One of our customers saw its cashflow improve by more than $2 million in the first six months after using our SaaS solutions on AWS.
Neil Shah Chief Innovations Officer, ezDI
  • Sees zero increase in management costs
  • Gains HIPAA compliance with AWS support
  • Helps ensures a reliable and highly secure infrastructure

Launched in 2014, ezDI provides US healthcare providers with software-as-a-service information-management solutions. Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, with software development teams based in India and the United States, ezDI helps healthcare providers overcome revenue cycle challenges. These challenges arise when patient-treatment codes on the claims are incorrect, or when there are documentation gaps. What ezDI’s solutions do is help healthcare providers reduce the time and resources it takes to correct the billing issues. Currently, ezDI employs more than 500 personnel across India and the United States.

As a new healthcare technology company, ezDI lacked the resources to build a data center on which to deliver its software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions. The company also felt an on-premises platform couldn’t scale quickly enough to support the tens of millions of healthcare record transactions that ezDI was expecting to process for customers. The company would be processing these records to help resolve billing problems, categorized within the healthcare industry as “discharged not final billed” (DNFB). Typically, these are hospital bills that haven’t been issued to patients because a patient-treatment code is wrong or documentation is missing. Neil Shah, chief innovations officer at ezDI, says, “We planned to use a cloud infrastructure from day one. It made perfect sense given that we’re an innovative business and the cloud would enable us to focus on software development.”

ezDI had several considerations in mind when choosing a cloud-service provider. The first was reliability. “It’s clear that no SaaS-based service can suffer downtime and still be a success, so uptime was going to be key for us,” says Shah. The cloud service also had to be compliant with the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which sets national standards to protect medical records. Seamless scalability of the cloud platform was a critical factor when onboarding new customers and supporting their increasing workloads. The final area was effective support. Shah states, “We were a small team when we started, and it was crucial that we gained the right level of support from our cloud provider to create a cloud environment that met the needs of our healthcare customers.”

When ezDI assessed Amazon Web Services (AWS), it identified areas where the AWS Cloud could fulfill its requirements. “There were no doubts that the AWS Cloud is highly scalable,” says Shah. “What’s more, it offers a high level of availability through its network of data centers both in the United States and across the world.”  

Most importantly, AWS is HIPAA compliant. This meant that the security built into the AWS Cloud aligned with the HIPAA rules on safeguarding patient data. Therefore, ezDI could use the AWS Cloud for processing and storing protected health information in the United States without any concerns. “AWS provided a list of all its services that we could use for our cloud infrastructure that were HIPAA compliant,” comments Shah. “It was a green light to building our SaaS applications.”

At this point, ezDI began working with AWS Solutions Architects to build the ezDI SaaS cloud environment. “The help from the AWS Solutions Architects was phenomenal,” remembers Shah. “They had the expertise to help us develop a mission-critical environment, and we had a lot of confidence in their technical abilities.”

The company relies on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances to provide the primary compute power for its applications. Within these applications are artificial-intelligence and machine-learning components that help ezDI optimize its patient-treatment coding and documentation workflows to help resolve DNFB issues.

ezDI’s applications also take advantage of Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). “Amazon RDS provides great scalability along with a level of redundancy that means we don’t have to worry about reliability,” acknowledged Shah. In addition, ezDI uses Amazon Redshift, a petabyte-scale data warehouse that enables the company to offer customers advanced analytics. Its applications run queries against the data in Amazon Redshift to provide customers with insights, for example, around billing accuracy and reimbursement times. ezDI also uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for storing unstructured data.

By using AWS, ezDI has built a highly scalable infrastructure to support business annual growth. “Since going live with our first customers, we have seen the number of healthcare records rise to 30 million in just a couple of years on our AWS platform,” says Shah. “That figure could quadruple and it wouldn’t be a problem for our AWS-hosted infrastructure.”

A major benefit of using AWS is that even if the records did quadruple, it wouldn’t lead to greater management costs. “The scalability of AWS tells only half of the story,” comments Shah. “The simplified management of AWS means that although your infrastructure may get bigger, your management costs won’t. We recently added hundreds of Amazon EC2 instances and there was no increase in management costs. What that means is that we can focus more resources on driving innovation.”

Even though ezDI had a small IT team when it started—and still does—the team can deliver the reliable infrastructure the company needs thanks to AWS. Shah says, “Because AWS helped us ensure that our infrastructure was designed and configured properly, we haven’t suffered any downtime on our SaaS solutions that would affect our customers.”

ezDI’s SaaS solutions have a real impact on DNFB challenges. For example, ezDI customers in the United States have seen a decrease of about 38 percent in the time it takes to resolve DNFB issues, and they can now successfully bill insurance companies. “One of our customers saw its cashflow improve by more than $2 million in the first six months after using our SaaS solutions on AWS,” says Shah. “We can continue delivering similar results to more healthcare providers across the United States through the scalability, reliability, and security of our AWS infrastructure.”