A Slice on Dr. Kishlay Anand, Founder and President of Apricus Health
A physician by trade but an entrepreneur by passion. Dr. Kishlay Anand grew up in India and attended the #1 ranked medical school in India at the time, Indian Medical Sciences. He then traveled to the U.S where he earned his Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University in New York. He continued on to Omaha, Nebraska, where he completed his residency in cardiology before planting his roots in Arizona. Though his career was focused on making a difference in patients’ lives, Anand was also passionate about making a difference in people’s lives. This is how he began his journey with entrepreneurship. “I always had an entrepreneurial streak in me, in terms of making a difference in whatever small way. When I was in med-school I had a nonprofit and for-profit organization running.”
Anand launched his first startup roughly five years ago called Geek Cost MD, a platform that enabled and improved patient’s access to quality care. This startup in particular aligned deeply with Anand’s personal mission as it relates to healthcare as a whole. “For me, it’s how can we transform healthcare, by improving the quality and access to healthcare for the community and by improving overall healthcare delivery. So that has been the passion throughout.”
Next on Anand’s journey as an entrepreneur was a startup launched two years ago and his current venture, Apricus Health. Apricus Health is a “value-based model where we as an enterprise help transition community-based independent primary care from people serviced to a value-based model. We support them with peer navigation, care coordination, case management and ensure their patients have 24/7 access to care and care at home.” The catalyst for Apricus was based on experiences Anand had during his time working as a physician in Arizona. Exposed to the misalignments and challenges that exist in healthcare and more specifically, patients’ ability to access care. Apricus Health has raised $20 million in funding and has expanded its offices outside of Arizona and into Texas.
Among the issues Anand witnessed were physician burnout and extreme fragmentation. “Our physicians are working harder and harder, and they are getting squeezed by the health plans. Especially as an independent physician, you are lowest on the totem pole and being squeezed by everyone.” This didn’t sit well with Anand, and he set out to change it, “We need to reverse that model.” This would ultimately prove to be a difficult journey for Anand and his team, with many “ups and downs”. Starting a telehealth company pre-COVID was a challenge. Not many people were comfortable with receiving treatment that way, and their adoption rate was low. However, as things started shutting down and everyone was forced to get accustomed to remote life, they saw the adoption rate increase. For Anand, this was the validation he needed to keep moving on. With this validation and the help of good mentors, passion and faith in his idea, Anand continues to persist through the challenges he faces on his entrepreneurial journey.
Anand’s strong passion for healthcare enables him to provide valuable advice for young entrepreneurs. He advises setting up a strong plan from the start because there are lots of moving parts that go into a successful business. Anand stresses you cannot spend too much time researching: conduct a SWOT analysis and market analysis while keeping a strong set of advisors and team close by with expertise in that particular field.
Looking ahead to the future of Apricus Health, Anand’s vision is to transform the healthcare delivery industry and invest in the growth of Ambulatory healthcare services and theoretical models. “Our goal is to be in multiple states in the next five years and grow the company. The big passion is that healthcare is so personal, all of us will need it at some point in time.” Even as an experienced physician, Anand notes he still gets lost navigating healthcare. “If we can, in our small way, make healthcare for our community better and make it convenient, improve the quality and make it more cost-effective, that will give us a sense of gratification and satisfaction that we’ve done our part.”
Driven by his passion and love for healthcare, Anand’s true mission is to make healthcare better as a whole. Although healthcare has become “very fragmented and complex”, Anand has continuously risen above any challenges because he knows the faith and trust people put into their physicians is unlike any other. “We cannot just depend on the policymakers and administrations to do their part. I think a big transformation gets done by physicians taking the lead in terms of making healthcare better in the communities. Physicians are the biggest advocates for their patients, and they need to have a voice and take on more active leadership.” With over 20 years of experience as a physician, Anand has no plans of slowing down and will continue to dedicate his life to his patients.
Dr. Kishlay Anand is an experienced and visionary healthcare leader with passion for innovation. He has founded multiple healthcare companies, including Geek Cost MD, Abiacare, AKOS (now serves as Chairmen of the Board). He is currently Founder and President of Apricus Health with operations in Arizona and Texas. Connect with Anand on LinkedIn.