EXPERT OPINION: A Conversation with Dan Trigub

June 2, 2014

In this "Expert Opinion" interview, Dan Trigub, Co-Founder, OpenPlacement, discusses care transitions, home health, accountable care organizations, the internet, and more.....

Dan Trigub Read the transcript

 

Dan is a co-founder of OpenPlacement and helps drive the company's strategy, growth and day-to-day operations. Dan is a serial entrepreneur helping found and start several prior companies and brings 10 years of early stage startup, finance and consulting experience.  Most recently Dan helped found Blue Bite, a leading provider of targeted location-based mobile content delivery solutions and pioneer in the Near Field Communication (NFC) space. 

Prior to building startups, Dan was an Associate at GCA Savvian Advisors, a leading M&A and Capital Advisory Investment Bank in San Francisco and worked extensively with emerging technology, Digital Health and healthcare facility companies.  Most notably, Dan spent over two years working closely with the management team of one of the largest Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals (LTACH) in Southern California which ultimately sold to Kindred Healthcare.  An alumni of Vassar College, Dan earned a B.S. degree in Economics.

 

Contact Information:

Dan Trigub
Co-Founder
Open Placement
Dan@OpenPlacement.com
(O) 855-277-6736 ext. 705
(F) 800-858-3078

 

Read the interview transcript:

 

Steve Monroe

The need for caregivers or appropriate senior housing settings for the elderly is going to explode literally in the next 20, 30 years. And OpenPlacement wants to provide families and care coordinators with all the tools that they need to take care of that. I’m sitting here with Dan Trigub, he’s the co-founder of OpenPlacement.

So, Dan, tell me what OpenPlacement does and how you’re going to solve some of these problems.

Dan Trigub

Absolutely. So, simply put, we try to make care transitions easy. So, right now, if my grandmother had a hip surgery at a local hospital, she has a pre-op visit where they start talking about discharge planning and places she needs to go to. When it’s time to find either skilled nursing care or home health after that procedure, which 99% of the time the patient’s going to need after an ortho procedure like a hip, the best resource the hospital has that they provide to the family, provide to the patient, is literally a list. A piece of paper with some options and they say, “Here you go—good luck.”

Now, from the patient, the family perspective, they look at this piece of paper, who’s good, who’s bad? Who has a bed available? Who’s in my price range? Who even is in the geography I need to be discharged to? And it’s absolutely antiquated, paper-pen, phone call-driven.

So we said, in today’s day and age, I can make all the analogies—Hotels.com, Open Table for restaurant reservation, Travelocity—why can’t there be a tool for the patient, the family or a caregiver that they can say, listen, I need skilled nursing care in this geography, this is my budget, this is my insurance. Show me who’s out there that can meet those needs. Now, from the provider perspective, whether skilled nursing or home health or whatever it might be, they cross their fingers that they’re on that list, that list that the hospital hands to the patient and the family, because they know, they so much rely on that.

Steve Monroe
Not on the list, they don’t get the business.

Dan Trigub
Exactly right. So, how do we give them visibility? At the end of the day, the hospital has to give choice to the family. They can never be seen as saying this is the best place for Mom. But we say is we want to give choice. We want to give the best choice, based on their specific needs. How do we make that process more efficient? How do we connect them to that provider by email, a phone call, a text message? How can we begin that process even pre-op, pre-procedure, so last-minute the case manager at the hospital isn’t scrambling and making phone calls trying to find a good fit for the patient.

Steve Monroe
So you’re doing that either before or during.

Dan Trigub

Absolutely.

Steve Monroe
How do you get all those providers, the case manager at the hospital—who determines what providers get on their list?

Dan Trigub

So, just like a hospital, we at OpenPlacement have to give choice. We’re not steering anybody. There’s no, we’re not endorsing, promoting, there’s no premium listings on our site. As a starting point, we have a database of every single licensed provider across the country. You can go on OpenPlacement today and search and find care providers in any state in America.

However, when you become a subscriber to our network, you as the provider own your profile.

Steve Monroe
And the subscriber would be the skilled nursing or home health?

Dan Trigub
Exactly. Those care providers—and we’re talking a lot about skilled nursing and home health because, where we’ve had the most success at hospitals is ortho and that’s where they’re going. However, we work with many skilled nursing facilities, for example. They have a patient, they’re there for 100 days of Medicare coverage and now they have to move that patient to assisted living, independent living, hospice, home health, non-medical home care. Same idea, they can still use our platform, they can find all these providers. If the provider is subscribed, they get the opportunity—it’s kind of like their Facebook profile page. They can upload videos, pictures, pricing information, availability information. And have this direct access to this highly-coveted referral source.

The biggest difference between us and A Place for Mom or Caring.com or a traditional placement agency is we don’t deal with random leads. These aren’t random people searching the Internet who may or may not even need skilled nursing care for another two years or whatever it might be. The providers get bombarded with 100 emails a day from A Place for Mom and other placement agencies, but they have to qualify these people. They have to sift through—are they move-in ready or are they not?

For us, they’re getting direct access to the patients at their local hospitals in their area that have search and filtered and need their care today.

Steve Monroe

So if I’m a skilled nursing provider and I’m not subscribing to your service for ABC Hospital, then I’m not going to be on that discharge planner’s list.

Dan Trigub
You will, but you’ll fall to the bottom of the search results. So, by being a subscriber and claiming your profile, you will rise to the top in the search results. If you’re a licensed provider in this country, 99.9% chance you’re already in our database and people will get very basic information. You know, from Google Street View what your building looks like, a Medicare rating if you’re a skilled nursing facility will be on our site, contact information, a phone number and that’s it.

Steve Monroe

Gotcha.

Dan Trigub
If you claim your profile, you get videos, pictures—video is doing very well for our users. We actually even provide video tours for providers in conjunction with their subscription. So they have an opportunity to get videos done by us. Those always do better, people want to see it, feel it, take a look at what the place actually looks like.

The only thing is, you’re now directly connected to your profile. So you have an email address that your intake coordinator or your marketing person has access to and, when inquiry is actually made, you get an email message and notification saying “Patient Mary from XYZ Hospital is interested in moving in. And, by the way, they have Aetna insurance.” So we also want to pre-qualify a little bit, too. We have basic insurance information, but we’ll send you a message saying, “please verify that you will accept Aetna” or whatever it is.

Steve Monroe
What’s going to happen with this—because I understand it and it seems like it would work very well—with Accountable Care Organizations. Because, so now I’m a hospital and I’m part of an Accountable Care Organization and really out of the 12 skilled nursing facilities, there’s really only two in my ACO.

Dan Trigub

So, you can have those featured. If you are an ACO, you can say these are preferred providers that I want my patients to go to. And we can do that with basically a logo. When they do the search, those will rise to the top and always be there. End of the day, too, they want to give choice and even show outside that network, as well. Because maybe the patient’s going to a different geography. The family lives in a different state and they have to find another provider. In those situations, the discharge player or case manager is literally picking up the phone book or doing a Google search trying to find a provider. Well, why not use our platform where they can get Medicare ratings, other quality metrics, video, pictures? And most importantly, directly connect with the intake coordinator.

Steve Monroe
You have rolled this out in just California right now?

Dan Trigub
So, as I mentioned earlier, our database is national. So, somebody in Alabama could come to our site and search and get basic information on assisted living, skilled nursing, whatever. Where our subscriber—our subscribership right now is California. So, this idea has been in concept for about two years or so right now. We’ve been live and deployed in the market here in California for about 8 months. We are very focused on California right now, northern California is where we have most of our subscribers.

The goal is really now to accelerate our growth. We think we’ve proven out a model and it’s really about, okay, let’s get to other key territories.

Steve Monroe

Okay, and what’s going to follow next? The big states, Texas, Florida, New York?

Dan Trigub
First California is by far the best and largest opportunity, it’s 10% of the entire long-term care market. After California is Texas, Florida and New York. Those four states are a third of our market opportunity, how we view it. So, Texas, Florida and New York are definitely are next key battlegrounds.

Steve Monroe
And when do you think you’ll go into those?

Dan Trigub
Hopefully in the next six to eight months. It’s really a function of how quickly we can raise our round of capital right now. And really find the right partners. We’ve also been very good at partnering with national providers, so the Atrias, the Brookdales, ones that have presence in all the key markets already. By us proving it out here in California makes it easy to get into these other territories.

There’s certainly a lot of mom-and-pop operators. You know, here in California, what’s called a board-and-care facility, five-, six-bed facility, there’s as many of these as there are 25-bed and more. These are mom-and-pop organizations. I’m a patient at a local hospital. The discharge planner, case manager can’t possibly know every mom-and-pop board-and-care. But there might be a great fit for me. And our approach is like Open Table for a restaurant. I can tell you every Chinese food restaurant in San Francisco. Today, I can’t tell you every single board-and-care place where I’m going to send my mother and now I can.

Steve Monroe
Okay, good. Well, good luck on the rollout. When do you think you’ll do your financing round?

Dan Trigub

We’re in the middle of it right now, so we’re talking to a few very interested parties and hopefully in the next month or two we can get this behind us.

Steve Monroe
Okay, good. Are you looking for a certain amount or can you…?

Dan Trigub

We’re not a CapEx-intensive business. We think a million and a half right now is our goal.

Steve Monroe
Oh, that’s it?

Dan Trigub
It’s a small round, we’re certainly open to a larger round. But we truly believe that, with a limited amount of capital, we can get very, very far. And to a point where then, okay, then we do your traditional big series A or series B. But right now we’re actively looking for the right partner. Somebody who understands this industry, who has relationships with other providers and can really add fuel to the fire.

Steve Monroe
Good, good. Well, good luck. I’m sure you’ll get the million and a half and you may even have more people who want to fund it, you never know.

Dan Trigub
That’d be great.

Steve Monroe
All right. Well, great talking to you and look forward to seeing how the whole thing rolls out.

Dan Trigub
I appreciate it, thank you.

 


 

 

 

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Visibility is Key!

We saw this coming a few years ago when hospitals were going to be financially penalized for readmissions from nursing homes. The hospitals started to partner with a select group of nursing homes who had the best apparent readmission rates (and I'm saying apparent, because some of the operators weren't communicating readmission results to the hospitals and may have been taking tougher patient cases which made their numbers LOOK bad, but if fact, were good). The facilities that weren't on the list became invisible to new prospective residents and started to see census drop. TIPS: a) Battle to get on the hospital's list of Providers. b) Be a "fast-follower" and adopt online marketing methods. http://bit.ly/1ttCE1E Chris Foley Sr. Vice President - Equity Seniors Housing Brokerage & Advisors CPA (RETIRED) cfoley@SeniorsFamily.com (614) 915-8835

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