 3 terms that are part of your mission. Affordable and accessible sound like words we hear all the day in healthcare policies. Plentiful, that’s a new term, and it sounds almost organic, almost sacred. What do you mean by plentiful?”
Eugene: “Well, I think that plentiful is that we always heard that healthcare was local, local at the state level, local at the county level. In fact, if you look at it how even health insurance plans are being designed and priced is at the county level. Because it started for the population in that given area. The networks, the contracts are designed to be in an extremely localized fashion. We believe with the advent of technology, with the advent of telehealth, with the advent of internet and other means of capability interoperability tools, now we have ability to have your doctors, your MRI technicians or your specialists to be in other parts of the country. And that has already been happening. It’s been happening through telehealth, happening through pharmacy companies that are popping up. The consumerization is now seeping through every corner of healthcare. So, basically our definition of plentiful is that there are more places now that the consumer can go to get those services, and shop around those services.
So, the key thing is going to be, again, like you said having access to the price information. That’s the part that’s still a little bit of a pushback. Let it be how AMA is designing the product around ICD codes, and whatnot, too. I think that [it’s] going to [take] some time for the consumer to truly understand and compare the prices between product and services, as they are comparing prices, let’s say on pharmacy between the brand and generic drugs. I think as we go towards the next generation, through ACA, we believe one of the greatest things the ACA has done was that you were able to compare product A to product B without all the confusing jargons and HMOs, PPOs, and max out of pocket. ACA, Healthcare.gov, Softheon, our subsidiary, direct to business consumer, W3LL – these organizations [are] now simple, easy-to-use. A 63-year-old person may not be up to date with technology; to a 22-year-old person [who] can go on and compare the prices. So, we believe the plentifulness will come from, truly, increasing the sources of these products and services that are being delivered to the consumer. And, consumers are being empowered by these new players, and they’re going to come in, as I said earlier. I think healthcare is one of the fastest moving investment categories for venture capitals, private equities, or public companies that are already being listed. So, that’s what we mean by plentifulness.”
Matthew: “Very good. Affordable, accessible, and plentiful. Well, this has been a great discussion, Eugene. Any closing words? Any aspirational thoughts about where healthcare will be in another 5 years, 10 years?”
Eugene: “You know, we are perpetual optimists at Softheon, to be frank with you, because there is so much day-to-day living and negativity and cynicism, altogether too. We believe given the information, given the opportunity, healthcare is neither a right nor a privilege. We believe it’s both. We all have access or a right to healthcare. It doesn’t mean free healthcare because there’s nothing free in life. Someone had to end up paying for it. I think the key point is going to be about affordability. The privilege portion is really the individual having the opportunity to make those sound decisions based on the information provided. We do this with everything – buying a car, buying a house. We are not offended by someone giving us low FICO scores. If that’s the case, what do we do? We find a way to improve our FICO scores, so we can get a lower insurance rate.
I cannot say I am in agreement with some of the colleagues. They continue to march upon saying, “well this is too complicated, so we are not going to trust individuals to make a decision about what kind of healthcare do they need; what kind of services do they need.” We briefly touch on social determinants of health. Your zip code now is as important as your blood pressure. I think the individual has the right and opportunity to be engaged with healthcare. Until that engagement happens, until people are deciding behind closed doors about what the cost of a particular procedure should be, and then trying to find a way to cap these expenses and continue to make decisions on behalf of the consumer. I think, in our view, that’s one of the things holding us back from true, true transformation. And here’s the real kicker – the interoperability, internet, the concepts that we talk about like GDPR’s, and accessibility to healthcare – up until recently, the healthcare system in the US has been touted as one of the unique healthcare systems in the world. And therefore, it’s not being transferable. Well, with this process, with this kind of disruption that we’re looking to bring upon on the industry, making it affordable, accessible, and plentiful, we think that people in India, China, Africa, Europe – those people will be needing an affordable, accessible, and plentiful healthcare. Of course they do. So, our plea to the industry, companies like ourselves and others, I think we have to look upon interoperability as a partnership. Interoperability is an oxymoron if you’re only going to go after monopolies and duopolies in industry, which has been the case. The number of suppliers are shrinking because there are less and less companies that are able to. So, I think that there is something brewing, very big, in our view that will allow this platform, this technology, this work that we put in place in the US actually [to] be easily transferable not to 154 million transferable, addressable market size. When we talk about total addressable market size of [the] US – about 330-340 million – to 6 billion, maybe even 7 billion. This is the exciting part about it. When I talk to my colleagues in private equity and BCs, they don’t view the transformation, they don’t view the destruction of [the] US only. I think there’s an opportunity to think a lot bigger than just the US and do a lot better than just US populations’ concern. So, that will be the hopeful thinking and the optimistic thinking on our part. Then again, we’re not always right. But, we’ll see what happens.”
Matthew: “No, that is a great place to end, Eugene, and you got me on board. We export our music, we export our science, we export so many things that America is a leader in, and if we’ve got this great healthcare system, then why not make it better and let’s export it. And, if not export it, let it serve as an example. I think that’s a great end. Eugene, a pleasure having you on the show today.”
Matthew: ”We have been talking to Eugene Sayan, Founder and CEO of Softheon. One of WEDI’s primary functions is to keep health plans, hospitals, and other providers educated on health IT, and we very much appreciate Eugene Sayan for helping WEDI do that today. This has been the Collective Voice of Health IT – a WEDI podcast. Where the health information technology community connects, collaborates, and creates solutions for a better health system, for the United States, and maybe for the world. Find this episode and many more on our website, wedi.org. Thank you all for joining us and be safe.”