Health Innovations owner Roberta Kaplan lands on her feet with a specialized encore career as an independent health clinic auditor.
What the business does: Independent health clinic audit consultant for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Re-visiting, Re-creation and Re-Imagining: Roberta Kaplan was working for the Oregon Health Authority. She did this for two years, conducting clinic visits through the Patient Centered Medical Home Program. She started to collect unemployment insurance when she was laid off at 62. Her unemployment benefits were going to run out when a letter came in the mail stating she might be a candidate for self-employment. She was able to get support while starting her business. Roberta had never considered self-employment. She didn’t know where to begin.
Someone suggested that she do clinic audits on a large scale. She had to write a business plan, and started to do research. A friend suggested she apply to the contractor companies who provide oversight for Health Services and Services Administration (HRSA). HRSA clinics are government run programs that provide full services including medical, dental, behavioral care to vulnerable populations. They also cater to those who are under-insured, or on Medicaid. She put together her small business as a health clinic auditor. InnovaHealth was established.
What’s working now: Roberta keeps busy, typically during the warmer months. Travel to far flung locations is easier from March to October. Many of the clinics she audits are in remote places such as Bethel, Alaska, where travel is easier in summer. There are 1,350 federally funded health clinics around the country. They in turn have multiple sites totaling 5,000. There are 33 HRSA clinics in Oregon, including Outside In and Wallace Medical Concern. For people in remote areas, these clinics are the only access to health care.
Roberta flies up to 80 times a year. She often flies out at the beginning of the week, works 12 hours days, returns home Thursday. She writes the report over a weekend, then gets paid upon turning in the report. Typically she’s off again come Monday morning. The winter months are quieter and essentially with little to no work, so she attends networking events. She audits college classes to stave off isolation.
BSR wisdom: Roberta writes: “I was excited and scared about the prospects of starting out on my own. There was so much that I didn’t know and it took a while to get everything organized, even with resources available. I underestimated my capabilities, and I have grown in confidence over the last few years.”