As part of Keene State College’s Career Speaker Series, KSC hosted Chairman of The Echo Group George Epstein Wednesday, April 6, in the Science Center. According to the Keene State College website, Echo has offices in California, Maine, Ohio and their headquarters in Conway, New Hampshire, and develops and sells software products for the behavioral health market. “Echo provides what is called a mission critical software to operate these medical organizations. What we do is absolutely essential to what they do. They are out of business if the products that we provide them with don’t work,” Epstein said. Epstein spoke of an instance a few years ago with one of their clients in the south, when Echo ran a report that showed that the facility was serving three times the dosage of psychotropic medication to black patients compared to white patients. Epstein said that software like the ones Echo provides to medical facilities are important for them to use. “They do their electronic medical records with our software. Every time they see someone and they provide a treatment, they have to document that. They are going to be in big trouble if they don’t. They will have legal problems, and they are not going to get reimbursed. Nobody is going to pay them if they can’t prove they provided a service and they didn’t adequately document,” Epstein said. According to KSC Corporate Relations Officer Daniel Henderson, the career speaker series brings the college closer to the business world by bringing speakers who talk about the companies they work for and what options they have for career paths or internships.

Epstein explained that making this software is a complex process that must be user friendly, meet government requirements and meet medical billing rules, which are different in every state. “There is nothing more complicated in America than our medical billing system,” Epstein said.

Epstein said that Echo serves a wide range of customers.

Savannah Hobbs / Equinox Staff

Savannah Hobbs / Equinox Staff

“Echo has a couple hundred customers around the country. Organizations that are typically fairly large organizations that employ hundreds of people, 500 people or 1,000 people. Our customers in total employ about 20,000 people. They serve about a million people a year,” Epstein said.

Epstein continued to talk about the kinds of patients that their customers help. “People who have schizophrenia and are experiencing hallucinations and delusions are seriously mentally ill. They have bipolar disorder; they have drug and alcohol addictions, children that have been abused or neglected. They are people with autism; people with down syndrome or cerebral palsy,” Epstein said. Epstein said that his company is looking for students interested in technology, computer science, graphic design and communication, and people who are interested in training customers how to use their software. KSC first year Valerie Martin commented on the event. “I thought he [Epstein] showed great leadership. He didn’t have any visuals; he knew what he was talking about. If business and that kind of thing was my major, I would be very interested in working for him,” Martin said.

She continued, “It was very worth going to. People here should probably be going to a lot of these career speakers because it is a good opportunity to realize that the school did this.”

Jacob Knehr can be contacted at jknehr@kscequinox.com

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