Telling stories

Health IT Firms Finding a Home in Atlanta’s Central Perimeter

Posted by southwrite on May 16, 2014




Randy Southerland

Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Atlanta likes to bill itself as the health information technology capital of the nation and lately a growing number of those high-tech companies are finding their way to Dunwoody.

More than 250 of these companies employing an estimated 30,000 workers can be found throughout the city. Increasingly they are coming here for many of the same reasons that attracted other businesses, including most of the city’s Fortune 500 corporate headquarters.

“The factors for us were cost, easy access to our trading partners and customers as well as amenities such as [Perimeter] Mall and the restaurants and such a great business environment to entertain,” said David Karabinos, CEO of PointClear Solutions. “All of those things, including the central geography, were very appealing to all of the folks on our team.”

The Perimeter area’s 33 million square feet of office space offers a variety of real estate options. Unlike Midtown or Buckhead, many of them come with free parking.

PointClear designs and develops customized and intuitive health-care technologies for hospitals, health systems and physician practices by partnering with health IT vendors investing in innovation.

The company moved its corporate headquarters from Alabama to Dunwoody a year ago to be closer to customers, potential partners and a highly educated workforce.

Atlanta offered a depth of talent difficult to find anywhere else. With so many companies already here, trained workers are readily available. In addition, the area boasts a wide variety of educational institutions from a nationally recognized engineering university to several vocational and technical colleges offering computer-related majors.

“ Georgia Tech has a very reputable master’s program in computer interaction, which is the foundational discipline for user experience design in technology,” Karabinos said. “It has the talent that we need to continue to grow. We’re a service company and we expand by the sheer number of really talented people that we hire.”

The city’s location on the northern perimeter put the company close to where much of its workforce wanted to live.

“Dunwoody is geographically appealing to our team, our people,” he said. “We’ve got people in Johns Creek, in Alpharetta and other places around the city. It’s just a good central spot for us.”

Many of its health-care clients can also be found in these same areas.

PaySpan Inc. recently relocated to Dunwoody from Jacksonville, Fla., where it still maintains a call center. The company is the nation’s largest health-care reimbursement network representing approximately 700,000 providers and just over 800 health plans.

“We’re at that convergence point of health-care technology and payment services and financial services,” said PaySpan CEO Kevin Arner. “For us this is a great location in terms of the access to talent and access to peers and colleagues that are really doing some innovative new things in the payment and health-care industry.”

The area held a double attraction for the company. In addition to the large number of health IT firms around, Atlanta is also a hub for the financial services and payment industry. Powered by a heavy concentration of data centers and fiber access, a large portion of the country’s transitions pass through the city in one way or another.

Atlanta is increasingly becoming known as “transaction alley,” according to Arner.

For the company and its workers, the Dunwoody area offers a degree of transportation access unrivaled by other suburban locations. With four MARTA stations serving Perimeter, PaySpan and other companies have been able to draw on a crop of young, creative millennials, who tend to favor urban, highly walkable areas such as Buckhead and Midtown.

Perimeter Commercial Space

  • 33 million  square feet
  • $3.36 billion  in estimated value
  • 5,000  companies


Originally published in the Apr 18, 2014 edition of The Atlanta Business Chronicle:

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