Laura Shapland


CareSet Systems


Houston-based startup CareSet Systems is a health tech company that allows health systems to analyze Medicare data around patient flow.

CareSet Systems decodes Medicare claims data to guide new drug launches for pharmaceutical companies. Using the largest single cohort of patients available, CareSet groups Medicare claims into patient journeys by disease, then tracks how their diseases progress and which teams of doctors treat them. With CareSet, promising drugs find the right patients faster, and at lower cost.

Co-founded by health IT expert Fred Trotter, engineer Ashish Patel, and developer Rick Trotter in 2012 during a transformative period in the healthcare market, CareSet came on the heels of Fred Trotter’s pursuit of making healthcare data available to benefit patients. As a long-time advocate for open data, he founded CareSet — along with sister company DocGraph — to allow its customers access to de-identified Medicare claims data received through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This data details how doctors, hospitals and other providers work together to deliver care.

Alongside the open data efforts of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the company gives its customers access to Medicare data sets before they are publically released, and provides new ways to sort and understand the data.

“Many healthcare companies struggle to fully utilize the data available to them, both public and private, as they compete to attract and retain quality physicians and develop robust networks,” Patel said. “Even when teams are dedicated to the task, they are often limited to the data their organization creates. [We] help give these teams the insight they need in a fraction of the time it took previously.”

With the extremely large amount of information CareSet houses, the company needed to experiment with iterations of data visualization methods to develop software that is most appropriate and impactful based on the needs of various people within an organization.

The company has continued to grow and mature since its inception, but — as with all startups that have gotten off the ground — it was not without its own challenges adjusting to a shift away from startup culture. As CareSet begins to transition from what was once a small team of coders brainstorming ideas through the night into the early morning to a more established organization with more traditional company operations, the leadership team seeks to preserve the creativity and progressiveness of “hacker culture” within the company’s DNA.

“We do our best to respect the needs of our employees, and ourselves, to come to a workplace that is assuring in its consistency and performance, while maintaining a bit of that hacker culture we so love,” Patel said. “Laura Shapland has done a wonderful job of stepping into the [chief executive officer] role with an open mind for silly company shenanigans, while making sure we still ‘draw the owl.’”

With Shapland at the helm, Ashish said their team plans to take full advantage of being a part of the TMCx Innovation Program to scale the organization and improve the health care system — either through detection and reduction of waste or the assembly of networks that utilizes EHR assets — at a national and local level.

“TMCx offers unprecedented insight from and access to seasoned healthcare executives, which we felt would position us well for our next stage of growth,” Ashish said. “Though we work with national health systems, we want to increase our presence and build connections with leaders in Houston, our headquarters and hometown.”