Every once in a while there is that light bulb moment, when the success of business idea is virtually assured, whether it’s due to market timing, industry need or just plain common sense.
Such is the case with EZLabz, a Miami-based start up founded in 2016 by Jordan Hackmeier and partner Joel Lusky that slashes blood work costs for doctors while giving patients an alternative to fighting traffic and waiting at a lab to get their blood drawn.
For about $40, patients can get their blood drawn at home by a registered and licensed nurse. As an added convenience, the service allows patients−typically busy professionals−to make appointments for blood to be taken right at their office.
EZLabz already serves 20 doctors and 1,000 local patients. To increase revenue, it recently launched an online platform that allows patients to make appointments in real time via email. Once their account is set up, the service calls with a “live’ calendar to schedule a visit, and confirmation is made by email within 24 hours. A nurse is then sent out. A phlebotomy lab processes the test, and, depending on its complexity, results are typically delivered to physicians in about three days.
The process is not only fast; it’s efficient, said Hackmeier and doctors currently using the system.
“It’s very simple,” said Hackmeier. “We’re here to make lab work easy. Nobody wants to drive and sit in a lab. Everyone’s time is money. The future is creating services that are convenient.”
While mobile lab services already exist, brokering the process for doctors and patients is a new concept, making EZLabz first to the space.
A self-described middleman for blood work, Hackmeier’s service will soon be launching a mobile app. Not just a shiny new toy, the brainchild of chief technology officer Lusky is expected to offer the same functionality and laser-like customer service that has made the firm’s web platform a reliable tool for doctors and patients alike.
EZLabz does not compete directly with other outsourced labs such as Quest. In fact, the new service may generate more revenue for them, according to Dr. Alan Kutner, a primary care physician with Physicians Group of South Florida, one of EZLabz’ largest clients for more than a year.
“EZLabz draw the blood for a fee and they [outsourced labs] make money on the lab tests,” said Dr. Kutner, adding that the cost-cutting component of EZLabz for doctors is indispensable.
“We used to draw lab work in our own two offices and the cost to do that as a practice was about $100,000 in expenses per office. There was very little or no profit, not close to covering our overhead. There is no Medicare or insurance reimbursement. It was a huge economic loss that we could not afford anymore. We would do it if we broke even. At one time we were willing to take the loss−you just can’t afford to lose $100,000 off the top.”
Most doctors offices have closed their in-house labs, Dr. Kutner noted, and that has led to another problem: patients complain about the inconvenience of getting lab work done somewhere else, resulting in a lack of compliance.
“It’s difficult to take off the day [from work] and wait for an hour at a lab,” said Dr. Kutner, who estimates upwards of 30 percent of people never go for their blood work. “It’s a big inconvenience and not easy for the elderly. I consider it a big compliance issue.”
EZLabz is exactly the mechanism he needs, Dr. Kutner said, adding that the majority of doctors in his practice currently use the service. “We get glowing reports about their service. Short of us doing it in our own office, this is going to be the only way for us to be efficient and provide the service they deserve. Patients really like to have their lab work done ahead of their doctor visit—this is a way of accomplishing that as well. In my opinion it has been a big advantage.”
The cost-cutting component for doctors was that light bulb moment for Hackmeier.
“What caught my attention was that it appeared they were getting paid less and less and less. So the question became, how do we take this burden off the physician to let them do what they do best?”
The cost to maintain an in-house lab is typically about $20,000 per year for the average practice, Hackmeier noted.
“It’s wasted funds and space. We have been able to completely eliminate all this—many have completely stopped doing lab work in their office. We’ve removed the liability for them.”
Plans are in the works to scale the business up, but Hackmeier is taking a cautious approach. He wants to master and proof the online platform process and secure additional funding first. New nurses are being hired every week, he said, and he’s looking to partner with professional phlebotomy services throughout Florida, in addition to an existing partnership EZLabz already has in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
“We are at the point where we are scaling, finding the strategic partners to take us all over Florida, then maybe New York or California,” he said. “We have our first revenue stream but another nine are lined up. We are looking at entering the home health care space. My partner and I built this with sweat equity, and now the potential is endless.”
His ability to help both patients and doctors at once makes it truly exciting to go to work everyday, he said.
“It’s cool to see an idea that is practical in every day life.”
For more information about EZLabz call (305) 915-6114 or visit their website.
Feel free to also email Jordan.EZLabz@gmail.com regarding any questions or comments you may have!