LEO SAFRO, 34, of Ivyland, Bucks County, is CEO and owner of MultiCare Health System, based in Willow Grove. Launched last year, the company provides primary-care services to about 100 homebound patients, most of whom are seniors.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for MultiCare?
A: I was a consultant and started in home health care. I saw that lots of patients didn't have a primary-care physician or weren't seeing one. That increases hospitalizations and doesn't give people comfort about their health. In 2008, I hired an attorney to research all the regulations and develop a business plan. We started accepting patients last year.
Q: Where'd you get funding?
A: I put up $150,000 of my own money toward the startup.
Q: Your target clientele?
A: There are 115,000 people over 75 in the Philadelphia market. All don't need a physician, but might someday need our services.
Q: How do you connect with your homebound patients?
A: A client calls and says we don't have a primary-care doctor, haven't seen one lately or can't get to a doctor. We get their information and connect to a nurse practitioner. If they qualify, we schedule a visit within 48 hours.
Q: So how many people do you have actually making house calls?
A: We have two nurse practitioners and one visiting physician.
Q: How many employees?
A: MultiCare has six employees. We also have a home-health-care division that handles nursing and physical therapy.
Q: What separates MultiCare from others in this space?
A: We have excellent response time. We're able to come out the same day. We're able to see new patients within 48 hours. And we cover the five-county Philly area.
Q: What's the biggest challenge you faced growing the business?
A: Educating people about what we do. A lot of them don't know about our service or that it doesn't cost them more than an insurance deductible or co-pay if they went to a doctor's office.
Q: What's the typical co-pay?
A: Usually from $5 to $25.
Q: Are services paid for by government or private insurance?
Q: What's the age range of your clients?
A: Our current client population ranges from 27 to 98. About 85 percent are elderly.
Q: If you visit a client and determine that more-comprehensive services are needed, do you take the person to a doctor or hospital?
A: Absolutely, but we do our best to find specialists who will come to the client's home first.
Q: How big a business is this?
A: Often, the insurance reimbursements are only one-third of what our costs are. We hope to be profitable by the end of 2014.