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Thought Leaders in Healthcare IT: Chris Sullens, CEO of CentralReach (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Apr 12th 2021
CentralReach Leadership | Chris Sullens, CEO

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Chris talks about a set of vertical solutions in the autism care space. Fascinating conversation!

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the beginning of your story. Let’s introduce our audience to yourself as well as CentralReach.

Chris Sullens: I’m the CEO of CentralReach. We are the leading behavioral health & EMR platform designed to help those who provide therapy and applied behavioral analysis (ABA) services achieve a superior outcome for autistic and neuro-diverse individuals. Essentially, the platform revolves around a market-leading EMR for applied behavior and also therapy providers.

That includes everything from practice management, managing back-office processes, CRM payments as well as the clinical data collection piece as they are conducting sessions with individuals out in the field.

In addition to that, we have an integrated advanced clinical curricula for those that are providing services in a school-based setting. We also have an assistive technology for neuro-diverse individuals to use directly to support independence at work and home. We can talk about some of that when we get to the use cases.

My background is widely varied. Before CentralReach, I was the CEO of a company called WorkWave, a SaaS-based solution in the field service and last-mile logistics industry. We provided a full end-to-end solution for providers of services like pest control companies, lawn care companies, HVAC companies, delivery companies like DHL, food, and beverage delivery companies.

I took over from the founder and went private equity. I ran the company for almost 11 years before I sold it to a large Swedish-based ERP company called IFS in 2017. It was at that point that I decided to try something different. Thankfully, I was able to connect with Insight Partners who invested in CentralReach. I took over from the founder here and have been the CEO since mid-2018. 

Sramana Mitra: I saw on your profile that you are also on the board of CultureIQ. We profiled Greg Besner back in 2017. I don’t know if he is still running the company, but I enjoyed the story of how he built his company. 

Chris Sullens: He stepped back, but he is still on the Board. It’s an interesting company. I think I was the first customer of CultureIQ.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s double-click down on your current company and talk more about CentralReach. Let’s talk about use cases. Where are you providing the maximum value and what kind of use cases are you seeing?

Chris Sullens: Like I mentioned in the overview, the platform is broad. I would argue that it’s the broadest platform that addresses the needs of autistic individuals and those that serve autistic individuals.

There’s a wide range of use cases that I’m excited to talk about. The core use case, as you would expect from our EMR, is zeroing on how providers in this industry provide the outcome-based care for those that they serve. But our goal is to do it in a way that allows them to scale their business, increase efficiency, and increase profitability.

From day one, the thought process behind the development of our platform was to combine both the clinical aspect of what our customers do every day with the backend process side of the equation. When you look at a lot of our competitors, they grew up mainly focusing on one area or another and maybe there was a light integration in between.

So the benefits of combining and tightly integrating the care delivery with the back-office processing and the payments allow our customers to achieve better than industry average outcomes when it comes to collections on the services that they provide and the growth rate in the industry.

Just to give you a sense of scale for CentralReach, we have over 1400 organizations that use our application. Those organizations employ over 100,000 employees who are users of our system. From a scale perspective, we are the market leader.

This segment is part 1 in the series : Thought Leaders in Healthcare IT: Chris Sullens, CEO of CentralReach
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