Industry insider: Sit down with Chello’s Donald Milam & Zach Kelly

In this interview, we sat down with Chello’s Donald Milam and Zach Kelly to talk about their company’s mission to provide better banking solutions for healthcare practices and how their partnership with Codat has positively impacted their business by allowing them to collect more data and offer funds faster.

Can you start by telling us a bit about yourselves and Chello?

Zach: Hi, I’m Zach Kelly. I lead our growth team here at Chello, which is a combined marketing, sales, and product strategy organization.

Donald: My name is Donald Milam, and I lead all things technology at Chello.

Zach: Our company, Chello, is built to provide better banking solutions for medical and healthcare practices. Whether it’s a small practice or a small provider network, we leverage advanced analytics and data to provide predictive analysis to those practices so they can better run their businesses.

At Chello, we like to say that we provide three things in terms of our offering. One is faster access to funding. Two is the rhyme or reason around why and when to access funding. And three is more accurate underwriting. We bring together multiple data sources, not only from the traditional banking sense but also layering in specific data sources from the healthcare industry to build a more complete picture of their practice.

Who is your target market?

Donald: Chello’s target market is small to medium-sized healthcare practices. Really, it can be anybody who files a claim and does business in the healthcare industry. The sweet spot is between one to forty providers. We see our clients ranging anywhere from your doctor that you see for a routine checkup to someone operating a long-term care facility.

What makes the market unique?

Donald: The unique thing about this market is that it’s very cash flow dependent. The healthcare providers may not see reimbursement for their services for 30, 60, or even 90 days. So there’s a very large gap in the time when they provide services to when they get reimbursed for them. 

Zach: Part of what makes this industry unique is that it’s complex. There are multiple data sources in the mix. There are claims and payments flowing back and forth between insurance companies and healthcare practices. And for a small and medium-sized practice, often that’s too complex. So we want to be able to give them a leg up and make it easier for them.

What problems do you solve for your customers?

DonaId: In the healthcare industry, it can take quite some time to get paid by the insurance companies. So access to funds is critical. Chello is providing both insights into when they’ll need funding and immediate access to that funding. 

Zach: In short, Chello’s value proposition to our market is the ability to look into the next three months clearly and ask the question, “How am I doing today?” “When and why should I access funding?” And have an immediate way to access that funding when they need it.

Donald: Chello’s created software that is smarter, better, and faster than what our competitors in the market offer. So that’s our real niche. We can be smarter by collecting more data points. We can be more accurate and better by offering more robust insights from the data that we receive. And then having that data collection allows us to offer funds faster.

Zach: Generally, data is a big part of our value proposition. So when a customer comes to us, they often have a disparate picture of their performance. They have data in their current bank accounts, they have data in their healthcare systems, and they have data in their accounting systems. 

At Chello, we bring that all into one place so that practices can more easily answer questions about their business and finances. As a result, we tend to see businesses sharing their data pretty prevalently.

What challenges were you experiencing before Codat, and what led you to seek a solution?

Zach: The main challenge that we saw when we were doing our research for Chello and talking to small and medium-sized business customers was that funding was reactionary. We set out to make it less so.

Businesses don’t want to be scrambling to access funding. For us and our customers, we want to be able to see what is coming up in the next three months so that they know when and why they may need to access funding. So that was the main challenge that we’re trying to focus on. 

Donald: Everyone uses data to underwrite loans. However, Chello, to offer something a little bit different, wanted to get a holistic picture of that client, right? Because everything boils down to risk. 

So what we do is not just focus on one specific piece. We take information from our target market like a healthcare practice. And there’ll be specific data that we can use from that. But we also blend in demographics and financial information about the business to get that complete kind of view.

How has your partnership with Codat positively impacted your business?

Donald: Chello’s success is really measured by our client’s success. If we see our clients being successful, then we can call that a win. For example, we had a long-term care health facility see a dip in cash flow. They called us, and we expedited getting funds to them right after a major holiday. So, both from the platform and from our dedicated team, we offer that commitment to helping our businesses succeed.

We see Codat as a critical component in helping our clients easily link their data. Codat is a valued technology partner of Chello.

Zach: I’ll start by saying that user experience is everything to our customers and is very meaningful to us. At the end of the day, Codat really gives us a better way for our customers to connect their accounting data, to better onboard to the Chello platform, and to share their data more easily.

Here at Chello, we like to think of ourselves as the intersection of healthtech and fintech. And Codat honestly helps us be more nimble when it comes to product development. We’re trying to build a strong in-house team here, and the ability to layer in data sources more effectively and better organize what we’re offering to our customers goes a long way.

What’s next for Chello?

Donald: We want to grow in the ways that our customers see the most benefit, whether that’s more robust insights inside of the platform or offering and expanding our financial services.

Zach: Here at Chello, it’s very important to maintain course on our mission, which is to help small and medium-sized businesses thrive in a difficult economy. So we’re putting our best foot forward, growing our team, and trying to add to our mix of solutions to be more efficient and effective for the healthcare industry.

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