87°F
weather icon Clear

Las Vegas entrepreneur helps patients maintain their recovery

Updated July 10, 2019 - 5:49 pm

Shelli Lara thinks treatment shouldn’t end when a patient leaves the hospital.

That’s one of the reasons she launched Innovative Healthcare Delivery in 2012. The Las Vegas-based company has 70 patient advocates in more than 30 states who work one-on-one to advocate for patients and help their recovery process.

According to a 2018 report, Nevada is mired at 47th nationwide for active physicians and 48th for active primary care doctors per 100,000 residents. As Nevada works to overcome this doctor shortage, the advocates make sure clients get their medication on time, set up rides to doctor’s appointments and assist with other needs.

“We become their personal assistants to a point,” Lara said.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

How did you get the idea to provide this service?

I previously ran health care delivery efforts at the Culinary Health Fund, and I’ve been in the hospital a few times. You leave with all this paperwork, you get home and you’re by yourself or have people with you a few days. Day three is when the phone stops ringing, and patients are just left saying, “What do I do now?” They don’t have their strength yet, they don’t understand their new prescriptions.

A lot of times, educated individuals are taking duplicate medications. When you’re sick, you become ignorant. You should be able to become ignorant. When I become the patient, I don’t ask the right questions for myself.

How does the program work?

We touch base when they’re in the hospital and the first 30 to 90 days after they’re out of the hospital. Sometimes we engage 30 days before a knee surgery and make sure you have everything taken care of and don’t have to worry about post-operation appointments. It takes the weight off the doctor and surgery centers. Our goal is to become their person, whether we’re making home visits or telephonically. We make sure whatever you need is taken care of within 24 hours of leaving.

What’s different about your business and the care patients receive from hospital staff?

One of the secret sauces is we’re not clinical. I don’t know anybody who does what we do from a nonclinical standpoint. It’s really about setting up relationships. What was missing was the relationship between the doctor and the patient or the clinician and the patient because everybody’s so busy. The system is broken. We wanted to do something different, kind of recreate the wheel.

A shortage of doctors and other medical staff has reduced the overall amount of time needed to communicate with patients. Often, clinicians don’t have the time to really hear and understand what a patient is saying. Our business model allows for that time.

What have you learned about starting your own business over the past few years?

Las Vegas is its own country, especially in health care. While it is a big city, it has a very small-town vibe, making it easier to form relationships. Having those touch points are vital to any growing business.

I’ve never started a business before, and we started this from the ground up and grew at a fast pace. I think I have more gray hair than I did seven years ago. But the stories you hear every week of the lives we save, knowing we’re doing that from a nonclinical standpoint, is the most rewarding thing I’ve done in my career.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
MAGIC Convention Day 3
The fashion trade show MAGIC, held Monday through Wednesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MAGIC Las Vegas - Day One
The biannual MAGIC convention show opened Monday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant celebrates naming deal with tailgate party
Allegiant Air employees celebrate with a tailgate party after the company’s naming deal with the Raiders for the new Las Vegas stadium.
Nevada's sportsbook operators welcome competition
Sportsbook operators from near and far are looking to get into in the established Nevada market, experts say. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a first look of MSG Sphere construction in Las Vegas
Representatives of The Madison Square Garden Company give the first glimpse of progress Tuesday of the under-construction MSG Sphere — a first-of-its-kind performance venue with high-tech audio and visual capabilities.
There's a new place to play board games in Las Vegas
Matt Smiciklas, co-owner of Boarding School Games, talks about the new Las Vegas business that he co-owns with Emily Labejof. Dedicated tabletop gamers can choose from more than 500 games to play for free in-store. The doors open to the public Saturday, July 20, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Renovations at the STRAT
Analysts say the $140 million renovation project at The STRAT, formerly the known as the Stratosphere, could help the hotel-casino compete with the evolving north side of the Las Vegas Strip. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
SLS Las Vegas will become Sahara Las Vegas
Owner Alex Meruelo announced during a special event at the SLS Las Vegas that the hotel-casino will become Sahara Las Vegas in its next iteration. Meruelo said $150 million dollars will be spent to renovate the current property. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Aircraft hinge maker moves to "business friendly" Nevada
Doug Silva, president of Aircraft Hinge, Inc. in Las Vegas, makes every type of hinge for every type of airplane. Silva talks about his company and why he moved it to Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Daytime fireworks mark the opening of Encore Boston Harbor
The opening of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Mass. included a three-minute fireworks show launched by Fireworks by Grucci Sunday, June 23, 2019. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @RickVelotta
Elaine Wynn talks about the opening of Encore Boston Harbor
Elaine Wynn, co-founder and largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts, talked during opening festivities of the $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Mass. Sunday, June 23, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
People line hours ahead of opening for Encore Boston Harbor
Guests arrive as much as 17 hours early for the 10 a.m. opening of the $2.6 billion, 671-room resort in Everett, Mass. Sunday, June 23, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @reviewjournal.com
Allegiant Discusses Investments In Golf Course Software And Game Rooms - Video
Allegiant Discusses Investments In Golf Course Software And Game Rooms.
Crews working 24/7 to complete Circa downtown - VIDEO
Owner Derek Stevens goal is to open the doors to the 1.25 million-square-foot project by December 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights Marc-Andre Fleury sells Las Vegas home - VIDEO
Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has sold his custom home Southern Highlands home in Las Vegas for $2.3 million.
Las Vegas Strip resorts slow to welcome Alexa, Google Home Hub
Alexa, where are you? Smart home and hospitality technology was big at CES in early January. Amazon and Google promoted their voice-activated speakers Alexa and Google Home Hub. Hospitality executives have called the speakers the industry’s future. Yet for all the hype, the revolution is unfolding at a cautious pace on the Strip as well as in other major U.S. hospitality markets. Hotels are focusing their consumer-facing technology investments on adding streaming capabilities, like Netflix, and enhancing their mobile apps, a December report by Hospitality Technology showed. Voice-enabled technology is 10th on that priority list.
What is MGM 2020
MGM Resorts International announced its MGM 2020 plan in January, The plan would improve cash flow by $200 million annually by the end of 2020 and an additional $100 million by the end of 2021. 1,070 jobs were cut as part of the cost-cutting initiative. 881 of those were Las Vegas employees, mostly in management or mid-management positions. Jim Murren
What is MGM 2020
MGM Resorts International announced its MGM 2020 plan in January, The plan would improve cash flow by $200 million annually by the end of 2020 and an additional $100 million by the end of 2021. 1,070 jobs were cut as part of the cost-cutting initiative. 881 of those were Las Vegas employees, mostly in management or mid-management positions. Jim Murren
Find next-level experience
One minute, you’re just trimming hedges and shooting the breeze with your neighbor. But then he brings up Vegas and you’re thinking about the incredible meals, world-class hotels, pools inside of pools and unparalleled entertainment. You’re thinking about iconic artist residencies like Aerosmith. Priorities take shape. Vegas first, lawn and everything else, second. Just like that, Vegas Changes Everything. (Visti Las Vegas/Youtube)
Vegas Changes Everything
A weekend getaway is nice for anyone, but a weekend getaway in Vegas ... that’s a next-level experience with shows, clubs, spas and more. With a chance to see iconic artist residencies like Gwen Stefani, you might just find yourself going from pushing your child on a swing, to pushing back a birthday party. See how Vegas Changes Everything. (Visit Las Vegas/YouTube)
THE LATEST
Billboard industry robust in Las Vegas

Back in the late ‘60s, Jonathan Fine’s grandfather was the valley’s second largest billboard owner. Today, Fine and his partner Jonathan Gudai are working to change the out-of-home advertising space.

Innosance aims to attract foreign entrepreneurs to Las Vegas

Sarper “Sharp” Celenk and John Unal are working to introduce entrepreneurs — most of whom are based in other countries — to mentors and investors through their startup incubator Innosance, named after a mash-up of “innovation” and “renaissance.”

Entrepreneur Q&A: Thompson Tee co-founders say ‘cash is king’

Last August, co-founders Billy Thompson and Randy Choi moved the e-commerce company from California to Las Vegas for its friendly business climate, and said they haven’t looked back since. Thompson Tee is now nearing its 1 millionth T-shirt sold.