How would you feel if time and money were no object? Or if you always knew that the answers you sought were at your fingertips? Or that the creative spark you would need for the next project was always going to be there. You would feel limitless. I’m Johanna Buchweitz and it is my honor to welcome all of you to Limitless, the show where we have open, honest and direct communication with extraordinary women in business to provide you with actual next steps for super growth based on their proven success tactics. Joining me on today’s episode is Dr. Laura Purdy, CEO and co-founder of M.D. Integrations, the All in One Telehealth Solution. Dr. Purdy, welcome to Limitless.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Good morning. Thanks for having me today.
I’m so excited to have you on and I love kicking off every episode with this belief that I have that all female entrepreneurs are modern day super heroes. So as the super hero, entrepreneur and doctor that you are, what is your superpower?
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Oh, gosh. You know, I could not agree with you more. And that’s really interesting that you bring that up because my husband and I were just having a conversation. It was I think it was yesterday or the day before. And and the conversation was about the fact that I knee I have a need to multitask. Like, it’s not that I’m good at it.
I have a need. I must multitask. And I said, you know, it’s because I have ADHD, but when I was a child, we didn’t talk about it like that. And nobody ever imposed that label on me. And multitasking was the way that I learned how to deal with it. And he said, okay, so ADHD is your superpower. I said, Well, I don’t know, maybe, but that was the first thing that came to mind when you said that.
I love that. Actually, someone who I know who is an entrepreneur, his friend wrote a book, I think it was either in Sweden or Denmark. And the English translation of it is exactly that, that he said ADHD was a superpower. So there’s something to it. I’m telling you.
I would love for you to just start off by like sharing with everyone, listening a little bit about you, about your background and kind of how you got to where you are now.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Oh, gosh. I mean, my background has been wild. Like, if I tell the story of of my life, it’s it’s even crazy to hear sometimes. But I was born in a really small town in rural southern Kentucky, but born to a business man. Right. So my dad was a business guy. My mom was a teacher. And we moved to the Midwest when I went to high school and had a lot of opportunities there for, you know, just activities and intramurals. And my dad was really into business. And so that’s kind of where that foundation came from. I went to college in the Midwest and then joined the military because I wanted well, for a lot of reasons. It was 2005 when I started going through that. The war was really big and there was a huge sense of patriotism in the U.S. and so I wanted to be a part of that. And also, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but med school’s pretty expensive. And so the Army was the way to offset that. It was a business decision, I’ll say, to join the military. And so then I – so I did it. I went, I joined the military, went to medical school in Washington, D.C., at the Uniformed Services University residency at Fort Benning.
Had a big career did – well career, I was in for 14 years, including education and then got out with about a decade left in my contract. But during that time, you know in the Army, I fell in love with telemedicine and got involved in digital health as a way to work more without working harder is the way that I put that, because my dad always said, like, tried to make as much money as you can but work as little as possible and don’t break the law.
And so I kind of lived by that. And digital health and telemedicine was a way to bring in revenue streams without pulling shifts at another hospital, which is just physically very difficult to do along the way. I got married, had a bunch of kids, did the army thing and found that I loved, like, so getting into telemedicine is getting into the startup world because telehealth, digital health, that the startups and so I found that I loved it which I think was driven by my exposure to my dad. Right. So loving the startup mindset, the energy, the speed, the mentality because I have a need to multitask. So it fed my requirements of multitasking. And so then that led to, you know, being brought into business conversations, being asked to be an advisor, being asked to be a leader, which all I think derived from skills that you picked up in the military.
And so fast forward to today, I’ve found myself in a situation where I have tons and tons of businesses consulting and advising other women entrepreneurs all across the country in their business endeavors. And it’s just the funnest, most exciting thing, thrilling path I could have never imagined ending up like this.
Well, first of all, thank you for your service and your story is fascinating. Like that is probably one of the coolest, most interesting like background bios I’ve heard and like the work you’re doing is truly remarkable and I love this thing with like telehealth and I would love for you to talk about it more because I don’t know, like I think most of us are fairly familiar with it at it’s basic but not really all the complexities and all that goes into, to building a successful telehealth company.
And I think, you know, there are a couple that have come up in the last few years. So what actually like from a competitive advantage standpoint, like what makes a good telehealth company, like what makes one like the best or better than the other?
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Oh gosh. So the answer is it depends, right? Because it’s a very capitalist industry. And there is a demographic and there is a market for everything that you could imagine. And so if the company is doing a good job of identifying their target market and figuring out what the unmet needs of that market is, and they can craft their offering to be a competitive service to that market. So, for example, some of the things could be cost. I mean, health care is expensive, right? So cost can be a competitive advantage at speed. So one of my associates, one of the companies I’m affiliated with, has like a less than one hour turnaround time, whereas a lot in the industry might be like 8 hours or 24 hours, and that’s substantially competitive.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
The third might be tech, right? So if you can do it completely from your mobile phone without having to use a laptop or without having to make a phone call, you can just do it on your smartphone. That can really be competitive at home. So things like lab testing companies allowing you to take, take, take blood or do lab tests in your house rather than going to a lab.
I mean, there’s so many strategic differentiators that startup founders can choose from. But I do think it’s really important that when you figure out what it is you do that really, really good so that you can or well, I guess you could say do that well so you can differentiate from your competitors and stand out otherwise the people won’t be as attracted as as they would be otherwise. If that’s not made clear.
That makes sense. So I imagine in telehealth like I’m sure there’s way more complexities than what I’m about to say, but at least the top things that come to mind are the challenges of getting physicians on board, to be interested in doing that, to actually get patients who feel comfortable enough going towards telemedicine as opposed to in-office visit that I can imagine you have compliance and some legal issues and even like data privacy, security, things that you have to consider. So when you are first kind of going into this, how did you approach the fact that there are all these different layers of complexity that some you may have been familiar with and some that were completely new territory and you had to learn.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
It was terrifying. You are correct. So I got into digital health sometimes. Like that’s the new in vogue term telemedicine. Digital health was seven years ago, so it was before the pandemic and never imagined there would be a pandemic. And at that time it was it was terrifying. I mean, it was really scary not knowing what you don’t know when it comes to things like data privacy, security, you know, patient information or even like legal exposure, myself as a physician with licenses, how far can I stick my neck out there and still be okay in in the interest of taking care of patients? Right. And but but I think the thing that I have always clung to is that I can see the vision of the future. I can see where we’re headed and I can see where we’re going. And it reminds me a lot of like the banking industry. So if we can do almost anything through our phones now that we need to and we don’t even think about going into the bank and health care’s headed that direction. But it needs a big shove. It needs doctors showing their peers and colleagues what can be possible. It needs doctors taking good care of patients. It needs patients to show other patients like this is okay and this is the way we do things. And so I think by by seeing that vision of where we’re going to be in ten or 15 or 20 years, it’s given me the boldness to be able to say, as a leader in this industry, I am okay, assuming a little bit of risk, even though I understand the risk is there because I know it’s going to get better and I know we’re going to figure out these systems and processes and securities and, you know, safeties and all of that is going to come. But it requires us to step out and do it.
That makes sense. And I love that comparison that you just gave to banking because it’s so true. I think, you know, like 15, 20 years ago, like the idea of like taking a photo of a check on your phone and it goes to, you know, your bank account that you can do all your banking online. I think people would have had a total heart attack really.
Like just thinking that, like because that sounds so scary. And now to your point, it’s so normal. So I think this will probably get there too, when it comes to like a doctor patient relationship. How can I leave from like the patient standpoint? Like how can you think about it, of like what what things can be done virtually versus when do I actually have to go in office to see a physician?
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Yeah. So, you know, you kind of I will say that we’re itching close to one of my soapboxes, so I’m going to touch on it just in case any state legislators are listening. Because in my opinion, in my humble opinion, the person who should be defining what a doctor patient relationship is, is the patient. If the patient feels like I have a relationship with them, then it shouldn’t matter if we’re doing video calls, if we’re doing phone calls, if we’re text chatting through HIPAA compliant systems, of course. Right. I say that with the caveat of the system should be secure, but there are some states right now that refuse to acknowledge me doing something like having chat based interactions with someone as establishing a relationship. And yet I have patients every single day in the States where that’s allowed. Who will tell me you’re you’re my favorite doctor that I’ve ever had. You’re the only person who’s ever listened to me. I don’t ever want to talk to another doctor ever again because I love my relationship with you. And to them we have a great relationship. But in the state of like Idaho or West Virginia or there’s a couple of other states that’s not considered a legally, validly legitimate relationship. And I think that’s inappropriate, especially if the patient would consider it to be one of the best health care interactions they’ve ever had in their lives.
We should be acknowledging that at the regulatory level. But to answer your question, there, there is a lot that is not appropriate to be treated through digital or remote virtual telemedicine. But one thing that is really good about it is one of the things I learned. Doing a lot of urgent care is to do a lot of urgent care.
at MDLive is that sometimes people just need to know what to do and they don’t necessarily need you to fix their problem. But they may say, I have tremendous stomach pain and they need me to say this could be appendicitis. Please go to the E.R. and even just having that level of comfort with advice and interaction, even if I cannot directly treat the thing that’s bothering them that day, it’s still a worthwhile interaction because they’re getting that trusted advisement.
So I think we still can do good in the things we can’t directly resolve virtually. But every day we make strides with technology that enables us to do a better job of diagnosing and a better job of treating.
That’s such a good point, too, with the appendicitis thing, if someone has a stomach ache, my dad was a stroke patient. And as a stroke patient, there are constant things that just happen as a result of like having this medical issue that doesn’t necessarily warrant an emergency trip to like the E.R.. However, if at certain hours of the day a doctor is not available for you to speak with, like, you know, you call an answering service.
And the first thing is like, oh, something’s wrong. Stroke, patient, high risk. I don’t want the liability. Go straight to the E.R. and someone who’s not mobile, that’s it’s difficult and it’s also super traumatizing to them emotionally and physically. So to be able to have a relationship like, you know, with a doctor and be able even just to have, like, you know, an app or some way to communicate with them to to have that.
And for a doctor who you already trust and know to say it’s okay, this is what you should do, or no, this actually is threatening. You should go to the emergency room. That is huge because I know from my own family like being able to reach a physician in times of need was difficult, right? Because they just say, oh, I’ll make an appointment at the office.
It’s like, well, now’s not a really good time for you to tell me that.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
So there’s months. Sure.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So there’s like, so much that can just be done if this becomes, you know, more mainstreamed. I would love to like. No, I obviously disagree with what these legislators are doing, but do you know, like what the thought process is or what the reasoning at least they feel is? Why like why they’re kind of not constituting this is like a real relationship between doctor and patient.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
I truly think it is just an outdated mindset. I mean, over. So when I first got into this seven, seven, eight years ago, that was a really commonly held belief. It was like maybe half the states or more in the country had that belief. But as technology and technology has evolved and the way that we communicate as a people, as a society, the way that we communicate and interact with each other has changed. And so but I think these are kind of like staunchly outdated, firmly held beliefs that need to change. I mean, I have written letters to the legislators. I’ve written letters, and I’ve tried to explain to them why this is important. And I’m not the only one. But when every state around them has opened up their laws to be more progressive and in alignment with the times like we should be allowed to leverage technology, we live by tech.
You and I are interacting through technology, right? And so we need to empower people to use the tools that they have. And I’m sure that the change will happen. They will eventually cave, but it’s way overdue.
Yeah, for sure. So I know there’s like a lot of also mental health apps out there, you know, even with like psychiatrist and psychologists that are there to have conversations with people in times of need. Are the regulations for those the same as for like traditional medicine or are they different?
Dr. Laura Purdy:
It depends on a couple of things. So it depends on the state, and it also depends on the type of prescription that you’re getting because usually you do therapy or counseling and then you’re also a lot of times get a prescription as well. So so for example, like for ADHD, which there’s been a lot of bad press about that lately.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
And I I’ll – I don’t know if you’ve read the bad press, but there’s been a couple of companies that maybe crossed the line in being a little too aggressive with their prescribing of controlled substances, which I would never advocate for. My party line on that is there is always a way to do it right. And we have a responsibility to do it right because we’re laying the foundation for decades to come. And so we need to do it right. But some of these treatments, like ADHD, they do require a stimulant which is a controlled substance. And so you are required by law federally and at the state level to conduct a video visit in order to be able to prescribe a controlled substance. And that’s the same thing for like testosterone pain medications and certain anxiety medications are controlled substances as well.
And so I think that it’s important that we hold on to that, at least for now, because these controlled substances have a higher basically the reason why they’re controlled is because they’re dangerous and they’re addictive. And so we do have a responsibility to make sure that we handle that judiciously and, you know, more firmly establish that relationship through things like contact. But that is one of the few cases where it is still relevant to make sure you have that like video technological capability to have that visit before prescribing.
That makes sense. You briefly touched upon before like in-home testing or lab testing at home. And I just want to talk about that a little bit because I think many of us are familiar with Theranos, either through the news or through the like I think it’s Apple TV made a series about her or one of the streaming platforms. So I would love for you to like just talk about that a little bit. And do you feel that people are like more resistant now as like patients or doctors because of that and to the flip side, do you feel like it’s harder to get investment money for anything that’s like telemedicine, anything in that industry? Because investors are scared since they did pour so much money into Theranos and it looked really bad for them and I think the whole industry.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Yeah. So I have really closely followed this because it’s fascinating to me. It is absolutely fascinating to me. Elizabeth Holmes and I are like the exact same age and have so much in common except, you know, she committed crimes and I haven’t done that. And so, you know, that’s where our paths diverge. And I’ve also looked at her story and said, like, what’s the difference? You know, like, that could have been me. What was the difference? And so as I have pondered on this, one of the things that I’ve kind of landed on is that the difference is that Theranos created this fantasy tech that really didn’t exist. But what we’re doing when we do things like in-home lab testing or in-home in-home clinical trials, which is another thing that’s like brand new and really in vogue right now, is we’re we’re not inventing new technology, but we’re finding a way to bring the technology to the patient.
So I have seen a couple of gee whiz things. I think one of the guys from Theranos went off and started another company and he’s working on actually a thing like what their innocence wanting to make that they never did. But what it is – what’s behind these lab testing companies is just a convenient way to get the equipment to the patient, to then get the blood to the actual lab.
So it’s not like new technology or like new machines or anything like that. It’s simply making it more convenient for the patient. So like mailing them a blood spot card or a little micro tube and they go like this and connect their little blood and then it’s shipped off to literally a quest or a LabCorp, and they process it there.
So it saves them the time of going in or like dipstick, like home, you know, dipstick testing and things like that which you – we have a few like, you know, COVID tests are done that way now. So I haven’t seen it happen in practice where investor I’ve never seen investors question, you know, the legitimacy or be hesitant to invest in these companies because thankfully it is becoming more mainstream.
But I think if people were claiming to be inventing new technologies, I’m sure that that might change.
That’s a good point, because it isn’t something that’s a new technology. It’s just the accessibility of it is kind of shifting. And to that point, it’s so helpful for someone who is like potentially a mobile or someone who just has mobility issues and is at home or someone who can’t necessarily take off work to go see a doctor or to go like, you know, to LabCorp.
I don’t know how it is now, but I remember a few years ago, if you tried to go to LabCorp and you had an appointment for a certain time, you’d be waiting a lot longer than that. Certain time. Like even for things like if you get a new job in a corporate world and you have to just, you know, go pass a drug test like that took way too long.
You would have to take the whole morning off of work. And it’s like something like that. You know, maybe that because it is drug test like has to be more regulated, but like there’s so many different opportunities for you to be able to do something at home to save you time and also to help you if you have any type of accessibility issue.
So yeah, I mean, I love that. I think that’s super interesting. So when you’ve worked for these telehealth companies that you’ve been doing some consulting on, like what specifically are you consulting in at least what you know, because obviously there’s so many different branches and so many different things. Like is it like the medical piece directly or like what exactly are you doing with them these days?
Dr. Laura Purdy:
I’ve learned a little about a lot and they’re also learned a lot about a little. Right. So the bread and butter of what I consult in is typically the medical, which involves things like novel treatment offerings or ways to create subscription plans or intake forms, how to, which is basically the funnel, the intake form online, it’s just the funnel, how to bring patients into you or customers into you, what their dashboard could look like, what prescriptions can be offered, how to make relationships with compounding pharmacies or fulfillment pharmacies, if that’s the route you’re going to go, because there’s a little bit of all of the above.
Also, recruiting and hiring practitioners and training them and writing guidelines or researching what’s new out there. I actually do a little bit of off the cup. I am not an attorney, but I’ve learned enough about legislation that I can help to guide people and say, that’s when you need to go talk to an attorney. Or I don’t necessarily think your attorney’s giving good advice.
So I end up where I’ve actually thought about going back and getting an executive juris doctorate because I get asked so many legal questions that I’ve learned the hard way. The answer to business, you know, business, marketing, branding, how to bring people in, what’s competitive. I get asked that a lot as well. And then tech, right? So how to make because what’s really interesting about being like a digital health company is you have two sets of consumers.
The clinicians are also the consumer and you’re competing for their time to work on your platform. So how to make the system that the doctors are using competitive and useful and quick and functional, same thing on the patient side. What what is a good patient UX UI. I get pulled into that.
Quite a bit. Yeah. Because it’s fascinating because essentially it is like a two sided marketplace. Right? Because you need both in order for it to be successful and from your perspective, you’re able to truly understand it from the physician side, but also from working with patients like, you know, what patients want, you know what makes like a positive patient experience and how to integrate that, you know, all in one I think is pretty cool.
So with M.D. integrations itself, like what exactly is it? What are you doing? Like, what is your goal? And kind of where are you at right now with it?
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Yeah. So it’s a really fun project. So the intent of MDintegrations was to create one singular kind of off the shelf solution for quick transactional sort of what we would call like asynchronous health care. Because like we talked earlier, there’s a lot of outdated kind of you must have a phone call, you must have a video out there.
And so it was developed as a platform to be able to enable companies to funnel high volumes of, we call them asynchronous kind of transactional patient visits, which still do meet the legal definition of a patient doctor relationship into one singular location where the physicians can service them. So, you know, there is a big leaning trend towards insurance and reimbursement, and that’s something else that’s coming up on the horizon.
But the intent of the integrations really was to simplify and streamline the daily workflow of a telemedicine physician. And also give telemedicine companies access to a nationwide doctor network in one place that they don’t have to recruit or manage. It’s really cool. I do think it’s going well as far as what’s the endgame? That’s hard to say. I mean, I would say that the providers are very happy in what they’re doing and they’re enjoying that workflow.
And so I think growing the business, I don’t even know that an exit is on the table. I think we’re just enjoying, you know, kind of growing the business and being involved. And it’s it’s a lot of fun and has been well received among companies in the industry as well as clinicians.
So if a doctor, let’s say, is just a general care physician and they don’t have a telemedicine practice in place, can they use this solution to kind of implement one into their their practice? Is that something they can also just add for themselves or do they already have to have an existing telemedicine practice?
Dr. Laura Purdy:
You could know the system. It can be so like software as a service, you know, kind of white label for your company. Absolutely. A lot of times what happens is when doctors see because one of the things that’s important and we have not touched on is that as a physician, you have to be licensed in a state if you want to practice there.
So in order to be successful in digital health, you have to have a lot of licenses. So I’m licensed in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C..
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Yeah. And it’s hard to do. It took me five years to do it to get that done. And so brick and mortar clinicians who maybe have one or potentially two state licenses, digital medicine or telehealth, it may not really be a lucrative adjunct for them because, you know, the volume that comes in from any one given state isn’t generally huge.
But if a brick and mortar person wanted to access the system to handle their own patients internally, there’s no reason why they couldn’t. But the intent is for it to be designed for digital health companies.
Okay, that makes sense. Yeah, I mean, I think the whole thing is super interesting. So like, I’m based in New York and most doctors, not all, but most doctors in New York are part of a hospital, so to speak, like they’re under the umbrella of like, let’s say, an NYU Langone or like a New York Presbyterian, Weill Cornell.
And all of those guys have like an app themselves. And so New York Langone has an app, and they have all the different doctors that fall into that umbrella within there. And you can message your doctor, you can all your like lab results come through there, you can do a virtual visit. But I think, you know, that’s kind of where it ends.
Like they haven’t integrated any type of like at home testing or anything like that. So I think they even have so much more opportunity for them to evolve as well.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Yes, I think that the health systems will continue to increase their telehealth capacity over the coming years. But I think a large part of the reason why digital health and telemedicine has been so adopted is because patients aren’t really getting their needs met. Even with the little bit of telehealth that they do offer in those brick and mortar institutions, they’re just not getting their needs met fast enough. Like you mentioned earlier with the yeah, I’ll talk to you in a few weeks or fast enough, convenient enough and they’re willing to stick their neck out there and try something else.
How are you collecting data on what those patients want?
Dr. Laura Purdy:
That’s a good question. Usually it in one of a couple of different ways. So a lot of companies will actually be very niche and they’ll say like, I’m the company that treats menopause. And so they will only treat menopause and that’s all they’ll do. And so they’re advertising their marketing and bringing in patients who are looking for menopause treatment.
And the intake questionnaire is literally just menopause questions. And if that’s not what you need, you will you would be best served somewhere else, right? That’s what a lot of traditional telemedicine has been is like very focused on one product. You see that in ED, skin care, birth control. It’s very segmented now as the insurance companies are finally coming on board and being willing to reimburse for some of these visits.
We’re starting to see a shift back in the other direction of companies that are looking to provide more full scope, just like a PCP or a primary care, where the way that you find out what the patient needs is by meeting with them and talking to them and getting them what they need. It’s very fulfilling work.
And from the doctor perspective, do you guys like work with the physicians and you talk to them to to see like what would help them be more inclined to be more active in telehealth because I’m sure there’s some resistance also from certain physicians to kind of, you know, move things more to the digital space.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Absolutely. I mean, I don’t know if you ever met physicians, but if you want them to do anything, you have to make it easy for them. And it just comes from a place of having so many demands. Right. A clinician has so many demands on them. Constant, you know, see this, read this, sign this, scan this, return this. Look at this, interpret this, answer this. I need you. I need you. This is a doctor thing only. And so doctors have a lot of competing demands for their time and attention. So. So the easier and simpler that we can make it for them, the better experience is going to be if we’re asking them to do a lot of free texting or, you know, manually accessing systems and toggling through a lot of pages or searching to find a phone number.
I mean, that’s just does not equate into a good physician experience and it will turn them off altogether. And I think that’s why a lot of the traditional physicians have been slow to adapt or slow to adopt rather telemedicine, because it’s hard for them to conceptualize how do I fit this into the rest of my world? But what we often find is that if we can get them in front of a good experience once they take a nibble, then they’re ready to take a bite because it’s just so enticing. And frankly, a lot of them are super burned out.
Yeah, it’s like the thought of it. It seems like it’s more complicated than it actually is. But once they get their hands on it, they’re like, Oh, this is good. I like this. Okay. I’m convinced you mentioned insurance. So when it comes to telemedicine, do insurance providers still cover like a virtual visit? If a physician is within a network or even if they’re out of network and someone has like an insurance policy that covers a percentage of out-of-network, is it like the same or is it different? Is it categorized as something different from an insurance standpoint?
Dr. Laura Purdy:
It depends. So they have special codes. So, yes, you do still have to be in-network and yes, you can still be out-of-network. But there’s codes, right? Like that’s all done through codes and the code, like the service that you provide, the patient, the insurance company will have a code that’s associated with that service. And when you do your your claim submission, you’re using that code and that’s what they decide to pay you.
And so it’s very complex. It’s, it’s very complicated. And telemedicine companies that are doing insurance have the same like coding and billing and reimbursement departments that like hospitals would have. It looks the exact same as we figure out how to get doctors paid for their time and get patients health care visits not coming out of their pocket.
Right. We’re getting there. We are getting there. I have seen improvements since COVID, but there is a long way to go in getting this stuff covered by insurance.
Is the code different if it’s a virtual visit versus like an in-person visit? Because if it’s the same exact treatment or the same exact testing, shouldn’t it essentially be the same code?
Dr. Laura Purdy:
So the diagnostic codes don’t change and a lot of times the treatment codes don’t change. But there are other visit code types that you use that do have dedicated like virtual health visits, and that’s what changes. And so it’s important to know. And the other thing that’s really important, I’ll say, is that we have to be careful not to like accidentally commit fraud or code the wrong way as we’re all learning how to do this.
And so a lot of care and attention has to be taken to doing that the right way so we don’t mess up.
So what kind of checks do you guys have in place or any type of automations that could potentially do that? Right. Because that’s that would seem like a high risk for any physician who’s interested in coming on board, because I know, especially in the United States, you already have to worry about, you know, a sea of medical malpractice lawsuits for whatever reasons, justified or not, that I can imagine, just thinking, oh, perhaps I could add the wrong way from this side, in addition to like having to think about it for an office visits is pretty scary.
So do you guys have some sort of like technology in place to help cover the work there to really do those checks to protect the physician?
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Yeah. So it’s the same type of services and technologies and automations that are available in the brick and mortar. It’s the same types of services, the same types of companies, because actually they are the best positioned to handle this, like the billing companies, the coding experts, the credentialing agencies. They’ve been at the tip of the spear of leaning forward and learning what is changing while the rest of us are trying to catch up.
Right. They’re required by virtue of their job and their certifications to stay up to date on everything that’s changing and how to be compliant. And we’re just like, I just want to see patients and practice medicine. Can you help me with the coding aspect of it? And so I would say that it’s by no means easy is by no means simple.
And definitely we don’t have all the answers yet, but every single day we’re learning the laws are changing all the time. And but it’s not as scary as you would think because there are lots of experts out there whose job in life is to know the nuances of all of these things.
That makes sense. So I read that your passion is ensuring equal access to quality health care for everyone in America. How do you if you got your way today, how would you go about doing that? How would you make that possible?
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Well, the first thing I would do is I would get all the states to change their laws to enable us to do that. Right. Because part of the reason why people in Washington, D.C. or Idaho or West Virginia or Delaware or New Hampshire don’t get as good of access to care as other states do, is because they have to physically find someone to get on a video or a phone call with at a time that’s mutually agreeable for both of them. And that’s hard to do in today’s age. And it actually does directly impact access to care, right. So does things like Internet access, like broadband, right? There is an absolute discrepancy in where that’s available. And so I would start with leveling out the laws so that we’re allowed to do it, equaling out access to technology so that everybody can use it, and then also enabling clinicians to get more licenses in a faster way.
I mean, it can take years, months, two years to get these licenses and. Those are patients that they can’t service. If I’m looking in ears and listening to hearts, of course I need to physically be located there. But doing telemedicine, you don’t need to be physically located there. And so we could very quickly make a big dent in our access to care problem.
If we could work on those three things.
And would you say those three things are also the same three things that are potentially preventing telemedicine from just being more widely adopted? Or do you think there are other factors as well?
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Absolutely. I mean, there are certainly other factors, but those are the big those are the barriers. Those are the barriers to adoption that we really I mean, there’s no there’s there’s no reason why the laws or the technology or the regulators should stand in the way. I think they could safely. Right. Because sometimes I say these things and I’ve been accused before of having a flippant disregard for compliance.
And that’s not true. That is not true. And I want to make sure that I say that. But I think that we do need to redefine what is compliance, and we need to redefine some of these terms and what is compliant and what is appropriate. We have really got to reevaluate the way that we define these terms so that we can get out of our own ways and start helping the people of America.
I love that. I want you to say, you know, like louder. I’m going to highlight that. I’d be like, everyone should like literally just hear you. Like you need to be on a stage somewhere like Sarah.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Hershey does not have this regard for compliance. And we really got a text message from the oh, we heard that you said that you don’t care about compliance. And I said, well, that’s not true.
I like that. The clarification. We got it. Don’t worry, guys. She talks about compliance. In case you missed it. So from the business side of things, right, you mentioned, you know, your dad was in business and now it seems like, you know, like you said, when you’re consulting with these companies like you’re wearing many different hats and you kind of know a little bit of everything, which is pretty cool.
Did you find at least when you first started, like outside of like the medicine space when it just came to the business piece of it, that there was any type of learning curve because right now you seem like you know it all. And I’m just like, how do I know as much as Dr. Purdy because this is very impressive.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Oh, this is what I will say. I think that the Army really prepared me for business because the Army is a culture of innovation. It’s doing a lot with a little you’re in a position for two or three years max, and your job is to do a good job and to make change and to be impactful and be able to use limited resources to make creative decisions.
You can’t fire people, so you have to lead by influence. You have to, you know, not by power and all these skills are very business oriented skills. Right. And so I feel like almost every single day I find myself referencing skills that I brought with me from the army, you know. But that being said, there was a massive learning curve, and that’s why I went back and got an MBA, because I found myself in conversations that I had absolutely no idea what people were saying, and I was just trying to like hang.
And I didn’t even know what certain things meant. I didn’t know what like a brand was or what marketing was, or they know the right kinds of words to use. And so the whole reason why I went back and got an MBA was just so that I could speak the language of the people that I was interacting with every day, because I can’t really teach people how to speak medical.
That took me like a decade to learn how to speak medical, so I need to be able to speak business. And that’s how it happened.
That makes sense. And I like the way you thought about it, so I like what you said about the leadership side, and that’s actually really interesting. So one of the most common questions that that we get is female entrepreneurs, you know, who are struggling with this idea of how to hire the right people and how to fire the wrong people.
And what you just said, I think, is really cool because you said with like where you were in the army, like you couldn’t fire people, so you had to lead by example. So how do you do that? Like to anyone who’s listening, who has been in that experience or is currently in that situation, how would you suggest that they really be able to lead their team and kind of really help those who are severely underperforming or like not really fitting in with the mix?
Like what can they do besides fire them? Of course.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
That’s not always an option, right? Like even when it is an option, do you want a reputation as the person who fires all the people? Right. Like, right. So I have a story that I’m going to tell you and I’m going to try to tell it without getting emotional. But am I right? And so you’re touching on what has been the biggest challenge for me, or maybe not challenge in the way of difficulty.
But this is the problem that I or the challenge that I have looked to resolve in my entire adult life. Right. So my dad, he died when I was 23. Was it 23 or 22? Doesn’t matter. It was 2008 and it was the height of the recession. And he was the vice president of the automotive manufacturing plant that he worked at.
And he had a nickname back then. He was called Iceman or X-Man or Stone Cold, because he literally when we moved in 1999, the first thing he did was just fire a ton of people. And we would talk about it at dinner. And I would say, like, why, why? Why are you firing these people? And he would say things like, If you don’t want to be replaced, don’t be replaceable.
And if you want to have a job, you need to do your job. And he would also say the business is losing so much money that we have got to cut back. And after he made all those layoffs and worked on the quality program, they had a profit for the first time in their entire existence three or four years after he had been there.
So he died in 2008. And we went to his funeral, of course, and I will never forget the line of people that was through the funeral home, out the door, down the sidewalk and into the parking garage, parking lot of this little funeral home. And in the middle of Indiana. And he wasn’t a celebrity. He’s not a famous person. He wasn’t a politician. He, like nobody knew him. And except the people that he worked with and his boss, like knelt at the coffin and like balled his ever loving eyeballs out. This, like, business guy, you know, head of all these corporations crying his eyeballs out. And I remember sitting there and watching this and saying, and then they put up a plaque.
The best part, they put up a plaque outside of the plant, and it’s still there today, last I checked. And it says, you know, here, you know, in memory of Richard, she’s our beloved leader. And as I looked at that, I said, how how did he have a nickname like Stone Cold AX Man, whatever, and fired so many people and just, you know, just machete the place and and still come out being loved and endeared to by the people that worked with him.
How do you do that? And whatever that is that’s that’s what I want that’s that’s who I want to be. That’s where I want to be. And when I’m gone, I want people to say, that was my beloved leader as well. And so I don’t know that I’ve figured it out all the way, but there’s a couple of things that I think helped move me in the right direction that maybe other people can benefit from.
The first thing is to always have the intention to do the right thing. Always have the intention to do the right thing. You know, when they went through his desk after he died, it was 2008. The world was full of scandals and scams and everybody was scrambling and they couldn’t find a single thing that he did that was unethical.
And that really impressed me. So I always try to do the right thing in business. I mean, even when I consult with people, I say, yes, I might be consulting with your competitors, but my my goal is for you all to be successful because like somebody you know and the company may hear that I’ve worked with another company and I will say, you will both get the same thing from me and I will never share each other’s secrets.
And I want you to all be successful. I want every employee to be successful if they choose to compete among each other, that’s fine. But I’m not going to play favorites. I’m not going to treat them differently. I will enforce a standard and I will hold everyone to the same standard. I won’t get involved in. If I could use a term like good old boy systems or whatever, the modern day term for that is, you know, holding a standard and sticking to it.
The second thing is I don’t try to be someone that I’m not. I am very I am myself everywhere all the time for everyone. I am the same me here in this office on the podcast with you that I am at home with my husband, that I am with my family members, that I am with the people in my clinic and that I am with my friends.
A lot of whom I work with. I am authentically the same everywhere and I think that fosters a sense of trust. People have said that they trust me a lot and it also fosters a sense of endearment. I want people to feel endeared to me. I want them to think fondly of me when they interact with me. So I will smile. I will tell them that I love them if it’s appropriate right now is appropriate to say them. But you know, sometimes I’ll say I just love working with you and I will genuinely give them that positive feedback, even if they’re not doing well. I will say I love working with you, this and this and this is what you’re doing.
Well, maybe we could work on this one thing, but I know you’re going to get it and I’m not worried about it and then move on, right? I don’t carry a hammer anymore, which I did when I was in the Army. And the third thing is, I am willing to be the top cover and the scapegoat for absolutely everything.
Everyone all the time. I acknowledge that every failure is my failure. And I did learn that in the Army. They used to say all failures are leadership failures. Anything that goes wrong, I will own it. If somebody needs to yell, I will let them yell at me. Right. If if somebody you know below me made a mistake, I’m going to own that.
And I have no problem sitting there and taking it, you know, and letting that be, you know, my my problem. And so in doing those three things, I feel like I feel like it has created wonderful environments in nearly all of my workplaces. And not only do I enjoy everything that I’m doing, but I think that the overwhelming majority of people are also enjoying working with me.
And consequently, I have a lot less H.R. problems. I don’t have the fire as many people. There’s some I just can’t do anything about. Like some are generally lost causes and you got to know when to be like, we’re done. And but that’s that’s the minority.
Well, first of all, thank you for sharing that story with all of us. Like, it was powerful, like, really was. And I think it’s incredible the way that you’ve tried to emulate those qualities that your dad had as well. And I really love points two and three that you set. I mean, I loved all three, but specifically those stood out to me because the be yourself everywhere
I think many people forget that they think I have to act a certain way with my quote unquote like equals. Like, you know, in my company, I have to act a different way with like, you know, certain, like, you know, merchants that are people who I deal with. I have to have this different persona. And when you are yourself, everyone is like way less pressure and a lot less confusing for you to figure out which you have to wear where like, I feel like that’s a lot to think about, but like, that’s such a good point because it does garner that sense of trust because people also know that you’re being your authentic self, like regardless of who you’re speaking to. And I think that’s really important. It feels good to work in that type of environment, you know, and I think that’s like such an important point and the third point that you made when I started my career in corporate America, that was exactly the opposite of what would happen where. Like, if you do well, you get no credit for it.
If you do that, it’s completely and totally your fault. Like you made a mistake. You’re the absolute worst, like, you know, and the fact that like you are willing to kind of put yourself there and say, hey, if something goes wrong, like that’s on me, like, how could I have led better? How could I have done something better that also like not?
Does that make you like a wonderful leader that also puts the control in your court that like you can’t necessarily control how all of you know, the people you work with, act, think, but you can control how you think, how you change your behavior. What can I do better? How can I be better? How can I show up better?
And that’s pretty freaking empowering. So I love that those like great answer. Thank you.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
We can all do it. Right. And let me give you one caveat, too, okay? Don’t mistake my words when I say be the same me everywhere. Right. Because there’s a lot of me’s like I do have a raging hammer of justice that I can bring down on somebody who’s treating one of my people wrong. Major party.
Major party, you know, does come out from time to time. But I’m also, you know, but I embrace every facet of my personality, whether it’s goofy mother of a two year old or, you know, silly happy hour with girlfriends. I have so many different personas that can come out and I embrace all of those facets, but I also allow all of those personas to exist in every area of life.
And it is so freeing.
I love that. So you have had like so far, such an incredible career and you’re doing such like magnificent work. I would love to hear from you. Like, what does success actually mean to you today?
Dr. Laura Purdy:
I have already done everything I ever wanted to do in life. I’ll be honest with you. All I wanted to do was get out of the military and learn how to live as a free citizen instead of being property of the United States government. And I feel like once I accomplish that, everything else is just fine. I think I’m living success right now every single day.
I have great days. I don’t I don’t. Bad days at all because every day is good, even the ones that have challenges. I think success is defined by the relationships. So if I can say I had an impactful interaction that day, it was a successful day with whomever my kid, my boss, a colleague, somebody who works for me, a stranger at the grocery store.
If I can have an impactful interaction with somebody that is success to me.
I love that. And it just creates like every day to be awesome, like everything. It’s a beautiful experience, an opportunity to learn. You said even on the days that are, you know, have their challenges. Like one of my favorite quotes is from one of my mentors and she was also a guest on Limitless. Her name is Kristen Heartening all she has a saying where she says Holy shift, everything is a gift and it’s true. Like when you have that mindset, like even you’re laughing right now. Like, it’s fun, right? Like you’re just so happy hearing that. You’re like, Yeah, that sounds great. Like, absolutely. It just brings a smile to your face and allows you to appreciate every moment and also find fun in, like, you know, the learning curves or challenges or as I like to call them, exciting learning opportunities.
So I love that. So for anyone listening right now who is like, Wow, Dr. Purdy is frickin like, I want more of her, where can we find you? And also, how can we as a community support you?
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Gosh. Well, first of all, by listening to this podcast, right? Because obviously, you’re bringing in all the powerful women of business. And so I will become a listener for sure. So one of the things that’s really exciting is I’m kind of formalizing what has been happening behind the scenes and launching a brand called America’s Favorite Doctor, which is right here.
And it’s launching I soon I mean, I think there’s going to be a landing page. Dr. Laura Purdy.com that’s coming soon. And so through that, there will be access to me, whether that’s to be a patient or to just say hi. I mean, people LinkedIn me all the time just to say hi.
Social is coming out soon. America’s favorite Dr. Social on Twitter and Instagram and all those things that I’ve avoided for the last few years because I don’t really understand them very much. We’re going to do it. We’re going to do all that because I’m not afraid of it anymore. And so so all of that is happening and it’s going to be really exciting.
So if you want to get to know me, if you want to meet me, I travel a lot. I go to a lot of cities. And any time I travel, I love to meet up with associates in town and talk about work or business or fun or family or whatever it is you want to talk about. I adore meeting people so but Dr.LauraPurdy.com is coming out next week.
You can find me on LinkedIn. Laura Purdy. If you Google me, you can find me just about anywhere. I’m everywhere.
I love that. And last but not least, before you leave us, what kind of parting words of wisdom do you have that can fit on a tweet.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
If you have never had a telemedicine visit, find an excuse to go do one. Give it a try. You’ll never go back.
Love it. Thank you so much, Dr. Purdy for coming on today.
Dr. Laura Purdy:
Of course. Thank you for having me.
We hope you enjoyed hearing from the incredible Dr. Laura Purdy. And if you did, please leave us a review on Apple, Spotify or wherever you tune in to listen. Please share this episode with anyone who you think might enjoy it. Thank you so much for tuning in for this week’s episode of Limitless. See you next week for a new episode.