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The Why Behind Wisedocs: Reimagining the Claims Space

I believe that to build a North Star to push the company to row towards one goal, you need to be able to articulate the “why” behind the existence of what you’ve envisioned.

Published on:
June 22, 2022

As a founder and the CEO of Wisedocs, I haven’t always done justice to the history of the company by sharing my why. Underlying the existence of Wisedocs are personal, and sometimes difficult to discuss, stories of my experience in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) that created the opportunity to build something positive and impactful in the medical claims space. Sharing these stories is important for understanding why Wisedocs matters and why change is needed in medical claims and records.

I believe that to build a North Star to push the company to row towards one goal, you need to be able to articulate the “why” behind the existence of what you’ve envisioned.

So, here goes…

Wisedocs is built on my personal understanding of the claims space

I’m Connor Atchison, Wisedocs’ founder and CEO. I am a veteran with twelve years of military service under my belt. Under the Department of National Defence, I served in the infantry and then moved into healthcare administration. Through my experiences, as well as my experience caretaking for a family member after a catastrophic car accident, I had first-hand exposure to a complicated and convoluted process that negatively impacted people’s health, livelihood, and ability to heal.

The medical claims process needed something to change: Enter Wisedocs

The medical claims industry is broken. Over the past 12 years, I have seen the pain and challenges of thousands of veterans as they move through the claims process, short term disability, long term disability, and I’ve been through it myself, too. The process is slow and expensive and the system is difficult to navigate - especially for someone experiencing pain, illness, or inability to work.

When Wisedocs started in 2018, all I had was an idea. The time I spent overseeing processes in the Health Care Administration arm of the Canadian Armed Forces had given me insight into the manual and slow process for filing health insurance and disability claims. This extensive process is completely manual and results in a significant backlog. This backlog caused a ripple effect with all those involved: a frustrating process for insurers, doctors, case managers and the individual.

How the backlog impacts medical claims

The process was having a very real impact on people’s lives. Claims were taking well over 18 months to go through, and reviewing medical records was one of the biggest hold ups in this. Soldiers injured in combat were having to navigate disability claims, occupational therapy, veterans affairs, and insurance coverage, all while they were still recovering themselves.

This manual process isn’t just present in the military. Every workers compensation, liability, auto, and disability claim has many steps and inefficiencies affecting the entire insurance ecosystem including lawyers, clinicians, independent medical evaluators, and ultimately the claimant and their family.

“Unless you have been through it yourself, it’s difficult to understand just how hard going through a complicated medical claims system is for an individual who is trying to heal and move forward with their life.”

The healthcare claims process needed an automated solution — and I was going to build it

After being honourably discharged from the military, I sold everything I owned to bootstrap an idea I wasn’t entirely sure would work. Truthfully, building a system to automate and speed up the claims process, and more specifically the reviewing of medical records isn’t a space that receives a lot of attention. No one ever hopes to be out of work or in a precarious physical or financial position because of an injury, but it was something I’d unfortunately experienced firsthand. The purpose underlying Wisedocs focuses on a part of the healthcare system not a lot of people get to see, and yet it is a multi-billion dollar industry that is ripe for innovation.

There is no clear path for Veterans to venture into entrepreneurship. There are 2.4M businesses owned by veterans in the USA yet only 7% of the businesses veterans establish stay open longer than 10 years and venture funding is difficult to secure. There isn’t enough being done to invest in veteran-led startups - and that’s an entire discussion unto itself. It was a risk to start Wisedocs even though I knew about the technical problems with medical claims and record reviews and I knew the current human capital solution wasn’t solving them.

I wasn’t sure what an automated solution would look like, but what I did know — and what I cared about — was that Wisedocs was something worth building.

Connor Atchison
Founder, CEO of Wisedocs

Connor is the Founder and CEO of Wisedocs. Connor Atchison founded Wisedocs to reimagine the claims space and bring automated and intelligent document processing of medical records to insurance, legal, and IMEs.

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