EDGE Chattanooga's TractManager growing its health care footprint

EDGE Chattanooga's TractManager growing its health care footprint

June 1st, 2017 by Mike Pare in EDGE

David Paschall is COO and general manager of TractManager.

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.


* Job: Chief executive of TractManager

* Born: Maryland

* Age: 65

* Education: University of the South

* Work: Former chief executive of Cerner Corp. and TriZetto; former COO of Nuance Communications’ health care division

* Personal: Married, two children

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga Times Free Press- 9/15/14. Edge - Employees work in the Client Services devision of TractManager in downtown Chattanooga's Suntrust building on September 15, 2014.

Staff Photo by Dan Henry / The Chattanooga...

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

With federal health-care policy in flux, the chief executive of a Chattanooga company says it's in an enviable position no matter how the end product will look.

"There will be increasing compliance and regulatory issues to manage in the health care business," says TractManager CEO Trace Devanny. "We're well positioned. I don't think it will become less regulated."

TractManager centralizes, monitors and controls contract management for hospitals around the country with its Meditract subsidiary, which operates out of Chattanooga.

Devanny says he expects revenues in that business to grow 8 percent to 10 percent this year, and the company now employs about 120 people in the city.

"Health care is heavily regulated," he says, adding that Obamacare put more requirements for reporting, compliance, quality and better outcomes.

TractManager has been in Chattanooga for about a decade and a half. It made a big move almost three years ago when it acquired Dallas-based MD Buyline, which provides hospitals with planning, budgeting and purchasing decisions. MD Buyline has about 80 employees in Dallas.

Devanny, 65, who has a long history in health care and became TractManager's CEO in September 2016, says he splits time between Chattanooga and Dallas.

"We're trying to do a lot of integration to make it a more seamless experience" for clients, he says.

David Paschall, TractManager's chief operating officer, says service is a big differentiator for the company versus its competition.

He says the company offers "a turn-key solution" to hospitals.

The company services 3,000 hospitals across the country, says Devanny.

"It's roughly 60 percent of the hospitals we have a relationship with," he says. "It's a great footprint and platform to address contract compliance, management and strategic purchasing."

Paschall, who joined TractManager about 14 years ago, says the company has acquired the clients "one at a time."

"The biggest thing is word of mouth," he says, noting the company's reputation is its best selling point.

TractManager has grown to have 22,000 square feet over three floors in the SunTrust Building on Market Street, Paschall says about the company that was founded in Chattanooga by some former Hospital Corp. of America executives.

Devanny says about 15 to 20 employees have been added to the company over the last six months, adding that the company recruits a lot from Chattanooga area colleges.

"The more Chattanooga can do to promote technology information technology and health care technology, the better off for companies like ours," the executive says.

He says that hospital systems are becoming more transparent and must do a better job reporting to government.

"Technology is a big part of how we solve problems," Devanny says. "We're in a good position to help clients be compliant and more effective in spending capital for critical equipment."

Relating to potential changes in health care at the federal level, the company CEO says there's a crisis in the sector, with increasing costs to individuals.

"We have to get cost control, quality, transparency. That begs a better outcome," he says.

No matter what comes out of Congress, Devanny says, there will be more compliance and regulatory issues to manage in the health care business.

"There will be a premium on those companies to help [hospitals] better manage for profit and loss and the margins to help them stay in business," he says.

The company is owned by New York private equity group Arsenal Capital Partners, and Devanny says it has the capital and professionals to help move TractManager forward.

"We want to continue to roll up market share, expand our footprint and bring more value in the form of new products," Devanny says.