Gentem, a health services reimbursement company, recently closed its initial round of venture capital funding with an impressive $3.7 million. The funds signal good news and speedy growth for a company that is less than one year old, placing Gentem on the fast track to becoming an invaluable contribution to the healthcare industry.
If not for the vision of one aspiring doctor, Gentem may never have come to be. A passion for patient care led Fisayo Ositelu — MD, CEO, and co-founder of Gentem — to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. However, his clinical experiences led to the realization that patient care was only one major aspect of becoming a physician. The role was also fraught with time-consuming billing issues and other administrative complexities.
While Ositelu went on to obtain the medical degree, he stopped short of practicing when he conferred with other physician friends who noted the same frustrations he had. The “physician fatigue” that they observed is underscored by a Kaiser Health News report, which reveals that the burnout is attributed to “time-consuming technologies and complex electronic health records that infringe on time spent with patients,” and that doctors who work in hospital organizations are more dissatisfied than those who maintain private practices.
Understanding the negative impact on patient care led Ositelu, a Stanford Business School graduate, to leave his full-time position at a private equity firm to join business partner Emmanuel Akintayo and seek solutions. Last June, the two co-founded Gentem, which uses technology and automation to manage end-to-end billing and revenue cycle processes, and offer doctors upfront payment for their services. The benefit is multi-fold: doctors can focus more on patient care, and they can establish or maintain independent practices leading to a lower cost of care rather than joining hospital-owned associations.
Ositelu attributes Gentem’s impressive funding round to two critical elements: teamwork and resilience. Emphasizing the commitment of investors on the team who provided coaching, made introductions, and helped Gentem navigate the road ahead, Ositelu noted the importance of having “the right people in your corner.” He defines the other motivating factor, resilience, as “converting the negative to a positive.” He also advises aspiring entrepreneurs to “Use the no’s to energize you, to be resilient, to inform what you do to move forward.”
Gentem’s newly raised funds will enable it to strengthen its infrastructure by expanding its engineering and operations teams. Its uniqueness as a product of industry insiders who have acute, firsthand knowledge of physician’s problems and its ability to allow physicians to maintain their independent practices make it a rare gem in the healthcare industry. Indeed, Gentem may be just what the doctor ordered.