HealthHealthy CEOI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM2059 – Co-Owner Starts Medical Facilitation Business After Experiencing Frustration with Canadian Health Care System

Podcast Interview with Christy Evon

In this episode, we have Christy Evon, director and co-owner of Health Vantis, a medical facilitation business that assists individuals, especially Canadians, in finding prompt and affordable medical treatments in the U.S.

Christy shares her personal healthcare frustrations in Canada that led her to start her business, aiming to mitigate long wait times and lack of treatment options for Canadians by connecting them with U.S. healthcare facilities offering bundled prices.

The conversation highlights the unique approach of Health Vantis in choosing U.S. facilities for quality and safety reasons, their transparent and client-focused service model, and the broader implications for both Canadian and U.S. residents seeking to navigate the complex healthcare landscape efficiently.

Website: www.healthvantis.com

Previous Episode: co-owner-starts-medical-facilitation-business-after-experience-frustration-with-canadian-health-care-systems

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Transcription:

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Christy Evon Teaser 00:00

We only send our clients to the U.S. And a lot of facilitators shy away from that because of the expense.

But what a lot of people don't realize is that there are fabulous facilities in the U. S. that do not charge the ridiculous prices that you see advertised. We did quite a bit of research and found wonderful hospitals and facilities that are used to taking international patients and dealing with cash-paying customers and they give them what's called a bundled price.

Intro 00:32

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkness values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 01:00

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Christy Evon of Health Vantis. Christy, it is awesome to have you on the show.

Christy Evon 01:10

Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 01:12

Me too. I'm excited to get the opportunity to learn a little bit more about your business, all the awesome things that you're doing. But what I wanted to do is just read a little bit more about Christy so you can get a better idea of some of those things.

And Christy is the director and co-owner of Health Vantis, a medical facilitation business. She started her business after experiencing the Canadian healthcare system in frustrations with it while living there.

Her background consists of a 14-year career in the U. S. insurance industry and she has a master's in business from Indiana, Westland. She currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana with two of her boys. Christy, are you ready to speak to the I Am CEO community?

Christy Evon 01:50

Yes, I am.

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Gresham Harkless 01:52

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. The first question I have is if we can learn a little bit more about you and your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

Christy Evon 01:59

Yeah, absolutely. So I'm originally from the US, but I had spent five years living in Canada. And when I had moved up there, my boys were young. I had a six-month-old and a two-year-old. And Shortly after I moved there, my six-month-old started having difficulties with eating and he started to lose weight.

I tried to get him medical attention, but kept hitting roadblocks. First of all, I couldn't even find a doctor that was taking new patients. And the only option was to go to a walk-in clinic. And finally, after having a complete meltdown with a new friend I had made, she actually asked her family doctor if they could take us as patients.

And was able to get in with them. And then I was referred to a pediatrician, which they consider a specialist in Canada, but they were really not interested in helping me. He was a perfectly healthy baby and he had. dropped off of the health or the growth chart and had become considered failure to thrive.

And I was so distraught after this, that after six months of trying to find help, I ended up just flying him back to Charlotte, North Carolina, to the pediatrician I had seen before I even moved to Canada. And she had us into a pediatric GI doctor the very next day, and he was diagnosed with reflux, which is very simple, very easy to diagnose.

And it took all of one day to do after I spent six months trying to get answers from the doctors in Canada. And then the same types of things continue to happen while I was living there. Another example is I was having an issue with my shoulder. They wanted to make sure I didn't have a tear. So she ordered an ultrasound.

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And to my horror found out that they couldn't get me in for 10 months to get an ultrasound, which is a very simple test. And, many doctors in the U. S. actually have the ability to do those right there in their office. And I just began talking about this with other people and other Canadians about their whole health care.

And realize that this is pretty normal. And the worst part about it is that it's very acceptable, which to me it was not because I'd always had great healthcare in the U. S. It is, U. S. healthcare is very expensive and very complicated, but I never had any issues in getting in to see a doctor.

And so. A friend of mine and I started to do some research on this because she had experienced the same frustrations and we had found out that the wait list up there is, it was at the time, was almost a million Canadians that were on it. And it took an average of 20 weeks to see a specialist and get treated.

And those numbers now are even much higher than that. It's now over a million, and it could take 21. 4 weeks on average just to get in to see a specialist. And that doesn't include the time that you have to wait to get, like an MRI or if you need a surgery or something like that. And some people can wait months, if not years, to even get some of that when it's all said and done.

And because of the way that the system is designed, you have. No option to go to a private clinic and pay out of pocket if you want to have something done sooner. And so we decided that we wanted to help others that were in similar situations as us and decided to start this whole medical travel business where we can help Canadians that are on the waitlist having trouble getting specialists.

Someone that might need a second opinion or even something that like a treatment that's unavailable in Canada because there's quite a few things you don't have access to there. And there's some provinces where they just don't have the resources and the capability to do certain things.

And, to find, Certain things that to meet those people's needs and help them out and try to get their needs met much sooner than what they were getting through the system. And that's how we started our business.

Gresham Harkless 05:55

Yeah. And I'm sorry, obviously to hear that, but I'm glad your son is doing so much better, but it's a kind of in true entrepreneurial form that you, you have an issue and there's something that you feel like a need that's not being met and you create something to help facilitate that.

So I appreciate you and your co-founder for doing that. And I wanted to drill a little bit deeper into health fancies in here. How exactly do you help serve the clients that you work with?

Christy Evon 06:17

So we're what they call medical facilitation company and we help them find private healthcare options. And that's the reason why we say that is because in Canada, the way the system works is that it's what's called one tier where your other social medicine businesses are two tiers.

So you can have private care if you don't want to go through the system. And we help. Individuals that are on the wait list for a surgery diagnostic test looking for the second opinion or a treatment that's unavailable to them, something like a cancer treatment, which is huge.

And we will find facilities for them to go to where they can pay out of pocket and have it done immediately as opposed to waiting. And all the facilities that we work with are in the US, depending on what their needs are, we will find two to three options for them for what it is that they need. We coordinate any kind of medical record transfer, any kind of communication with the doctor facility that they're going to be seen at.

We make all of their travel plans, any kind of air or hotel accommodations, any kind of transportation, things like that. And then we also make sure that any type of post-op care they might need for instance, if they had a hip replacement and they're going to need physical therapy when they get home, we make sure that we have all of that set up so that when they get home, they can get right into their therapy so that nothing gets left out or forgotten.

And I'm just basically anything that's required to meet their needs so that all they have to do is, show up and have their surgery and go home and recover and not have to worry about anything else.

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Gresham Harkless 07:59

Yeah, that helps out a ton, especially like when you're going through any type of medical issues or difficulties and frustrations. You don't need to worry about all those additional things. So it's great that you guys take care of that.

And now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce, so to speak. So what do you feel is your organization's kind of differentiator? What kind of sets you apart?

Christy Evon 08:16

We are a little different than other medical tourism businesses for a couple of reasons. The first is that we only send our clients to the U. S. And a lot of facilitators shy away from that because of the expense.

But what a lot of people don't realize is that there are fabulous facilities in the U. S. that do not charge the ridiculous prices that you see advertised. We did quite a bit of research and found wonderful hospitals and facilities that are used to taking international patients and dealing with cash-paying customers and they give them what's called a bundled price.

And a lot of facilitators don't take the time to do that research And they will send their customers to places like Mexico, Costa Rica, India places like that and we decided we didn't want to do that because First of all, it's not safe to travel a long distance after you've had a surgery.

So anything over a four-hour plane ride increases your risk of having a blood clot or a DVT. And so we try to keep those types of things in mind and Canada is right across the border and it just makes sense to keep the customer's safety in mind.

Another reason is that we're very transparent in our process with pricing. We don't take any kind of kickbacks from any of the hospitals that we work with. And that's an attractive thing for facilitators and why they send people to places like Mexico, India, Thailand, all those places because those facilities are paying the facilitator to bring them patients. And in our minds, that's, It's unethical and not always in the client's best interest.

We want to send our clients to the facility that's appropriate for them and their needs and not because the facility is paying us. So we don't get paid by any of our facilities. We only get paid by the client directly. And that's for the services that we provide to them. So it's just a couple of little things that we do a little different.

Gresham Harkless 10:20

That's big and that's huge. And I think for, especially when you're going through some type of, like I mentioned issue, or are you having any type of pain? Or anything, you don't want to delve through all those things.

So it's good to be able to turn to somebody, be able to tap into that knowledge and information and the due diligence that you all have done so that you know that you're making the best decision for your health. 'cause they say health as well, so it's important to take that.

So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app or a book or a habit that you have that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Christy Evon 10:49

You know what it's just hard because I do have two boys and they're, what I have to do is make sure that I get organized. I have to sit down every week or sometimes just once a month and schedule everything out because it is hard being an entrepreneur trying to balance everything out. And especially with what I do, you have to wear so many hats and it's easy to get distracted.

So if I have a calendar in front of me and I know exactly what it is that I need to do, having that helps keep me focused. And also keeps me accountable for things that I need to get done. Even something like as simple as reading emails. I don't know how often I'll be working on say one of our blogs and I'll see an email pop through, on the screen, like the notification.

And I used to like immediately go and try to read it. And then I would just get distracted and then go back to what I was doing and have to start all over. And it's okay, I have to figure something out here. So something, like scheduling to read my emails at a certain time during the day.

It helps keep me a little more focused and less distracted.

Gresham Harkless 11:56

Yeah, I could definitely, attest to that. I get really big on time blocking because, you can easily spend all your time chasing emails, phone calls and all that stuff and never actually get anything done. So having a dedicated time to do that is huge.

So I think that's a great CEO hack. And now I want to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this might be a word of wisdom or piece of advice you might have for entrepreneurs and business owners.

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Christy Evon 12:16

I guess to just get organized, I just feel like the more organized you are, the better you can run your business.

If you know what's expected on a daily basis and you follow that, I just feel like your business runs a lot smoother and there's less hiccups when you, when you have things already organized and you know what's expected to do.

Gresham Harkless 12:36

Yeah, I would definitely agree with that as well as a lot of times because there's so many different things going on in business, I always say control what you can control.

And if you can control your organization and your managing of your calendar, as you spoke about before, those are things that can increase your success rate, so to speak.

Christy Evon 12:50

Yeah, exactly.

Gresham Harkless 12:51

Awesome. I wanted to ask you, which is what my favorite question is, which I want to ask you, what does it mean to be a CEO to you?

Christy Evon 12:58

It's fun being your own boss, the biggest thing with Business that we started is that I like that I get to create something that's unique to people, medical tourism is a newer term for people. It's been around for years, but a lot of people are unaware of it.

And especially, a Canadian, when you explain to them that, Hey, I can help you get treatment sooner. A lot of them don't realize that. So, that's the fun part of that is that it's something unique and we get to help other people. And, You know get to lead them or help them navigate their way back to better health and then that way they don't have to spend months in pain waiting for their surgery or things like that.

So really just to just that it's something unique and we are helping other people achieve good health.

Gresham Harkless 13:45

I love it. I love it. And I always sometimes think of an entrepreneur business owner CEO is like an artist. And that kind of speaks to that to be able to create and to build something that helps out, the clients that you work with.

So I think it's, that's an awesome definition. And I think it's awesome that you're able to implement that into your business. So What I wanted to do now is just pass the mic, so to speak, to you to see if there's anything additional you want to let us know about your business or just any pieces of advice or word of wisdom that you might have and then how best people can get in touch with you.

Christy Evon 14:13

Yeah, sure. We are also able to help individuals that are in the U. S. that are looking like to keep their health care costs down. Cause like I said, the facilities we work with, they actually deal with a lot of small businesses that are self-insured or people that have really high deductibles.

They're used to people that don't have like a group insurance kind of thing. And so we're always happy to help someone out in a situation like that. I know I've helped some, just some friends of mine that, have really high deductibles. And for instance, one needed to have a colonoscopy and was quoted like 4, 000.

And I was like, Oh my goodness, no, I can find you one, at another facility for 400. So it's, we can help individuals in the U S as well. And then we also have relationships with the cancer treatment centers of America and they give us Like 40 to 50 percent discount on pricing.

So if anybody ever has, an issue like that, we're usually able to help get them treatment and to where the cost can be kept to a minimum as well.

Gresham Harkless 15:14

Awesome. Awesome. And if people want to follow up with you, what's the best way for them to do that?

Christy Evon 15:19

Yeah, sure. So you can reach me at a toll-free number, which is 8 7 7 3544 and I'm extension one. Our email address or my email address is christyevon@healthvantis.com. Or you can go to our website, which is healthvantis.com.

Gresham Harkless 15:44

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much, Christy. And what we'll do is we'll have those Links and information in the show notes just in case anybody wants to follow up, but I appreciate you for all you're doing and all the great impact that you're having upon the world.And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Christy Evon 15:58

Thanks so much for doing this. I appreciate it.

Outro 16:00

Thank you for listening to the I Am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I Am CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Check out the latest and greatest apps, books, and habits to level up your business at ceohacks.co. This has been the I Am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless, Jr. Thank you for listening.

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