Jeff Hillam is the CEO of Red House Medical Billing, a company that provides revenue cycle management services, including payroll and bookkeeping. Jeff has also co-founded Lighthouse Health and founded Nabnasset Group International. In the past, he served as Executive Chairman at Mothus Rehabilitation Technology.
In addition to his executive roles, Jeff invests in small-to-mid-cap RCM businesses and mentors private practitioners who run facilities with more than 250 beds. He has studied at Purdue University, Central European University, and Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Jeff is a proponent of patient empowerment and advocates for a diverse and non-consolidated healthcare system. He is a thought leader in the medical billing industry and frequently shares his insights on robotic process automation and revenue cycle management.
Where did the idea for Red House Medical Billing come from?
The inspiration for Red House came directly from our clients. While running our consulting company, we had clients who asked if we could also handle their medical billing. Seeing an opportunity to meet this need, we partnered with someone and purchased a medical billing company.
This became the foundation for Red House Medical Billing, which we created to specifically address the requests of our current customers. From this humble start, we were able to build a platform for a larger medical billing group.
What does your typical day look like, and how do you make it productive?
As someone who is not directly involved in operations, my daily tasks are more flexible and varied compared to others. Instead of having specific tasks to complete, my focus is on supporting and driving progress across teams and decisions. I work to help generate momentum and ensure that our efforts align with our goals for productivity and strategic direction.
So, in many ways, my typical day involves going from team to team and decision to decision, helping to keep things moving in the right direction.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I really enjoy answering this question!
I think many people have great ideas but don’t take action on them. I believe that when faced with a decision, it’s essential to either commit to it fully or let it go.
If you decide not to pursue an idea, it’s best to move on and not waste time considering it further. But if you choose to go for it, give it your full attention and effort. Don’t waste time deliberating or forming committees; just start working on it right away and take one step at a time to make it a reality.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in the medical billing industry is becoming more common, providing operational benefits for those in the revenue cycle management field.
In the healthcare industry as a whole, companies like Red House are working to create data sets that can be used by artificial intelligence to assist clinicians in diagnosing, treating, and curing illnesses.
It is fascinating to witness the integration of AI in the healthcare industry, especially on the data side.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur, I have secured some of my biggest deals by consistently maintaining contact with trusted professionals. Every week, I email individuals I have worked with, those I may want to hire in the future, and potential clients. I make an effort to nurture these relationships consistently, not only as a gesture of friendship but also because deals often arise unexpectedly.
It is important to remember that you never know who will be involved in your next deal. It is possible that you may not keep in touch with someone because you think they do not have enough influence at their company or access to funding. However, it is essential to remember that your network has its own network of connections. By approaching your network to build trust and friendship rather than simply seeking to take advantage of them, your network becomes more valuable and functional.
Maintaining such relationships does not happen by chance. As an entrepreneur, active dealmaker, or business owner, it is crucial to develop the habit of keeping your network strong and healthy.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I could speak to my younger self, I would simply encourage him to keep pushing forward.
It’s important for young people to experience both successes and challenges in order to grow and learn. So while I may have some advice to offer, it’s more valuable for young people to figure things out for themselves and find their own path.
So, to any younger version of myself, I would just say: keep going and don’t give up!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Offshoring is a controversial practice in the revenue cycle management (RCM) industry.
My experience is that offshoring improves operational outcomes, others disagree. In particular, many international teams work from countries such as the Philippines, India, Colombia, or Puerto Rico.
However, this opinion is often unpopular among RCM professionals.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I encourage people to pursue their ideas and not give up. It’s important to keep working and striving for success until you can be proud of your accomplishments.
Otherwise, there may always be a lingering doubt of “what if?”
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Red House is distinguished by its expertise in managing multicultural teams. Having a high global mindset is an invaluable asset that positively impacts our bottom line. While other companies may also value multicultural team management, it is essential to our global operations and leadership strategy.
At Red House, we are committed to helping our leaders, managers, and front-line workers improve their global mindset through ongoing training at our “Red House University.” Each year, all employees at Red House receive global mindset training as part of their professional development.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Two failures that stand out in my mind are the failures of my first two companies, which both went under within two years of being established.
I was able to bounce back from these failures thanks to the support of close friends, a strong professional network, hard work, perseverance, and some systemic advantages. These resources have significantly impacted my career, family, and the success of my current company. Without them, I might not have been able to recover as easily as I did.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There is a significant opportunity for profit for anyone who can find a way to provide reliable energy to developing economies.
One example of this is in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, which is known as the most polluted capital city in the world. Many residents live in areas called ger, where I saw a lot of smoke coming from dwellers’ homes where they burn raw coal in individual coal stoves. I learned from a friend involved with the government that they are struggling to find a reliable in-home energy solution.
While there are many options, it will likely be someone from a different field who figures out the solution and makes a fortune. This prize is waiting to be won by whoever can solve the problem first.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently spent $100 on an open-water scuba dive.
My decision was driven by curiosity. I love learning about biodiversity. Moreover, I wanted to think, listen, and forget about work. It satisfied my soul.
Curiosity remains a crucial part of the Red House. As a result, Red House solves problems faster than competitors because we all maintain our curiosity.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Many people overlook the potential of WhatsApp as a business tool, but it’s a platform where a lot of business communication and transactions occur. However, it’s important to note that WhatsApp is not compliant with HIPAA regulations, so it’s crucial to understand its limitations before using it in a professional setting.
Some companies may struggle to use email effectively and lose efficiency as a result, but it’s important to consider alternative tools like WhatsApp or its competitors to streamline communication and increase productivity.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Lessons from Private Equity Any Company Can Use” by Hugh MacArthur and Orit Gadiesh.
The medical billing industry is not known for its financial expertise. However, the industry’s top tier works closely with venture and private capital firms that deal with both public and private markets.
Understanding private equity can be valuable for small and midsize business owners in the medical billing industry, as it can help them increase profitability and explore new opportunities for success.
What is your favorite quote?
I often repeat a quote by Jeffrey Holland to my team: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so watch your step!”
This proverb highlights the importance of being mindful and careful in the beginning stages of a project or venture. If you neglect the first step, you may stray from your goals and never reach them. This is especially true in the long term. So remember to always pay attention to that first step.
- Listen to the voice of your customers. It is the best source to learn about latent business opportunities.
- Cultivate your network. It has its own network! Provide value to nurture professional relationships.
- When you begin working on an initiative, don’t stop until you are proud of your accomplishments. Don’t risk facing the dreaded “what if” scenario later in life.
- A global mindset is indispensable in your arsenal of soft skills.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.