2 Years on the Inc 5000: What it Means to Me

By Patrick Creagh, Marketing Specialist

When I joined Patientco in May of 2013, our office consisted of about 20 employees crammed into what might be accurately described as a large room. I shared my first “desk” with 3 other team members.

We were just one of a few dozen companies at the ATDC accelerator, and like most startups in the program we were given the standard prognosis: high potential, high risk, high expectations.

Change was the only constant. Joining Patientco was like jumping into a fast moving river.

At first, I hardly understood our product, much less our value proposition. As a recent college graduate, I had never paid a medical bill and I knew little about the inner workings of a hospital business office.  Medical billing technology isn’t exactly the sexiest niche to work in for a marketer; throughout college, I assumed I would work in entertainment, sports, or at least a consumer-facing brand.

Personally, I was able experience the frustration that led to Patientco’s billing solution when I paid my first medical bill. I wrote about that experience here. It was at that point that I realized Patientco has the potential to improve the lives of every American because we are all patients at one point or another. With that understanding, I jumped in head-first.

At a startup there’s no time for handholding. All 3 of us on the marketing team joined at the same time, and we had to build our department, and all of its processes and deliverables, from scratch. In the face of uncertainty we had to set our own goals and reset them as necessary. In addition to marketing, I was juggling my share of office tasks like catering our Free Friday Lunches and answering customer phone calls.

Fast forward two years. As a team, we’ve hustled through trade shows, development sprints, investor meetings, and Costco food shipments. We’ve also solved dinner theater mysteries, braved class IV whitewater rapids, attended Braves games, and celebrated every milestone along the way.

The challenging path has been a rewarding path. As our product developed and produced results for our clients, so did our message and our understanding of our opportunity in the market. Our brand began to materialize and we were there to capture it.  

I’ve had the privilege of visiting client sites and meeting the end users, who tell me how much the Patientco Solution has improved their lives. I’ve shared Patientco’s mission with friends and strangers who wholeheartedly agree that medical bills are confusing and that there should be a simple way to manage and track these expenses.

When I joined Patientco, I was told, healthcare was dramatically changing. The Patientco product was dramatically changing. And, two years later, we haven’t stopped changing.

In this story, change is a great thing. We’ve changed offices 3 times since 2013 and this new one is our biggest, best office yet, with room for 100 new employees. We’ve already added close to 40 and each team member has augmented our organization in a valuable way.

For the past 2 years, change has equaled growth. We achieved placement on the Inc 5000 for the second year in a row, a significant accomplishment for a young company. We’re one of the fastest growing private companies in Atlanta.

What does it mean for current employees like me and prospective employees like you for the next two years? It means that you can expect more change, and more growth as a result.

We’re going to beef up our product and customer experience teams. Our product and customer experience are our two biggest differentiators in the market. We’ve surpassed the competition but we’re going to create even more space because we’re overachievers and our customers deserve it.

We’re going to expand our brand and our culture. As we double the size of our team, we are going to make sure every new member understands why Patientco exists and becomes immersed in the culture that has driven our success thus far.

We’re going to have more social activities, more perks, and of course, more food. With more people we will be able to take on bigger, better philanthropy opportunities so we can do more good for the community.

Sometimes I get nostalgic for the humble days of cramming together in our tiny office trying to fit everyone’s lunch into our tiny fridge, but I recognize our opportunity to serve tens of millions more patients in the coming years and our potential to impact the lives of those patients and their providers.

When we first achieved placement on the Inc 5000 list at no. 405 last year, we celebrated but [CEO] Bird reminded us that we need to set our sights higher and double down on our mission: easing healthcare’s transition to increased patient financial responsibility through exceptional service and proven consumer-centric technology. We still have so much to accomplish.

What will happen when you join Patientco?