CEO Stories: Navigating the Consumer Health Care Experience

Kara Trott
Founder and CEO of Quantum Health

Kara Trott, Founder and CEO of Quantum Health—a first-of-its-kind consumer health-care coordination and navigation company — followed a most unlikely path to entrepreneurship. After studying macroeconomic issues through the lens of Marxist theory, Trott found herself leading market research projects for Fortune 500 companies, graduating law school, and working as a healthcare consultant for a leading Midwest law firm before founding Quantum Health. Managing more than $7 billion a year in claims, Quantum Health helps client companies and their employees save time and money.

Kara Trott, founder and CEO of Columbus, Ohio-based Quantum Health, does well for her clients – employers looking to lower worker healthcare costs – and her clients’ employees, who are trying to navigate the healthcare maze. Care coordinators, known inside Quantum as healthcare warriors, simplify and clarify the healthcare journey for patients. Clients see markedly lower healthcare costs – reductions of around 5% in the first year –and patients have a more positive experience, with lower out-of-pocket expenses.

Marxist Theory and Entrepreneurship

While a degree is Marxist theory might appear to be an unlikely foundation for an entrepreneur, Kara Trott, a firm believer in the free market system, says it helped influence the way she runs her company. She doesn’t believe in command and control management, and says that as president and CEO, she views herself as at the bottom of an inverted pyramid, supporting the rest of the company.

A Different Approach to Healthcare

Her first job out of college was in market research, analyzing consumer behavior to help companies rethink their store layouts, and their marketing, distribution, and merchandising strategies. From there she went to law school, and eventually led the healthcare consulting practice at prestigious law firm Bricker & Eckler. Combining the strategies she learned in market research with her knowledge of healthcare, Trott sought to redefine the consumer’s experience with the healthcare system. She has placed consumers at the center of the map, a contrast to the traditional approach of looking at providers and their inefficiencies and challenges.

Explosive Growth

Trott believes there’s the opportunity to extract as much as 20% of unnecessary costs in healthcare by reducing duplication and waste. Clients see the potential: Annual client growth has been 30% to 40%. Quantum is one of a handful of companies to land a spot on Inc. Magazine’s list of the fastest-growing small companies for more than 10 consecutive years.

About the Series: Featured stories from the intersection of the free market and entrepreneurial success. Here we speak with leading CEOs, academics, philanthropists and up and comers on their contributions and perspectives on the American economy.

About Ray Hoffman: Ray Hoffman, a veteran business journalist, is highly-regarded for his news and analysis features and insightful CEO interviews. Representing BusinessWeek on air for twenty-one years, Mr. Hoffman was the morning business news voice on the ABC Radio Networks from 1995 to 2006. Mr. Hoffman also represented The Wall Street Journal, on air, for eleven years. His daily WCBS CEO Radio feature was recognized by the New York Press Club as best radio business news report in both 2012 and 2015. In this podcast, Mr. Hoffman invites some of America’s most dynamic CEOs to share their stories as business builders and perspectives on free enterprise.