Jared Taylor wasn’t planning on selling his healthtech company BlocHealth, but the synergies between the St. Petersburg-based team and another were a perfect marriage.
BlocHealth is a clinician licensing, credentialing and payer enrollment platform that relocated from Boston to St. Petersburg last year and has now been acquired by St. Louis-based SteadyMD, a business-to-business telehealth infrastructure provider.
“I had Guy Friedman [SteadyMD’s CEO] on my podcast (Slice of Healthcare) over two years ago. At the end of last year, we kept running into each other,” Taylor said about the unraveling of the serendipitous business relationship.
He explained how he again ran into Friedman at a health conference in Boston last fall.
Ironically, Taylor was doing a live show with an executive of a different company that was discussing his own company’s acquisition, and one of the things the executive said during the show was, “when you and the acquiring company have the same vision that’s closely aligned, and you can grow faster and be a better company, you do it.”
Taylor carried that advice with him. Fast forward a couple of months after the conference, Taylor and Friedman formally reconnected in January and the duo realized how they could better leverage each other’s assets to serve a larger clientele and network.
“I met with his team during the early acquisition process and I have never felt more welcomed. It took me five minutes to get to talk with them, but it felt like we’ve known each other for five years – that’s a rare quality to have,” Taylor said.
The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Taylor and Friedman said the value goes beyond the bottom line.
“SteadyMD’s nationwide, tech-enabled and board-certified clinician workforce is core to our business, as is our ability to quickly recruit, train and deploy these clinicians in a manner that maintains compliance across all fifty states,” Friedman said in a statement.
The acquisition of BlocHealth makes SteadyMD the first telehealth infrastructure provider to offer both a 50-state clinician workforce and a full-service licensing and credentialing platform available to its customers, according to BlocHealth.
Taylor gave the example of how BlocHealth could be working with an early-stage company in getting their clinicians set up with insurance companies so they could start working, but at some point, that company probably will need to hire 100 clinicians – and in that scenario, they now have access to SteadyMD’s robust network of qualified clinicians.
Through the acquisition, Taylor said BlocHealth and SteadyMD’s names will remain and he has no plans of uprooting from St. Pete.
“In Boston, you already have lots of great startups, and the Tampa area is where you have a chance to be an early-stage startup and be part of this growth that is currently occurring,” Taylor said.
BlocHealth does not have a physical space in St. Petersburg as the majority of employees work remotely.
The building blocks of BlocHealth
“It’s been an interesting journey. In June 2017, I left a health care staffing company halfway through the year to start my own company,” Taylor said, explaining his parents were surprised. “I paid off my debt, I was out of school and at a good company … but I believed I knew the space well, and worst-case scenario, I would learn so much out on my own.”
Initially, he started BlocHealth as a staffing marketplace until Taylor confronted the major issues in licensing clinicians, as he was trying to get a group of clinicians licensed in Massachusetts, which proved difficult.
“We couldn’t get them licensed in time (for demand),” Taylor said. “About a year and a half, we pivoted to focus on licensing and credentialing, and we launched that portion of the platform a month before the pandemic hit.”
After the pandemic, he saw a huge uptick in licenses due to the increased accessibility of virtual care.
“We started signing some of the top virtual health care companies, things went very fast,” he said. “We kept building the company.”