DispatchHealth Stays Compliant and Reduces Agreement Creation Time by 50%
LinkSquares templates accelerate contracting and enforce compliance with healthcare regulations across 30 states.
RJ Marse, Associate GC, Product and Operations
Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Denver, Colorado, DispatchHealth brings hospital-level care to patients in their homes in nearly 50 markets across 30 U.S. states. To serve such a large geography, DispatchHealth leverages thousands of clinical employees, including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and medical technicians. They deliver comprehensive and convenient in-home healthcare experiences, ranging from urgent responses for one-time injuries to ongoing, long-term care for patients with chronic conditions.
DispatchHealth grew rapidly during the pandemic as their in-home, high acuity care model became increasingly attractive, and closed a $330 million funding round in November 2022 to build out additional products and services and expand into new markets. DispatchHealth’s Office of General Counsel is a team of fewer than ten people, including attorneys and other legal professionals. Each attorney specializes in key aspects of the business, from healthcare regulatory compliance to data privacy and security. RJ Marse, Associate General Counsel, Product and Operations, works with business colleagues to ensure that product or process innovations comply with applicable laws and regulations across all markets.
The compliance web
The healthcare industry remains highly regulated at both a state and federal level, with each of DispatchHealth’s markets having specific rules that need to be assessed and addressed for every product they build or contract they sign. For instance, some markets require healthcare companies to operate and employ clinicians through specific types of business entities. This web of regulations and entities produces downstream effects for both the drafting of their contracts and their storage of them.
For storage, DispatchHealth relied on a basic shared drive that kept their contracts centralized but made them difficult to organize and search due to the various entities under which the company operated. Meanwhile, the drive did not have the functionality necessary to manage access to the documents on a role-by-role basis.
These myriad entities and regulations also caused headaches when it came to drafting their employment contracts. The talent acquisition (TA) team at DispatchHealth completes up to 80 agreements per month, relying on nearly 20 variations of the standard employment contract to account for their varying entities, regulations, and employment types. This left the company with two choices: individual contract review by the legal team, which would have meant slower hiring and inefficient processes; or static contract templates that the TA team could use, but which would become outdated, risking non-compliance. For DispatchHealth, neither was acceptable.
DispatchHealth needed a dynamic repository where they could easily organize and analyze their contracts and a way to enable their TA team with quick, safe self-service drafting. So, they brought on LinkSquares.
LinkSquares, just what the doctor ordered
“Before I arrived at DispatchHealth, the management team recognized the need for a more agile source of truth of company contracts which would also enable the company to manage agreements for our various entities and markets,” says Marse. “That’s why they decided that they needed a contract management system and that LinkSquares was the right one for DispatchHealth. Coincidently, my last company used LinkSquares, too, so it was a smooth transition!"
To tackle their drafting challenge, DispatchHealth developed more than a dozen clinical employment agreement templates to account for every variable a member of their TA team might encounter. Hiring a part-time nurse practitioner in Kansas? There’s a template that includes the appropriate language for that specific employment type and the legal entity under which DispatchHealth operates in Kansas. This allows the hiring manager to simply select the applicable template, add a few details, and have an up-to-date, pre-approved contract ready to send in minutes.
“These hiring teams need to move fast, so asking us to review every contract isn’t in anyone’s best interest,” says Marse. “That’s what makes the templates so powerful. They give the drafters the freedom to quickly create their own contracts while also maintaining the relevant legal protections and regulatory language. With LinkSquares, we’ve cut the time it takes to get an employment contract out the door by more than 50%.”
Beyond employment agreements, DispatchHealth has begun leveraging Finalize to draft, negotiate, and track all their other contracts, as well. By consolidating the entire process in one tool, Marse and his team have been able to eliminate the decentralized communication across teams that caused headaches and delays. They now have a singular contract record housing the latest document version, relevant communications, and a full audit log, providing improved version control and faster contracting. Meanwhile, Marse has visibility into all the agreements his team is working on, including the status of each, for at-a-glance tracking.
“The reporting in Finalize allows us to get a clear handle on the number of agreements the company is entering into, how many agreements the legal team is reviewing, and who asked for review of those agreements,” says Marse. “This has been invaluable for identifying exactly where our time is being spent and which teams need more resources – key insights as we continue scaling.”
With their templates up-and-running, DispatchHealth began bringing all their legacy agreements into LinkSquares Analyze for organization. With so many variables governing the framework of each agreement, moving from a static folder structure to a dynamic repository has made their work much easier. LinkSquares’ tagging functionality, for instance, allowed them to easily mark each agreement with all the applicable state and entity labels for better categorization and faster access. They can now run a report in seconds, filtering down their entire portfolio to the select group of contracts they need.
For Marse, LinkSquares has provided significant peace of mind. All executed agreements automatically move from Finalize to Analyze, helping him ensure a comprehensive database. This, in turn, gives him confidence in the reports he runs through Analyze, knowing that they’re populated with fully up-to-date information. Also, with granular permissions, he can restrict certain types of agreements based on roles, which helps the team ensure privacy.
Marse shares, “LinkSquares was able to unify our processes across the company, bringing everything contract-related under one roof. This has given us true process integrity, both pre- and post-signature, accelerating our drafting, reducing our risk, and allowing us to better serve our patients.”