Outcome Health has been through the wringer. Over the past year, it was sued by its own investors, forced to investigate misconduct by its own employees, barraged by damaging press reports and compelled to run its day-to-day business without its two hands-on co-founders.
But now, the physician office marketing company says it's ready to move on, thanks to four prominent directors who've joined the board—and the search for a new CEO. Signing on are Mike Gamson, senior vice president of global solutions at LinkedIn; Robert Pelzer, a former Novartis president; Matthew Ray, founder and managing partner of Portage Point Partners; and Robert A. Schriesheim, chairman at Truax Partners and a former CFO at Sears Holding Corporation.
Nandini Ramani, Outcome’s chief operating officer, in her first interview since the investor lawsuit settlement in January, said the new board has “created positive momentum for us across the board, on the provider side, customer and client side and definitely internally as well … People are super excited to have a really talented board which I think is indicative of good things to come.”
Ramani joined Outcome last August as chief engineering officer from Twitter, where she held a similar title. She's been with the company through the turmoil, which began with a media report last October alleging Outcome misled advertisers by manipulating campaign results and overcharged them for its services. Investors filed suit in November based on that report, Outcome issued vehement denials, and what followed was a very public exchange of claims between the investors, the company, and co-founders Rishi Shah and Shradha Agarwal.
The lawsuit was settled in January with terms that included a settlement of $159 million from “equity investors, lenders and the company’s founders” to reduce the company’s debt and build up its tech platform and operations. Also as part of the deal, Shah and Agarwal agreed to step aside from day-to-day company management and serve as nonexecutive chairman and vice chairman, respectively. Shah had been serving as CEO and Agarwal as president.
To regain client and provider trust, Outcome has since instituted rigorous tracking and accountability procedures, an effort that includes a contract with media auditor BPA and quarterly platform recertifications. It's also conducted an “open kimono” tour to meet with individual healthcare providers and advertising clients.
Ramani characterized external attitudes as “thawing and improving.” The transparency moves—along with ongoing digital improvements to asset tracking, inventory, reservation and contracting processes, plus remote tools for diagnostics and devices—have been well received.
“It’s been bumpy for Outcome; I would be lying if I didn’t say that,” she said. “But I think the internal teams are excited for the turnaround and they want to participate in it. It’s more like doubling down on ‘Hey, we can do this’ because we have the results of the efficacy of the platform, and people believe in it. They came here for the mission of the company.”
That mission remains the same—creating a national point-of-care network via TVs, wallboards and tablets in doctors’ offices and hospitals around the country. Outcome currently has more than 150,000 devices in 40,000 offices, according to BPA’s latest certification in March.
“This is a journey, and every step of the way we have a lot to do,” Ramani said. “And by the way, I don’t want to take away from the fact that we did go through the crucible, if you will, as a company, and it has not been easy. It’s nice to be able to have a (full) board, putting back the stability, (establishing) internal rigor and looking towards the future.”