‘Secret sauce’ is key to company’s growth, says DuvaSawko CEO
Published: Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 7:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 7:08 p.m.
ORMOND BEACH — DuvaSawko is an Ormond Beach medical billing company that has been steadily growing since its launch in 1998.
Dr. Charles Duva, DuvaSawko’s co-founder and CEO, is proud of noting the company’s growth continued even during the Great Recession at a 15 percent clip and that its growth has accelerated to 20 percent the past five years.
While that growth has been in revenues, Duva said his company has expanded its workforce accordingly.
After starting with five employees that included Duva and co-founder Dr. William Sawko, the company’s chief information officer, DuvaSawko today employs 240, having added 21 in the past year.
Duva said he expects to add at least 40 more in the coming year and is now searching for an additional office space to lease, just a little over two years after DuvaSawko moved to its present 30,000-square-foot headquarters building at 298 S. Yonge St.
That move, from its previous location at the Cornerstone Office Park at LPGA and Williamson boulevards in Daytona Beach, provided it with an additional 7,000 square feet of space.
Duva recently spoke with The News-Journal. The following are edited excerpts from that interview.
When your company began, where were you and how big was that original space?
We were in South Daytona at Waterside Plaza in a leased office space of 1,250 square feet.
How much space are you now planning to add?
We are looking for another 20,000 square feet. There’s no more room where we are. … We left South Daytona and built both of those (Cornerstone Office Park) buildings on the corner of LPGA and Williamson in 2004. We sold (Cornerstone) in 2007 (and continued as a tenant until November 2013).
What prompted you and Dr. Sawko to start DuvaSawko?
We were practicing medicine in DeLand and Orange City. We had to have a billing company, but the companies available at the time couldn’t meet our service needs so we decided to start our own company.
How have you maintained your growth?
We found what we call the “secret sauce.” We have today the No. 1 billing company in the country that specializes in emergency medicine. We do medical coding and medical billing for physicians who specialize in emergency medicine. When you have a good product it’s easy to stay busy, particularly when you have the best product. We collect more money for our clients than any other emergency physician medical billing company.
Can you divulge your secret sauce?
Would Kentucky Fried Chicken do that? No! Our secret sauce is do everything right. It’s that simple.
Do you expect to continue growing at your present rate?
We plan on at least doubling and possibly tripling the company in the next five years.
Was it in part because the need for healthcare services doesn’t go away, even during an economic downturn?
Yes, that doesn’t go away. But also when there’s a recession and business is down, people are looking for a company that can help them improve cash flow, and that’s what we do.
How spread out are your clients?
We’re in 11 states, 70 hospitals, all the way out west to Arizona and all the way north to Wisconsin.
Any tips for success to share?
Not really. I just hope that Volusia County can attract real business, other companies like ours — the same culture and premier products. That’s why I’m involved in Team Volusia (Economic Development Corp., the public/private partnership group dedicated to efforts to recruit businesses to the county). I sit on the executive board. I give them $25,000 a year to be on that board on top of giving all your time free because I’m interested in attracting the right companies here that can create good jobs. I’m not the only one. We all want to see the county grow. … I think we’re making some headway now, but we have a long way to go.