Caryn Isaacs saw a niche in the health care industry – patients need help navigating the complex world of insurance. After years in the corporate world she decided to break out on her own and start Get Health Help. Today the New York City based entrepreneur is helping patients save money and gain a deeper understanding of all their healthcare options.
Isaacs’ story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
While successfully working on the corporate level as an advertising and marketing health care specialist, I came to a couple of conclusions about my future. First was the realization, that while my compensation packages at these companies were substantial, I felt my services were worth more. As the health system became more fragmented, I found that there was a need for clarifying the expectations and choices available to patients. Hence, GetHealthHelp.com was born.
My definition of success is doing what you love, well. Since starting this business, financially I’ve had my ups and downs. It took 3 years to see the light and 5 years to turn a profit. My business has grown because the population is aging, the complexity of navigating the health care system and the health insurance maize needed to be address. I found success by perceiving a need and filling it with services that give me a feeling of accomplishment while my clients appreciate what I do by referring others.
My biggest success was writing an HMO business plan that changed the health system. I am now helping to show people how to use it. My biggest success is a compilation of the many small victories I accomplish for my clients, the misdiagnosed, the undiagnosed and the dissatisfied. Besides saving money, the patient and the health provider benefit from understanding all of their options. To me, success is a journey, not a destination.
My top challenge is that I do not personally want to put myself in the spotlight. I start models and then look for people to run with it. Getting the word out on what services a ‘Patient Advocate’ performs and how I can be a valuable link between the patient and their health care professionals, is probably the most difficult. I continually gain wisdom from my clients. I actively network in my industry and have gained credentials to show that I am an expert. I use social media, public speaking and face to face interactions in order to educate and enlighten.
I consider Oprah Winfrey to be an important role model. I believe a woman must set a certain standard in her business and professional life. One should be a paradigm of entrepreneurship and professionalism while exploring the possibilities of economic independence. Other role models have been women of strong opinions and convictions.