We are inspired by our mission and motivated by our Core Values. Our teams believe that service comes first and rely on hard work and kindness as the bedrock of our success. Encouraging this mindset and guiding the business’ frontline is our executive leadership team. This blog series introduces the experts who fuel our innovation, drive our excellence, and shape our future.
Christopher Turner is the Visionary, Founder, and CEO of EMERGICON. He started the company in 2006 with a two-person team, no external investors, and a big idea to reduce the burden of lifesaving care. Since then, a lot has changed. EMERGICON grew to be Texas’s largest emergency medical billing company, supporting over 200 EMS providers and employing over 100 professionals.
From his career experiences to his motivation to start the company, Christopher’s primary passion is to lead and share valuable life lessons with his team. Through this very insightful conversation, Christopher shares his point of view about accomplishments, culture, and purpose. Let’s hear from Christopher.
What was your motivation to start EMERGICON?
I have seen medical billing from all different sides. It’s never well done, and it’s very confusing for the patient. The person who’s supposed to be receiving the benefit is the one who winds up stuck between the provider and who provides the coverage. At the same time, the provider usually relies on the fact that insurance will reimburse in some agreed-upon fashion. For example, it’s not uncommon for a physician to order a CT scan, thinking that’s the more cost-efficient route for everybody when they would’ve preferred to order an MRI. That decision-making is influenced by things they shouldn’t have to consider.
Something similar happens to EMS providers. I worked for a large not-for-profit ambulance company, where I met people involved in the first response. Amazing people that were doing extraordinary things. At that point, they were broke, and it was all because of the billing. It didn’t make sense because you can’t have lots of patients and no money. That motivated me to figure out what was going on, and ultimately, I was able to find it and fix it. Then, I realized this company is a big player having this problem. And hundreds of other EMS providers in Texas possibly have the same issue.
When you started EMERGICON, what exactly did you envision for the company?
There is so much about running an EMS agency. Maintaining appropriate equipment and staff, caring for budget, and answering calls in a timely manner. It’s a lot. So, firstly, my goal was to help EMS providers avoid dealing with the burden of the reimbursement side and all the scenarios it entails. Secondly, inspired by my experiences, I wanted to continually build a company where people wanted to engage. A place where they see the purpose and feel like they’re part of something meaningful.
How did EMERGICON progress over time?
I started EMERGICON in 2006 with a two-person team, and we grew organically. Around 20-30 % year over year. I remember when we had 15 employees, which seemed like a lot. And the early jobs or having to create new roles entirely. Then, we surpassed that, accelerated, and now we have dozens of team members in that “new role.” We started in a rural environment and continue to outgrow our office space, even with fully remote employees.
Are there any accomplishments you’re most proud of?
I’m proud of growing a company without overworking myself or anyone on my team. Life and work balance was always an essential factor for me. We all have gotten excellent about being efficient with our time and adding value where it’s best for everyone.
What’s your favorite thing about EMERGICON’s culture and values?
I confess that I knew the term, but I didn’t understand company culture. Natural to me was to want the best for people, but that’s not culture – just being a decent person. So, the last two years have been fundamentally transformational for us as Tiffany Pearson assumed the Integrator role. She’s been coaching and leading our teams, especially regarding getting clear on expectations. That has been improving our communication and our culture. And it’s just such an accelerator for everyone because they feel successful in what they’re doing.
What essential qualities must a leader have to succeed at EMERGICON?
First, you must want to grow into a leadership seat. Second, you have to be coachable. Be humble, and no matter your skill set or years of experience, know that everyone has something to learn and enhance. Third, embrace our company’s mission and model, the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). And lastly, be collaboratively accountable. This part can be challenging, but you can’t be defensive or put up walls. You must go to the best person to work through the issue. We’re like a machine working together: leaders, supervisors, and team members.
Sense Of Purpose
How do you think your job in the company makes a difference?
In an internal focus, I’ve been investing in personal growth that I can share with my teams and help them grow personally and professionally. My goal is to take the relevant stuff I’ve gone through and transmit it in a way that has some value. Thankfully, I’ve funneled everything and used the tools I learned from Strategic Coach. With an external focus, I continue to see and advocate for the future of our industry. Part of it is playing the cards we need to play, and part is avoiding the dangers.
What do you love about your job?
I love the work-life balance and the freedom to spend time in areas that make sense to me. Through Strategic Coach, I learned about Unique Ability, and I firmly believe in that. So, I try to put it into practice with me and in our company, with our team members.
Christopher Turner is a Texas native, published author, speaker, and professional with 25+ years of experience in healthcare finance. He initially went to college to study Pre-Med but quickly shifted to the business side of healthcare – which he was always passionate about. Christopher holds a BSBA in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Dallas and an MHA in Healthcare Administration from Texas State University.
His career started as an intern in an acute care hospital, and it advanced to serving as Chief Financial Officer in a nonprofit ambulance service, where he increased cash collection by more than $6 million. Christopher has additional experience in emergency medicine, having been a Divisional Finance Manager, Key Market Segment Analyst, and Planning Analyst.