STARTUP

This Harvard Grad Created A Startup To Disrupt The $1 Trillion Dollar Healthcare Market

After a tragic family loss to Alzheimer’s disease, Russ Graney created a company that optimizes the process of choosing continuing care providers and empowers consumers to make informed decisions about their health and that of their family as well.

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BY Maisie Devine - 20 Apr 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

As prospects for healthcare reform sink in Washington DC, a small startup 200 miles away in downtown New York is picking up the reigns, one hospital discharge at a time.

Russ Graney, Harvard-educated and Bain Consulting-trained, founded Aidin after a tragic family loss to early onset Alzheimer's disease exposed him to the unintended consequences of old-fashioned hospital discharge routines. Graney created Aidin, a web-based application to help hospitals efficiently refer patients to proven quality care providers. Aidin is currently in place at over forty hospitals nationwide. Not only are enrolled hospitals saving time and money by minimizing patient stays, they're providing better results for patients.

"I'm really proud of the praise our hospitals have for Aidin. Together we are proving that healthcare reform can be simple: give people the right information and reward them for using it to make smart healthcare choices. As we make Aidin available more widely, hospitals across the country will yield savings of over $2 billion a year," said Graney.

But that's not the greatest value that Aidin has to offer. Graney recalls a visit two years ago where he watched a case manager use Aidin to find a nursing home for a sick patient with no insurance. In the past, a patient like this languished in the hospital for weeks with no place else to go. Using Aidin, the case manager found a nursing home that same day with an extra bed and a team ready to support the family with financial applications. "That patient was my uncle just two years ago."

It's this type of personal mission that is evolving as a Millennial trademark. Healthcare companies traditionally raised large sums from investors to quickly hit the market with tech designed for the latest executive trend. The new generation tends to dismiss the impact of decisions made in boardrooms. "Aidin exists because we believe the greatest lever for reform is in decisions made every day by millions of ordinary patients and hospital staff. We're not counting on any healthcare giants or policy makers - with a small team we proved we can solve the problems my family saw."

At hospitals where Aidin is available, case workers, patients and healthcare providers are rewarded for creating competition for new patients, putting quality first when patients choose, and holding everyone accountable to the same rules. Health systems with Aidin see 82% of patients choose the highest quality provider available. High quality care providers receive three times more patients.

At a recent event, the Aidin Awards at Santa Monica, three such providers received awards in the categories of Best Patient Outcomes, Best Patient Satisfaction and Best Medicaid Outcomes (for low-income customers). Speaking at the event was Dr. Eric Coleman, a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award for his work addressing the miscommunications and errors that occur as patients transition from hospitals to other healthcare facilities. UCLA Chief Nursing Officer Karen Grimley, whose hospital network was one of Aidin's early adopters, accepted the $5,000 Aidin Grant to be re-distributed to Los Angeles-area providers for furthering quality of care. "Our mission is to improve the quality and efficacy of the healthcare system that will care for our families and one day ourselves," Graney said. "So the Aidin Awards acknowledge the successes we're already creating, as well as the tremendous potential for providers throughout the hospital process to be better in the near future."