EMBA Alumni Update: Allison Muhl - Cohort 6, CEO/Founder Synergistic Healthcare Solutions, LLC
“The UNLV Executive MBA experience gave me the entrepreneurial muscle to start my own business,” said Allison Muhl (Cohort 6), CEO and founder of Synergistic Healthcare Solutions, LLC.
Launched in early 2018, Synergistic Healthcare Solutions, LLC (SHS) began as a personal quest by Muhl to solve the problems she saw first-hand throughout her healthcare industry career that inevitably effect patient care.
At its core, SHS is a medical device distribution and consulting company, which Muhl operates in association with an Arizona-based partner. The company works with established manufacturers but has a specialty in the identification and marketing of new technologies or relatively newer products that fall outside the "mainstream” of large biopharmaceutical companies. What really distinguishes SHS from the competition, however, relates to procurement within healthcare institutions, including public and private hospitals, clinics and the healthcare community.
“The procurement decision-making process within hospitals for high-cost and high-quality medical devices and services is usually compartmentalized and non-collaborative, which at times leads to poor decision making for the facilities as a whole. Key decision-makers are rarely taking into consideration the details needed to create the ‘best-big-picture’ decision to drive desired results. Often the different specialty departments find themselves stuck because of a lack of communication and too much ‘in-the-box’ thinking, which results in a fragmented agenda,” said Muhl.
“This splintered process frequently results in a lose-lose-lose for the healthcare institution’s financial health; physicians’ ability to provide the care they deem appropriate; and most importantly, the patient’s quality of care, which is then compounded by spiking insurance costs.”
A master negotiator with a unique ability to not only identify with the needs and aspirations of each involved party, but also gain their genuine trust, Muhl is striving to turn that losing process into a win-win-win.
Muhl believes that medical device procurement is one of many elements in healthcare delivery that is poised for a long overdue transformation. “Providers are looking to upend how decisions are made and need help in breaking free from engrained systems and procedures,” Muhl said.
To that end, Muhl can bring each decision-maker to the table, feeling heard and understood, build consensus and offer solutions that benefit everyone. “It requires lots of homework, commitment and knowledge to succeed in getting a diverse group of people to walk in each other’s shoes,” she said.
The driving force behind Muhl’s business strategy is the well-being of the patient, a dedication that has carried through from Muhl’s early career days as a nursing student. “Any change in healthcare management and healthcare delivery must first, and foremost, focus on how it will improve patient care. That is at the very foundation of Synergistic Healthcare Solutions.”
Most recently, Muhl served as vice president of surgical strategy and development with Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) stationed at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas. During her tenure with HCA, Muhl pioneered a new organizational structure and staffing model for surgical services at Sunrise and was accountable for multiple cost centers that proved to heavily contribute to the overall profitable revenue of the hospital. She also served as director of surgical relations at both Mountain View and Sunrise Hospitals where she recruited a diverse specialty group of surgeons, successfully contributing to overall revenue growth. As a Pfizer Pharmaceutical sales representative, she was ranked in the top five percent in the region and top 25 percent nationally. Muhl also worked as a regional account manager with Insight Health Corp., a provider of imaging diagnostic services.
“With the beginning of 2018, the timing was right to bring all my experience and business education to the creation of Synergistic Healthcare Solutions,” Muhl said.
As Muhl meets the entrepreneurial challenges of a start-up, she thinks back on her UNLV EMBA experience. “Literally everything I learned from the EMBA professors and my fellow cohort members is coming into play,” she added.
As Synergistic Healthcare Solutions gains headway in its mission, Muhl also is turning her attention to philanthropic endeavors, reaching out to physicians with the UNLV School of Medicine to discuss possible future plans for a successful medical school including world-class cancer research initiatives and specialty treatment programs in Las Vegas.
In her spare time, Muhl is the “official” ambassador for the Philadelphia Eagles fan club in Las Vegas. Being from the East Coast and waiting a life-time for a Super Bowl victory, Muhl is hoping for a repeat win this year. “Whether its football, a new business venture or life, my favorite quote for success is one made famous by Vince Lombardi: ‘The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.’”