Connecting the dots: new-to-Reno fintech company gaining steam
RENO, Nev. — Michael Bumann has been to a lot of places and worn a lot of hats.
He’s been a scuba instructor in the U.S. Virgin Islands, an EMS chief in Costa Rica, an EMT in Colorado and a field medic at Burning Man. He’s been a paralegal, manager of medical clinics and founder of multiple finance companies. Not to mention, the North Dakota native once spent two years traveling the globe, visiting 22 countries with his wife and four children on a “world-schooling” adventure.
Fast-forward to August 2020, and Bumann finds himself right at home in Northern Nevada, where his healthcare fintech company, Red Dot Management, is thriving despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a happy and healthy place to be,” said Bumann, breaking into a smile while sitting in the company’s office in Reno’s midtown.
SEEING BOTH SIDES
Bumann’s entrepreneurial path began in 2000 while working as a paralegal in Denver, where he saw both sides of the personal injury legal industry. After working on behalf of insurance companies that defended against motor vehicle accidents, he crossed over into representing the people injured.
In 2013, he saw an opportunity. That year, Colorado changed from a “no fault” insurance state to a tort-based system — meaning, those injured in a car accident no longer had the option of covering medical bills with their own insurance policy if they were not at fault; instead, they had to seek coverage from the insurance carrier of the at-fault driver.
That switch, Bumann realized, created uncertainty for everyone involved — from the medical providers trying to get payments to the injured individuals trying to get treated to the law firms trying to settle cases.
“At the firm I was at, we couldn’t maintain medical treatment for the clients we represented,” Bumann recalled. “I went to the managing partner and said, ‘Listen, we need to have our own medical clinics to treat our clients because we’re stuck. They can’t get treatment, we can’t settle cases.’”
Bumann went and did just that, creating five multi-disciplinary clinics in Colorado that focused solely on treating patients injured in auto accidents who didn’t have health insurance.
Three years later, in 2006, he formed a medical-lien finance company to back the treatment for the same patient segment — thus creating solutions and certainty for not only the patients, but also medical providers.
CREATING AND INNOVATING
Bumann’s creativity and innovation in the industry ramped up from there, leading to the launch of Red Dot Management in 2015.
The fintech firm specializes in acquiring and resolving third-party liability healthcare claims from motor vehicle accidents for hospitals and medical providers across the nation.
“I’ve sat in every chair, and I began to see another opportunity at the hospital level,” Bumann said, “and created the platform and financing structure and team to execute on it. We’re the only company that actually acquires these assets in total from hospitals, and bring them immediate revenue. And we do it without subjecting the patient to collection activity.”
Five years after launching, Red Dot Management has secured more than $50 million in debt financing, Bumann said.
And like many fast-growing tech companies, Red Dot relocated its headquarters to Reno in fall 2019, planting its flag at S3 Development’s newly renovated building at 1401 S. Virginia St.
“The overall culture here in Reno is very, very supportive of entrepreneurs,” said Bumann, who lives in Squaw Valley. “It’s very business-friendly in Nevada; we’ve got a great workforce pool we can draw from, and there’s a high quality of life. There are a lot of benefits.”
‘A BIG MILESTONE FOR US’
Since landing in Reno less than a year ago, Red Dot Management is on the heels of closing a “two-year asset under management” deal totaling $60 million with a multi-state hospital system in the Midwest, Bumann said.
“It’s huge,” Bumann said. “Because it shows the industry that it works. And we did it in a very difficult time — during a pandemic — where hospitals are going through furloughs, everyone’s trying to adjust to what they’re referring to as the ‘new normal’ and all of the stress and everything that goes along with it. And we were still able to land and work these deals through close during that time.
“It’s a big milestone for us — the first of many.”
To that end, Bumann said the six-person company is planning to hire another 10 full-time positions over the next year.
“We’re right on that cusp,” he said, “where really our growth is going to come in the next six months to a year where we have that real dramatic growth, all the way from operations, to staffing, to financing.”
All the while, Bumann emphasized the company’s platform has the best interest of the patients in mind.
“An uninsured — from a health insurance standpoint — patient is the only patient expected to pay retail,” Bumann explained. “It’s a tough system if you find yourself in that circumstance. You’re being, in essence, re-victimized over and over. Every time you get a call; every time you get a letter; every time your paycheck is garnished; every time you’re sued; every time your credit takes a hit … you’ve been re-victimized by the same (motor vehicle) accident.”
Red Dot Management, he reiterated, will change that: “If you’re the patient with the account we acquire, we don’t put that person through collections, we only collect our payment from a liability carrier. For us, we like the fact that we don’t hurt anybody.”
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