Interview with magazine Industry Era
Dr. Karun Philip, Chairman & CEO and a co-founder of Tranquilmoney
Dr. Karun Philip, Chairman & CEO and a co-founder of Tranquilmoney is the design and creative force behind the company’s products and services. Kindly discuss some of his qualities which have transformed the organization.
Q. Inspiration (not motivation) is the most important leadership trait, fueled by passion and purpose. In such a scenario we are featuring the top CEO's to Watch in 2020 who are transforming not only their workplace but the communities as a whole. We would like if Dr. Karun Philip, Chairman & CEO and a co-founder of Tranquilmoney tell us how to become a true leader.
Kindly feel free to share your views and opinion on any other topic that we may have missed and you think our subscribers should know about.
A. Karun’s philosophy of the source of human ability is “Clear Thinking”. Intellectual “intelligence” and emotional “intelligence” are things that people try to measure quantitatively, but every human being has the same hardware – a brain. With just putting in the effort to think clearly, people will start thinking you are a genius – intellectually, creatively, and emotionally. With “Clear Thinking” every individual is able to maximize their potential, and contribute to any project they work on together with others.
Karun’s work in Artificial Intelligence including Artificial Neural Networks for his PhD and his first job led him to realize that all AI, like all real people, necessarily have incomplete knowledge (even if what knowledge they do have is contextually accurate). He made the subtitle of his book, “Zen and the Art of Funk Capitalism” be “A General Theory of Fallibility.”
The best way to get past incompleteness and its consequent fallibility, is data. W. Edwards Deming invented what was called Total Quality Management (“TQM”), which Karun implements as Total Digital Management (“TDM”). Because Deming was not talking about the management of quality but rather the quality of management. His key point was to establish metrics for each person within an organizations under the headings (“PQDCM”) Productivity, Quality, Delivery (as per schedule), Cost, and Morale (as in “do my people love to come into work on time and enjoy managing themselves, given these metrics, rather than just doing what their boss tells them?”)
Q. Why was Tranquilmoney born? What are the market pain points you wanted to address through the inception of the company?
A. To fix the business side of the US Healthcare systems for physicians and pharmacists. We started with Revenue Cycle Management for such Healthcare Providers, who are so busy doing the work they are trained for that they get paid far less than their patients’ insurance contracts stipulate. We have evolved to complete Physician Practice Management software and services with certified Electronic Health Records (“EHR”). Our services expanded to include:
b. Credentialing Support
c. Support for the government “Meaningful Use” Incentive
d. Data Conversion from paper-to-electronic and electronic-to-standardized-electronic
e. Scanning Room provisioning and Dedicated Document Receipt and Scanning
f. Data Transition services from legacy paper or third-party software
g. Customization (or Mass Customization) of our Software Configuration and if needed, Custom Programming for each client
Q. How is Dr. Karun Philip inspiring and empowering young entrepreneurs across industries into becoming great leaders with technical know-how. Any advice or view?
A. As a member of organizations like Chennai International Center and India International Center, we encourage others to start companies and plan to offer our Total Digital Management as a commercial Web Service so that anyone can use it to start and manage their own company. This will be available globally to all entrepreneurs, SME’s and even large corporations.
In the US and India, we work with former employees who start their own businesses (as long as they left without disruption and clear handover of their responsibilities to their successors) by letting them subscribe to components of our software and services and focus on the area that they have chosen to take forward and focus on.
We hope to expand this to all potential entrepreneurs all over the world in all fields.
Q. How are you offering practice management and healthcare receivables management technology and services to the US healthcare industry enabling easy management of healthcare receivables?
A. All our software is available as a Web Service. No internal servers are required, and any device with and Web browser will work, including Mobile devices. We interface electronically and via email and phone with Insurance Carriers or their Third-Part Administrators (”TPA”), with Pharmacy Benefits Managers (”PBM") so that the Provider does not need to worry about the intricate details.
Q. How does Tranquilmoney's Outsourcing division provide proven services to manage third party receivables?
A. Any customer who signs up is assigned a personal Relationship Manager, who deals with the Practice Manager and the Provider (with smaller customers, they are the same person). They need to give us access to their current software or scan or mail us copies of paper records including patient encounters, payments received, EOB’s, Remittance Advice documents, etc. All data can be paper or electronic or both.
Q. Your Healthcare AR services combined with your powerful technology ensure expedited payment, reduce claim rejections and minimize administrative overhead besides total cost of ownership (TCO). Could you discuss about your unique Technology?
A. Karun’s PhD and commercial research was in Artificial Intelligence (”AI”), which we incorporate into the systems we build.
Our AI philosophy is this:
All AI (like all human beings) make mistakes.
The solution invented first by IBM with data entry punch card systems in the 1960's was this: Two people to do the same thing and when it is not the same result, a third person can check it.
With automation (including but not limited to AI), some or all the real people in the process can be eliminated. In our case, they are trained to be supervisors and constant re-trainers of the AI implementation (and of new recruits and employees of the Provider). We may never get to full automation, but at Tranquilmoney, our IT task is to get as close to it as possible, while real people with real domain expertise do it manually, assisted by as much automation as possible.
Tranquilmoney has an integrated system that Physicians and Pharmacies get free, and we do the Billing, Payment Reconciliation, and AR Follow Up on Third-Party Payments. We only take a portion of the increase in realized revenues, so it is better than free -- it ends up in increased income for the Physician or Pharmacist.
We do not limit ourselves to fully vertically integrated Web Services and Business Process Outsourcing for US Healthcare. All our components are available independently if desired (though if we don't do the billing and collections, we charge a per-provider, per-month fee). So independent entrepreneurs can partner with us and work as a single team for each client.
Q. Who is Dr. Karun Philip’s role model & how has the individual inspired him to culminate into an inspiring leader?
A. Karun’s uncle, Mr. PJ Thomas, was President of Sundaram Clayton (now known as TVS Motor Company), one of the largest manufacturers of two- and three-wheeler vehicles, and .various automotive components. He won the Deming Award for his company, which was the first Deming Award in India. Karun learned everything he knows about management and leadership of a company from him.
Q. We would be happy if you could share a case study featuring one of your satisfied clients. We want to know what problems did they face and after the implementation of your solution, what were the benefits they received?
A. All our clients have experienced an increase in revenue (net of our fees) of between 20% to 10 times (1000%). In addition, they received free implementation of our Web-based Practice Management System (“PracticeTracker”) which provides all the mandated EHR features/ This enabled them to avail the Meaningful Use incentives from the government and health insurers.
During the current COVID-19 crisis, we extended vendor credit so that they could delay paying us our fees. We then connected them to the Small Business Administration web site and help them apply for the $10,000 grant and a line of credit from their local bank. Our vendor credit is now rapidly decreasing since we helped our clients do the business part of running their small business (which is what a Physician Practice is) including financial services.
References from actual clients are available upon request.
Q. Where do you see Tranquilmoney in the near future? Tell us in detail about the plans of your company’s expansion in terms of its services that it offers, expansion in terms of types of client it serves and geographical presence? Also, please elaborate on the upcoming products and services and company’s road-map.
A. There are about 1 million Physicians in the United States. We are rolling out a sign-up so that Practices can just sign up on our web site. They can populate their data themselves or send it to us for loading into the new system. Current and new patients can start scheduling their own appointments and filling in their own demographics. Patients can also have us interface with their past records either from scanned paper or electronically via HL7 connections to their past and other current Physicians.
Karun’s goal is to provide at least some part of Tranquilmoney’s software or services to 999,999 of the 1 million.
We are also being approached by Physicians in India, and many other countries. These countries do not have the same mandated requirements as US Providers, but there is no law saying they cannot voluntarily follow the same system. We may end up serving the global Healthcare Provider market.
Q. Is there anything more you would like to add or highlight? Any other interesting insight you would like us to talk about in the story that we may have missed in this questionnaire?
A. Karun is the author of: Zen and the Art of Funk Capitalism: A General Theory of Fallibility. It is available on Amazon and the Publisher’s author site: Zen and the Art of Funk Capitalism
The reviews of the book call it a proposal for a new kind of Libertarianism. When all people must be free, it is also every person’s responsible not to coerce any other individual. And it is a judicial system that must enforce a ban on coercion of various forms, that are specified by specific laws enacted by legislature. Karun calls it “Maternal Libertarianism.”
The conclusion of the book is how Job Skills Training is the most important thing that is prevalent all over, but not structured on centrally accessible in any way. Karun has started a Social Project named The Kitcoin Club which aims to be a not-for-profit social resource for anyone who wants to increase their income.
Increases in income at all levels is what is socially desirable – for poor people in rich or poor countries, or the most educated University Professor, and everyone in between. The Kitcoin Club will focus on Training Schools, Training Departments within companies, and individuals who have skills they want to teach. By volunteering information on the performance of their students before and after their training, The Kitcoin Club allows investors to choose which Trainers and Trainees to fund.
Rather than asking for donations or government money, the data that already exists show that Job Skills Training provides a better rate of return on capital than virtually any other investment. Karun has talked with people on Wall Street he got to know during the days he was providing loan servicing software and back office services for banks doing Mortgage Backed Securities and other Asset Backed Securities. He wants to create what will be called Knowledge Backed Securities to finance Job Skill Training all over the world.
Friday, April 10, 2020
Location: New York, NY, USA
Dr. Karun Philip is the Chairman & CEO and a co-founder of Tranquilmoney. Prior to this, Dr. Philip ran Imagine Technologies, Inc., a company focused on using proprietary imaging and workflow technologies to enable and outsource remote back office operations for the healthcare industries. Dr. Philip has an M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Iowa, and B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India. Before founding Imagine Technologies, Dr. Philip worked in the R&D center at TCS, India's largest Software Company, in the field of imaging technology.
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