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Spotlight Interview

Josh Pickus, CEO of Net Health

The Wound Care Learning Network had the opportunity to talk with Josh Pickus, the new chief executive officer of Net Health, a company that provides cloud-based software solutions for specialized care, including wound care. 

Josh Pickus, CEO of Net Health
             Josh Pickus, CEO. Photo by Net Health.

Before delving into discussion about this new chapter of both your career and the company’s progression, tell us a bit about who you are as a person professionally, personally, or both. If you could summarize yourself in five words, which words would you choose?

Positive. Empathetic. Action-Oriented. Optimistic. Driven.

You went to the University of Chicago for law school and served as a law clerk for one year before becoming a partner for a technology law firm, where you worked for over 11 years. What culminated your transition into the software market?

I spent a lot of time over the years coaching and advising tech entrepreneurs in various roles—first as a lawyer, then as a venture capital firm investor, and also as a board member for various software companies. While the work was interesting, I eventually wanted to get more involved as a participant rather than an advisor. I wanted to put my own advice and experiences into action and take on the challenges of actually operating a software business. 

How did your previous career experiences help develop your understanding of the health care industry? 

Prior to my tenure as CEO at Optima Healthcare Solutions, which was acquired by Net Health last year, my experience of health care was as a patient or relative of a patient.  The most powerful experience for me was watching as hospice nurses, counselors, and other clinicians helped my father through the dying experience and my family through the process.  

It was a deeply meaningful experience that inspired my decision to move into health care and do what I can to support frontline providers. I wanted to use my previous career experiences in service of this goal.

Prior to your current role at Net Health, you were the CEO of Optima Healthcare Solutions, which provides a single software platform for the post-acute care industry. In July 2019, Optima was acquired by Net Health; this move included a planned CEO transition, which occurred after your six-month role as Net Health’s president and chief integration officer. Did this arrangement lead to a smoother assumption of your new role, which occurred in December 2019?

Yes, it did. I had the unique opportunity to spend six months focused entirely on integrating the two organizations while Anthony Sanzo ran the business. It gave me a chance to learn the business and teams involved, while giving careful consideration to next steps in Net Health’s growth and evolution.

As stated in the recent press release, you are expected to “lead Net Health through its next stage of growth as the market leader in cloud-based solutions for health care providers in specialty medical settings.” One such specialty medical setting is wound care. What does Net Health currently provide to the wound care industry?

Wound care is an incredibly important part of our business that we support through:

WoundExpert, our web-based EMR for wound care management. WoundExpert is used by 90% of wound care clinics that have moved beyond paper charting to a wound care EMR. With specialized functionality designed to efficiently manage the entire patient experience—from scheduling to documentation to revenue tracking and benchmarking—WoundExpert gives clinicians the tools to enhance care, improve outcomes, and facility performance. 

Clinical data and insights. With over 6 million patient encounters, WoundExpert represents the largest independent source of chronic wound benchmarking data in the industry.

Professional services. Net Health 360 professional services provide expertise and best-practice processes and workflows to help wound care clinics improve their compliance, program efficiency and effectiveness, and productivity.   

Are there any plans in the company’s next chapter of growth to expand services or goals specific to the wound care market? Or are the planned changes intended to provide advancements in service for all five specialty markets you serve?

We believe that next-generation EMRs will not just be systems of record for charting and documentation; rather, they will incorporate real-time decision support. At Net Health, we’re focused on delivering predictive analytics that will take the massive amount of data that we uniquely have to help providers make better choices to improve quality and outcomes and meet the demands of value-based care. We’re focused on delivering these capabilities across all the specialty markets we serve, including wound care. 

On a final note, why is it vital to deliver software solutions to health care providers, especially in relation to wound care? As you have previously noted, the health care marketplace is ever-changing and requires continuous navigation. Do you believe the wound care industry is especially difficult to navigate given both its nature as a specialized field with a rapidly expanding demand for care and the wound care management field expecting major changes in 2020?

Specialty medical areas, whether it’s wound care or therapy or hospice, really need specialized systems that understand their workflows, their regulatory environment, and the changes in it. The dynamics of these markets are unique—and the more complex care becomes, the more providers will need specialized solutions to support their success. That’s why we’re focused on ensuring that in each area we serve, we inhabit our customers’ worlds and combine their knowledge with software expertise to deliver a truly tailored solution.  

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