The middle school teacher who first paid young Jayson Meyer to repair her computer probably doesn’t know what she started, but a light bulb went on for the 14-year-old. He realized that he could get paid for doing what he loved – working with computers. And thus, a career was launched. Nineteen years later, that story has evolved into somewhat of a legend, not only in Meyer’s native Volusia County, but nationally.
At first, Meyer’s mother, Kim, drove him to his computer repair clients and waited in the car. He convinced his parents to let him open a booth at the Daytona Flea and Farmers’ Market and then home-school him so that he could operate his business from Thursday through Sunday every week. “That might have been the toughest sales job I have ever had,” laughs Meyer now.
Meyer began building a clientele that included numerous local professionals and doctors’ of ces. At 16, he was able to drive and moved his business to a permanent location. “In a way, my hometown of Holly Hill was my incubator,” he said.
By the time he was 18, Meyer’s company had several employees and about $1 million in revenue. His youthful success landed him interviews on Oprah and 48 Hours and in several publications. But, Jayson was not content to be known as a “boy wonder.”
The Setback and the Move Forward
One of the most striking things that Meyer noticed is that doctors were not doing a very good job of collecting the money that they were billing out. He thought that the solution would be software and he put everything he had into developing and selling new billing software. He did a good job of identifying the problem, but not the solution. With the post 9/11 recession and other factors, his billing software business did not work out. With encouragement from his parents, Jayson managed to pay back every penny that he owed after this important lesson.
“Those lessons have followed me ever since,” he explained. “Most of all, at the lowest point in my young career, I found out that I needed to honor my commitments and then move forward. I couldn’t let discouragement break me.”
But, Meyer was right about the need to revolutionize healthcare revenue cycle management. “I did what I had done with computers,” he says. “I took the process apart and ‘reengineered’ it to make sense. Payers don’t want the claims process to be easy. They have created thousands of little data points that must be perfectly aligned to get a claim paid. With the process I have designed, we address these data points before the claim is filed.”
Meyer’s success in improving the process for his physician clients attracted the attention of a provider group that would change his professional – and personal – mission in a signi cant way.
Synergy Billing Is Born
In 2005, Meyer was approached to provide revenue cycle management services for a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). He became captivated by the mission of these non-profit, primary health care providers, which deliver health care to the most vulnerable populations in America. Their unique revenue cycle management requirements offered a small but critical niche for Meyer and his team.
So, as an adult, the young entrepreneur has built Synergy Billing into one of the fastest growing companies in the nation. Founded in 2006, Synergy Billing provides revenue cycle management, provider credentialing, and training for Federally Qualified Health Centers, which delivered care to more than 23 million patients in 2015.
While his roots are in technology, Jayson’s passion is helping community health centers increase access to health care. As a technology expert, Jayson uses his expertise to reverse engineer insurance companies’ billing requirements. The result is additional revenue that helps to expand health care services in their communities. In fact, while the average collection rate for the nation’s FQHCs is 75 percent, Synergy Billing clients average a greater than 95 percent rate.
Not Just Another Billing Company
Synergy Billing has a few competitors who also offer services to FQHCs. How does the company differentiate itself from them? “First and foremost,” says Meyer, “we guarantee our results in writing. We hire and train only the most gifted, committed team members, who share the mission of our clients. They are the elite of this industry. Our mission is to maximize the potential of every client.”
There are some other significant ways in which Meyer differentiates his company. He has resisted pressure to relocate his company closer to larger numbers of quali ed job candidates. Instead, he has made a commitment to grow the company in Volusia County, where he was born and raised and where he is raising his own young sons. To that end, he has created the Synergy Billing Academy to continue the training of local residents in the skills that the company needs as well as training and promoting emerging leaders from within.
Moreover, while nearly all of the company’s competitors have offshored many of their jobs to other countries in order to cut labor costs, Jayson maintains his commitment to providing local jobs that pay an average of twice the minimum wage and have tremendous advancement potential.
Meyer has become a erce advocate for FQHCs and for improving access to health care. In fact, he has recently created the Synergy Foundation for Health Care Justice, which will operate to improve access to health care and reduce health disparities. “We don’t just talk about the mission,” he says. “We live it.”
Hitting Second Stage
In 2015, Synergy Billing had revenue of nearly $6.1 million and reached nearly 100 employees, or team members, as Meyer prefers to call his “work family.” The company has been recognized as one of 50 Florida Companies to Watch by GrowFL and the Economic Gardening Institute. The company was #1071 of the Inc. Magazine’s 5000 fastest growing companies in the nation in 2015. The Edward Lowe Foundation has characterized him as a “Second Stage Rock Star.” Meyer is also one of the founders of Innovate Daytona, which is seeking to establish an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Volusia County. He is often called upon to share his thoughts and experiences about the entrepreneurial experience.
The company’s strategic plan calls for over 500 team members and a ten-fold increase in clients by the end of the year 2020. “We are simply out of space,” he explains. In response, he is fulfilling his vision of developing a 25-acre corporate campus from a vacant school site that he has named The Fountainhead at Holly Hill. When the ambitious project is completed, it will contain more than 100,000 sq.ft. of Class A office space, space for the Synergy Academy, child care, fitness, and dining facilities, as well as workforce housing and health care services.
“If we want to continue to attract the most elite team in the industry,” says Meyer, “then I want to offer them an elite work environment.” Adding, “I’ve also learned that there are no shortcuts and even if you spot one on the journey it isn’t worth it. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. To build a sustainable business we must take a step by step approach and do things the right way, always. Shortcuts always catch up to you.”