IMG_0943We recently discussed Mediware Information Systems’ acquisition of Harmony Information Systems, a long-term care software solutions company. Harmony’s software solutions help state and local agencies manage complex health and human services processes across the continuum of care. Their services are used by over 25,000 individuals.

Last month, ACG members hosted Harmony’s President and CEO Joe Sander along with former Harmony Board Member Donna Morea for an insightful conversation about how they drastically turned the company around to position it as a viable and leading brand in the healthcare delivery space.

Mr. Sander began with a quick introduction to what Harmony aims to accomplish as a SaaS business in the healthcare IT space. “We worked with states and local governments, buyers, all the way down to consumers, to help them manage a home and community based health service.”

“States are looking for ways that they can properly care for their citizens as they age, but they want to do so by keeping them in the heart of the community” continued Sander. “By keeping them in the heart of the community (hence why it’s called community services), it saves them about 20% of the cost of keeping someone in an institutional care nursing home.”

In order to do that, states need to provide all the services that they would otherwise provide in the institutional care. Patients must be fed, taken to the doctor…“there’s a whole host of services to allow someone to age in place. But it’s better for the individual and better for the state.”

But things weren’t looking too positive when Mr. Sander first joined the company in 2008. “When I came on board with Harmony, the company was at a distress level. The first half of my job was just getting that business stabilized.”

Once that was in place, Sander and his team began to focus on growth, and when that became the focus, Joe claims that he “knew we needed some help, and I asked Donna to join because of the tremendous impact I knew she could have on the business.”

The new market focus was more product-oriented, which drastically changed the sales process, deals, and the set of competitors. “We were competing with the likes of HP, IBM, Deloitte, and we believed we had a best in class solution, proven that we could leverage off of what at the time had become a very happy consumer base, and be successful. It was at that point that we put that plan in place and invested in growth, and I asked Donna to join.”

While Donna may have felt a tad unsure when first joining the company in 2012, her concerns were quickly alleviated:

“I was a little bit skeptical, but after I met with Joe and the management team, I came to a few conclusions. Harmony was now, in a positive sense, at an inflection point where there was a perfect storm of factors. We also had some new regulation and legislation that helped create new opportunities.”

“And finally,” Donna continued, “the funders of aging solutions figured out that it was more efficient and effective to have people taken care of at home than at nursing homes. So the funders woke up to the reality of the situation. That was a really interesting moment for me; the pivot to a new market at an inflection point with bigger deals, bigger opportunities, and bigger competitors.”

But Donna was also highly impressed with the team that Joe had put together. “I was very impressed with the management team, and what impressed me the most was the fact that they had not only talent, but perseverance and fortitude to get through what was really a challenging situation.”

“I could see this path because I had lived it. I’ve had the opportunity to grow companies in the past, and that was one of the most fun parts of my career. I thought I could really help make a difference.”

To learn more about Harmony or Mediware, click HERE