This week I'm at the Ingram Micro IMHealthcare Exchange
event in Grapevine, TX, attending education sessions and talking with VARs and MSPs about their healthcare focus, market predictions, and business challenges.
One person I spoke with was Danny Jeter, a VP at Jackson Thornton Technologies (JTT)
, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Jackson Thornton, a CPA and consulting firm that's been in business since 1919. JTT was launched 15 years ago and has 25 employees and four focus areas: managed services, IT projects, cloud, and accounting services. About 75% of JTT's clients are in healthcare. When I asked Jeter about the biggest business struggles his customers face, his answers surprised me.
"It's not uncommon for a healthcare practice to invest over $200,000 in a new EMR solution only to find afterwards that it takes longer
to assist patients," he says. "The fact of the matter is that you can spend a small fortune on new technology, but you won't realize much improvement until you change your business processes."
Because of this reality, JTT works closely with Complete Practice Management
, a sister company to Jackson Thornton that's focused on exactly what its name suggests. "They focus on business processes ranging from accounting, billing, and medical coding to charting and management consulting," says Jeter. "Not only are customers who use these services much more likely to realize productivity improvements from new healthcare IT solutions, they're also more likely to see JTT as an indispensable partner." Jeter suggests making clients aware of these types of services upfront as well as properly managing customers' expectations with regard to what a technology upgrade alone can and can't accomplish.
Jeter concludes that at a time when companies like Microsoft are blurring the line between a cloud partner and competitor, one way an MSP can stay relevant is by providing consulting services -- something a large vendor isn't usually able to offer -- at least not at a price point most customers can afford.