Paris business mingles, grows on health care reform

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PARIS — About two years ago, Dr. Dan Mingle stumbled across a niche in the health care market that would catapult his company forward.

His business, Mingle Analytics — then a fledgling company with the potential for vast growth — was fueled by Mingle’s background in the medical field and the emerging need for analytics on electronic health data. 

“The data I wanted wasn’t easily gleaned,” Mingle recalled recently in an inconspicuous office suite overlooking downtown Paris. 

Mingle took advantage of a change in the Affordable Care Act, which switched from paying medical providers to report on Medicare data of their patients to mandating it — at the threat of a penalizing fee.

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Under the rules, companies had until 2013 to report their data or begin to be assessed a 1.5 percent fee based upon all of their services.

The sudden government-created market has proven a boon. Stepping into this sudden need, Mingle’s company outsources the task of reporting, streamlining the process and answering questions from small-town private practices to large medical centers with 1,000 or more providers.

The need has fueled growth. When the company started in 2012, they had four employees and 500 provider-clients. This year, they increased their workforce to 14 and are the chosen consultants for over 16,000 provider-clients. 

But profitability isn’t the only thing driving Mingle, who started his career as a primary care provider in Norway nearly 30 years ago. 

The founder of Western Maine Family Practice, who left that job 15 years ago to manage the electronic medical records of Maine General Hospital, said that he still sees reducing the cost of health care and improving the quality of care as his primary purpose. 

“I really never saw myself in anything but primary care,” he said.

Rooting himself in a rural community even as his company takes on clients from 48 states and U.S. territories is paramount to a man who says his desire to help doctors optimize their work is partly driven from missing too many dinners with his family. 

The other part is cost. 

“Everyone is fed up — and they should be fed up — that we have such an expensive health system.”

As opposed to providing the best care at all times for patients, Mingle said the country’s medical system is profit-driven to the point where patient care suffers.

“We are really good at profiting from health care, but mediocre on delivering quality care.”

Although the bulk of business comes from helping companies file their records, Mingle said the company has an altruistic mission to dramatically improve the work flow, cost and patient satisfaction with their doctors — and he’s trying to spread the message that medical service need not be the financial hurdle it can represent to most Americans.

“Patients are rightfully sensitive about their data being shared in the context of government programs. Though we handle patient data, Medicare receives de-identified data about the care from us,” he said.

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