We talked to Braden Pan of Resolve about the company’s medical solution for patients and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Braden Pan: We’re doing well – as are all of our employees (thankfully). Everyone has been focused on staying safe while continuing to help the patients we work with.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Resolve.
Braden Pan: Most of my career has been spent in startups (with a short stint on Capitol Hill working for a couple of Senators – which was a key factor in driving my desire to build things from scratch). I built and ran project management and operations for a renewable energy company as well as build and led Product, Growth, and Operations for an Edtech company.
The idea for Resolve came after a personal experience dealing with medical bills – and 12 months banging my head against a brick wall trying to get them solved and thinking that there has to be a better way. Given my background, it felt only natural to figure out that better way. From there, I raised a pre-seed round of funding and launched our company.
How does Resolve innovate?
Braden Pan: This is a broad question – but we’re focused on doing the best we can for the patients we work with. We’ve built a ‘fair price algorithm’ to help identify when patients are price gauged for medical services and what a fair rate might be, as well as reverse-engineered the most effective way to go out and secure that price.
We’re in the process of refining a machine-learning algorithm to help better identify medical billing errors, which seem to be systemic to the system.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Braden Pan: The first thing the pandemic affected was our employees. We had to move everyone to remote work in order to ensure health and safety for everyone. While there’s a lot to be gained from having everyone sit together and hashing out problems in the same room – we’ve adapted with regular meetings and problem-solving sessions to ensure that we keep our entrepreneurial energy up. I’ve been very impressed with how the team has adopted and continued to innovate and push forward during these times.
We also saw a slowdown in business growth as a whole – though we’re starting to see signs of this recovering. Because of this, we had to make adjustments to our pricing model, shift growth priorities, and cut spending in places that weren’t absolutely critical to business success.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Braden Pan: Absolutely. As mentioned above, we had to cut spend in areas that weren’t absolutely critical to business success. This included laying off people when the pandemic first hit – which is always extremely painful. However, I’m happy to say that we’ve been able to grow the team back to even larger than pre-pandemic levels.
In terms of lessons learned – it helped us to make sure we are laser-focused on business priorities and not trying to do too many things at once. While innovation and new technology are good – it needs to serve the purpose of helping the business move forward and not just for innovation’s sake.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Resolve in the future?
Braden Pan: I think there are 3 ways to deal with stress/anxiety and project the company in the future:
1. Take Time to Yourself – this is something that’s incredibly easily lost (and I tend to lose it during high-stress times), but working 120 hours a week indefinitely is not a recipe for success. Every single day, I try to meditate, exercise, and eat dinner with my family – no matter how crazy things are. It’s important to stay grounded and not let work overwhelm you.
2. Open and honest feedback from employees – it can be too easy during times of high stress to overly remove yourself from what’s actually happening in the business. Working closely with employees on key things that matter helps to get their buy-in and allows them to take important work off your plate, allowing you to be more focused on the most value-additive things.
3. Stay Mission-Focused – Every entrepreneur knows that starting a company is hard. However, having a mission that you believe in and can wake up every day feeling good about helps to keep the team pushing forward and energized in what you’re doing.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Braden Pan: We’re continuing to build out technology to drive new insights and automate a lot of the work we’re doing so that we can be the most efficient and most effective at fighting out of control medical bills for patients.