Top Company 2014: Health care
Health Care winner: Eating Recovery Center
“The beauty of Eating Recovery Center is that it’s a consummate example of doing good and doing well,” said Dr. Kenneth Weiner, co-founder and CEO of the Denver-based medical operation. By year’s end the company will operate 12 centers in four states, including five in Colorado. The company, founded in 2007, now employs around 600 workers, half in Colorado. “So we get to take care of people with serious eating disorders, save lives – and if we do it better than anyone else in the country, it’s a very successful business,” Weiner said.
His approach – providing the highest quality care possible – appears to have paid off. Since opening its doors to patients in 2008, the company’s revenues have soared more than fivefold, and Weiner projects a nearly 70 percent year-over-year gain in 2014.
Weiner, a self-described “physician entrepreneur,” has been treating eating disorders for 35 years. But when he started Eating Recovery Center he saw a clear hole in the market waiting to be filled. “Part of what I saw was the need for a fully vertically integrated health-care system fully devoted to eating disorders,” he explained, noting that smaller, private providers lacked the scale to tackle the problem, and academic institutions lacked the funding necessary to provide start-to-finish attention.
“There was a real void in what was being offered,” he said.
Weiner brought national leaders in eating-disorder treatment together with experienced clinical workers and business-savvy managers. Creating incentives like employee profit sharing helped, he said. “Talent attracts talent.” The result is a business that has “transformed the world of taking care of people with eating disorders” by providing top-notch care bolstered by the latest in scientific research and backed by business leaders able to create growth. To underscore the company’s success, Weiner noted that 80 percent to 90 percent of his patients come from outside of Denver – indicating business’ draw for those with conditions like anorexia, bulimia and binge eating.
The company’s goal today, Weiner explained, is to ensure the Center is able to successfully manage its growth. He said the company is currently in the midst of expanding with new beds in Chicago, Seattle and Denver, and new facilities in Texas and California. That growth has occurred both organically and through mergers and acquisitions, Weiner said.
Health care finalists:
All within a single year, Colorado Access has undergone a complete rebrand, implemented a new health plan on the Colorado marketplace, established a telemedicine platform, won a competitive bid to be the new Single Entry Point (SEP) entity for the city and county of Denver, won two Behavioral Health Organization (BHO) bids, and tripled its employee headcount. The nonprofit’s community contributions benefit Coloradans who may otherwise be considered “undesirable” by other insurers.
Mental Health Center of Denver
MHCD’s 70 percent recovery rate is among the highest in the country, largely attributed to its recovery-focused service delivery, using sophisticated tools integrated into electronic medical records, allowing patients to receive more effective treatment. The organization’s ultimate goal is to help ensure that mental health services are available to any community members in need. Over the next two years, MHCD’s major initiative is to establish a roughly 33,000-square-foot child and family community center in northeast Denver, offering community members a welcoming place to improve their overall wellbeing.