KaleidoCare wants to help people through medical dilemmas

KaleidoCare, a health care consulting firm, is trying to ease the burden on people experiencing confusing and complicated medical problems.

CEO and founder Bridget Krueger says her company assists those who “slip through the cracks” of the system, who need someone in their corner to help obtain the services or information they need.

“We represent, and act, on patients’ and families’ best interests in any medical or health care situation,” she said at a recent meeting of the national entrepreneurship group 1 Million Cups.

The Middleton-based company has been actively taking clients for a year now, and is looking to expand its two-person team. While Krueger and her business partner Debby Deutsch have been adequately filling demand so far, they say that’s changing as the company gets more attention and inquiries.

Krueger and Deutsch want to recruit people who have been trained through a patient advocacy graduate program like the UW-Madison Center for Patient Partnerships.

They say this unique program, one of only four patient advocacy graduate programs in the United States, gives students an excellent educational base in law, medicine, and social work, as well as how they all fit together in the world of patient advocacy.

“We’re interested in attracting some of these grads; they receive excellent training,” Deutsch said.

Advocates working for KaleidoCare would most likely operate as independent contractors, Krueger said, though the duo is “still figuring out that model of what works for people.”

She added that many people who go through the program are retired social workers, or just people for whom helping others is a passion.

For some, the job might be full-time; for others, part-time might best suit their needs. Krueger says folks can get “burned out” in this demanding job, so she wants it to be flexible.

The company has five active clients spread throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Arizona. Krueger says each client takes between five and 10 hours a week, so bringing in extra help will be a necessity to deal with increasing demand.

“We are working on behalf of the patient and they sense that,” Deutsch said. “We’re not part of the health system; we are truly working with patients and hopefully teaching them something along the way.”

–By Alex Moe