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Proposed Clio Health hospital names new exec, revising plans

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The Clio Health Lancaster building at the former Lancaster Stockyards property in Manheim Township. Slated to be a state-of the art health care facility, it is a project of Lancaster-based Aspire Ventures, a venture capital firm.
The Clio Health Lancaster building at the former Lancaster Stockyards property in Manheim Township. Slated to be a state-of the art health care facility, it is a project of Lancaster-based Aspire Ventures, a venture capital firm. - (Photo / )

Clio Health Lancaster is planning to open later than originally announced, and it is facing a lawsuit from a former executive.

But the company building a futuristic $45 million hospital on the edge of Lancaster said its project remains on track.

“In fact, what we really are looking at is how do we accelerate,” said Steve Dailey who was recently named CEO of Clio Health, a subsidiary of Lancaster-based venture capital firm Aspire Ventures. “We want to get it right. We’re not going to deliver more of the same.”

While there is no race to build the world’s first smart hospital, multiple groups around the globe are trying to bring the concept to reality, according to Siddharth Shah, a health industry analyst for San Antonio, Texas-based market research firm Frost & Sullivan.

In essence, a smart hospital uses new technologies, like artificial intelligence and robotics, to deliver higher quality care at sharply lower costs.

Smart hospitals are not to be confused with digital hospitals.

A digital hospital, for example, may allow patients to view their medical records and learn more about their health conditions using tablets in their rooms, but a smart hospital will educate patients about their health conditions, diet and activity requirements via smart in-room devices, with content progressing in line with a patient’s recovery, Shah said.

“This we call the smart component,” Shah said.

Most hospitals are likely to evolve into smart hospitals by adding pieces onto existing facilities, Shah said.

“Hospitals are already struggling financially. We cannot expect them to make major investments in becoming smart,” she said. “They can, and they will, make piecemeal investments, adopting one tech solution after the other.”

Others, like Clio Health and Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia, are attempting to build smart hospitals from scratch.

Clio’s 140,000-square-foot hospital — to be called Clio Health Lancaster — is expected to incorporate state-of-the-art technology and easily accessible health records, as well as a specialty surgical hospital, physician offices and ancillary services. It expects to be able to reproduce its model in other locations around the U.S.

Clio was originally projected to open this spring but is now slated to open in September 2019.

A lawsuit filed against Clio by one of its former executives may paint a picture of financial instability. In the suit, a former CEO of Clio Health Lancaster claims his biweekly salary was reduced and the remainder deferred.

Dailey said money is not a problem for Clio, noting that the project’s original investors are still on board.

“Just like any start-up, this is a very complex program that we are executing,” said Dailey, who is CEO of another Aspire Ventures company, Connexion Health. Connexion is developing health care assessment technology powered by artificial intelligence. He will serve as CEO for both companies moving forward.

Dailey and other company executives declined to elaborate on the technology that will be used in the hospital. A task force is working on the details.

However, they noted the hospital will incorporate an app and the tools being developed by Connexion.

“Our app will enable services that include — but are not limited to — scheduling, wellness road maps, telehealth and post-surgery recovery plans,” Aspire spokesman Drew Smith said.

Connexion can deliver results in multiple forms — including through a walk-in assessment kiosk. It will be among the features available to patients at Clio Health, and it also will be available in the workplace. In a press release, the company said it plans to offer a corporate health program for self-insured employers, giving their employees access to Clio Health services.

Dailey said people will be able to get health assessments at work when they’re not feeling well instead of having to go to a medical facility, saving time and money.

Suit seeks back pay, other compensation

Steve Dailey became CEO of Clio Health after the January termination of two former executives, Joe Frank and Todd Lord, who had been hired in 2016.

Lord filed a lawsuit March 20 against Clio Health’s parent company, Lancaster-based venture capital firm Aspire Ventures, Clio Health and the CEO of Aspire, Essam Abadir. The hospital itself is called Clio Health Lancaster.

Lord, the former CEO of Clio Health Lancaster, is seeking $450,000 in deferred compensation, bonus money and severance pay.

His 2017 annual salary was $325,000. He also was eligible for a bonus of up to 40 percent of his annual salary, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that Abadir negotiated with Lord to defer a portion of Lord’s salary until the closing of a construction loan on the new hospital. They allegedly agreed that Lord’s bi-weekly gross salary would be reduced from $13,541.27 to $8,333 with the difference being deferred until closing of the construction loan.

In exchange for the deferment, Abadir offered to pay Lord a $5,000 bonus when the construction loan closed in addition to the remainder of his deferred compensation, the suit alleges.

On Feb. 7 Brook Farms, the owner of the former Lancaster Stockyards, closed on a construction loan for $1 million. By then, Lord was no longer with Clio Health. He was not paid what he claims he is owed, according to the lawsuit.

“Todd did everything that was required of him under the contract,” said Lord’s attorney, Walter A. Tilley III from Stock and Leader in York, adding that he wants the company to do the same.

Aspire attorney Todd Bartos declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Frank, who is not part of the lawsuit, could not be reached for comment. He was CEO of Clio Health.

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Shelby White

Shelby White covers banking and finance, law and Lancaster County for the Central Penn Business Journal. For tips, email her at swhite@cpbj.com.

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