5 questions for Flaviu Simihaian
Flaviu Simihaian is the CEO and Co-founder of Troy Medicare, a health insurance startup for seniors that puts pharmacy at the center of health care. Flaviu was born in Romania and moved to Concord when he was 14 to play tennis, which he continued playing at Davidson College and professionally briefly. He then co-founded Amplicare, a software-as-a-service company that helps pharmacies manage patients’ medications and health insurance options. Amplicare grew in 6 years to service over 6,000 pharmacies and helped more than 1 million seniors save more than $1 billion on their medications.
What do you like best about your job?
I had an adviser tell me once, “A job where you will meet new people and learn new things every day is worth taking every time.” In my current role, I go from speaking with a hospital CEO to a pharmacist down the street, to a venture-capital firm, to an optometrist in University City. I truly believe innovation comes from diversity and by exposing myself to people who think differently than I do, it will make me a better CEO and a better person. Moreover, Troy Medicare’s success will be measured on whether we are able to change health care. This is no small task, but a motivational one to strive each day to create a better health care tomorrow for our seniors and for ourselves.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the passion I see North Carolina pharmacists and doctors put into their practice. I recently spoke with a physician in Salisbury, and she sees patients three days per week. The other two days, she still comes to the office, but does not see any patients because of the amount of billing and insurance paperwork she has to do. This is unacceptable, and it angers me that with our technology today, we’ve left our care providers buried in paperwork instead of providing care for our communities, which is what we all want.
Who should we be paying attention to?
Pharmacy. Many people believe pharmacies only dispense pills, and Amazon will soon put them out of business. This could not be further from the truth. If you go to Mount Pleasant, Moose Pharmacy is the physical and social center of the town where folks walk in and out of all day long. The average senior sees their pharmacist three times per month, whereas they may see their physician once or twice a year. Moreover, studies show seniors trust their pharmacist more than any other healthcare provider. This makes pharmacy the most accessible healthcare provider where no appointment is needed and you can ask anything between helping you with a vaccine, getting a flu shot, and even saving money on your health insurance. We believe the future of health care relies on empowering pharmacists to be the quarterback of each senior’s care.
What was your biggest challenge this week?
Our biggest challenge is telling our story to folks that may not have heard of Troy Medicare yet. At first, many doubt the potential impact a pharmacy can have on a senior’s healthcare. So, this week I will take some people from New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco to Mount Pleasant, Concord and Lumberton to show them what happens in real communities on the ground each day. It is easy to think of health care as statistics in a report, but we must never forget the reality and uniqueness of each person’s situation, and therefore the tailored nature of health care that can only be delivered locally by local providers whom the community trusts.
Favorite N.C. vacation spot?
Valle Crucis. I used to go there growing up and always thought it was heaven on earth.