M.D./M.B.A. Students Create Winning Healthcare Business Model

Four Miller School M.D./M.B.A. students have gained local and national attention for their inspired business venture SHHADE — Supplying Home Healthcare Alternatives and Dedicated Education — a mobile medical service designed to reduce healthcare costs to insurers by providing in-home primary care to patients who overuse hospital and emergency services.

Created in 2012 by Rimsky Denis, M.P.H., Onyinye Ugorji, Chaitanya Vadlamudi, and Karan Srivastava, the SHHADE model proposes to target patients with chronic conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes and asthma, and teach them how to take control of their own health. In addition to home healthcare services, SHHADE would allow for remote patient monitoring, health coaching and care coordination.

The business model received national acclaim at “Hackovate Health,” a health-focused innovation competition in Kansas City, Missouri, where the students won the Google Fiber People’s Choice Award. They also came in second at Emory University’s Global Health Case Competition and the University of Cincinnati’s Spirit of Enterprise Graduate Business Plan Competition.

Motivated by the venture’s success, the students continued their travels to Arkansas, earning third place in the Walmart Better Living Business Plan Challenge and were semi-finalists in similar competitions at Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT.

“Developing this business model and taking part in these competitions truly gave us an opportunity to put into practice the skills we’ve acquired during business school and apply them to our healthcare-related ventures,” Denis said. “It’s a perfect unification of both business and medicine.”

At UM, Denis and his team took home another first place grand prize in the graduate student category at the 2013 Business Plan Competition hosted by UM’s School of Business Administration, which offers the joint M.D./M.B.A. degree program in conjunction with the Miller School.

“The success of our M.D./M.B.A. students demonstrates the incredible talents they will bring to the medical profession,” said Mark T. O’Connell, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Educational Development and the Bernard J. Fogel Chair in Medical Education. “Projects like SHHADE are not about the business of medicine, they are about improving the quality and delivery of healthcare and the health of our population. These students will be leaders in their field.”

The students, who are already developing a three-month pilot study to establish SHHADE’s proof of concept, estimate that their program can save insurance providers billions of dollars while reducing the burden on emergency departments.

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