Russ: Hi I’m Russ Capper and this is BusinessMakers USA brought to you by Insperity, inspiring business performance. Today we’re in Columbus, Ohio and I’m pleased to have as my guest Brian Marshall, Co-founder and President of Primary Solutions. Brian welcome to the show.
Brian: Thank you very much, I’m happy to be here.
Russ: Tell us about Primary Solutions.
Brian: We help people who serve the intellectual and developmental disabilities community by providing them software, Medicaid billing training and consulting services.
Russ: Okay. It warms my heart when I hear that. I’ve been around several businesses that handle people with disabilities, but this is that category that needs service and a lot of the support comes from Medicaid. Is that right?
Brian: Absolutely. Between Medicaid and local funds and other areas is where it all gets taken care of.
Russ: Okay. But there’s enough complexity in the process that it calls for some sort of middle assistance company. Would that be a way to describe what you guys do?
Brian: Absolutely. There’s plenty of support from the state that gives them the capabilities to do some of what we do but we add a lot of value to what it is that they need to do on a daily basis.
Russ: Exactly what would your software do? What kind of help do they need?
Brian: They need a lot of assistance from us. The software mainly is for Medicaid billing services. It also tracks a lot of things like their goals throughout the course of their day. There’s individual service plans created for them so it can manage those, it can also manage transportation; anything that a provider of services to the community needs in order to be able to get them through their day.
Russ: Are the individuals themselves, the disabled individuals, actually at the computer?
Brian: No. Well, in some cases that is true because depending on their level of disability sometimes they’re actually being hired by our customers to come in and do data entry, things like that. But for the most part it’s just the providers that are providing the services to them that are using the products.
Russ: And those are your customers?
Brian: And those are our customers.
Russ: Okay. So that’s interesting, and you do this mainly just in Columbus?
Brian: Well we’re all throughout the state of Ohio. We’re also expanding into Indiana and Florida right now so it’s been great. We serve all 88 counties in the state of Ohio right now.
Russ: Just to get this clear too disabled people, who certainly have difficulty in affording to be able to take care of themselves, really are taken care of by our government through Medicaid.
Brian: That is correct. And at least in the state of Ohio there are also local funds there that are come through levy dollars that help provide services as well.
Russ: And is the process of handling Medicaid in those situations – is it the complication of it that warrants Primary Solutions to come in and help out?
Brian: It really is. We’ve been doing this since 1998 and it got more complicated back then and has continued to be so. New rules come out all the time and new regulations so it actually eases that burden on them when changes happen.
Russ: Okay. So how big is your company?
Brian: We’ve got 70 employees right now and it’s been growing consistently over the years; we started off with 2 people.
Russ: Wow. And so you’re operating I would assume as an SAAS?
Brian: Absolutely. With the amount of changes that happen all the time it was pretty critical for us from the very beginning. All the way back at the beginning we decided that we didn’t want to spend all of our time trying to sell new product, we really needed to service the people that are using our product.
Russ: And so there must be – and this is as you know a business show – there’s enough money that flows through the transaction that you have a piece of it for the service that you offer and that’s your revenue stream.
Brian: Yep, that’s it. We’re lucky that we’re able to find a good price point that people can afford what it is that we do and they see the value in everything that we’re doing.
Russ: Well what do you think the company is going to look like 5 years from now?
Brian: Well we plan to expand a lot within Indiana over the next 5 years. Our goal is to hit Indiana and also expand into some other states as well because we find out that there’s a lot of commonality across the country in what we do.
Russ: But still there’s individual rules by state?
Brian: Yeah, and that’s the biggest challenge for us is as we walk into the next state we always have to dive deep into how they do Medicaid. You would think that it would be the same across the country and CMS actually puts those rules out for the states and then the states are up to their own devices to figure out how they want to make it work in their state.
Russ: All real interesting, but take me back to the beginning; what triggered the idea to start Primary Solutions?
Brian: A friend of mine who I went to college with his brother was owner of a supported living agency. So they were doing direct care and what we realized was there was a whole lot of need for people who need to have software developed for them. The complexity of the system was getting even more than it ever had been in the past so at that point we got together and said let’s start something and build this software to make it work for them.
Russ: Did you both have a software background before?
Brian: Yeah, we actually were interns with our university doing software development.
Russ: And at what stage of your life? Was this a second career or right out of school?
Brian: No, actually both of us had finished our degrees and gone on and done work independently and it was probably about the time I was about 28. So 28 is when we got together, we were working for his company building the software. That company got sold and the company that bought it didn’t want the software. So the two of us said okay, well let’s start our own company. So we were both 30 years old and just full of energy and said let’s make this work.
Russ: Okay, and is he still with you today?
Brian: No. Actually he sold me the company about 10 years ago, he went off to become a pastor, he had a new calling.
Russ: But now you’re the 100% owner of Primary Solutions.
Brian: My wife and I are the 100% owners of it, absolutely.
Russ: Cool. Well Brian I really appreciate you sharing your story with us and good luck in the future.
Brian: All right, thank you so much.
Russ: You bet. And that wraps up my discussion with Brian Marshall, Co-founder and President of Primary Solutions. And this is BusinessMakers USA.
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