Software Development

This McLean company is bringing identity tech to healthcare

Verato's software aims to match healthcare records to the correct patients. Its CEO sees its tech as especially helpful in the age of telehealth.

Digital identity: It's important, and tough to prove.

(Photo by Flickr user Michael, used under a Creative Commons license)

Update: This article has been updated to reflect that Verato was founded in 2012, not 2014. (4/27/22, 5:17 p.m.)
McLean, Virginia identity tech company Verato is slowly becoming a staple among healthcare companies in the area and nation.

It’s a significant pivot from back in 2012, when the company came to life with a fintech focus.

“What we found was that because we had the special technology that was so accurate, that was so differentiated, the one industry that cared more about accuracy than anybody else was healthcare,” CEO Clay Ritchey told Technical.ly.

Verato is a tech company that lets healthcare providers confirm the identity of patients. Through a proprietary database, the company’s technology — called referential matching — allows providers to match historical records with new or current patients. If someone has moved and put a new address on a form, the system can confirm that a patient once resided at the previous address a provider might have on file.

With the matching system, Ritchey said, providers can use previous records to understand who they’re treating and what’s best for them.

“We make sure that when a consumer becomes a patient and becomes a consumer again, that the health system knows who they are, knows their history and then is able to make sure that all of the information that they have about that patient — and their care plan and coordination — is understood,” Ritchey said.

The system is especially helpful for patients seeking referrals or changing providers, and Ritchey sees even more applications in the telehealth market. He noted that the company’s technology, which is based in AWS, is built with microservices native to the cloud, which lets providers use it with almost any other application or existing system.

The healthtech industry’s recent strength has also coincided with Verato’s growth over the past few years. Ritchey said the company has been growing 60% each year, going from 90 employees in early 2021 to about 150 now (and still more to come). Employees are spread across 30 states in the US, he added.

Ritchey believes that this growth was enabled by the world increasingly using telehealth since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Verato’s data noted that only 0.5% of pre-pandemic outpatient and doctor visits were virtual, compared to 20% in the time since. Confirming the identity of patients with virtual visits fits right into the industry’s needs.

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“Those are the workflows that are now happening every day that’s exacerbated this problem of identity,” Ritchey said. “Because in order for you to have that experience you want across different physical and virtual environments, you have to have a concept of identity that you can trust.”

Verato plans to launch three new products this year. Eventually, Ritchey hopes to move the technology beyond healthcare and into other industries, given identity tech’s versatility. It already works with some government agencies to verify identity during hiring processes (another McLean identity tech company, ID.me, also frequently contracts with the government).

“Over time, I’d like to see a world where one identity technology can be the trusted purveyor of that identity, not just in healthcare but also in any kind of sensitive experience where you’re looking to be able to manage trust and security,” Ritchey said. “Why would you not want to have one platform for that?”

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