Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Business

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

TAMPA — The days ahead were supposed to be bright.

For weeks, the future of health care tech company CareSync had been thrown into question as founder and CEO and founder Travis Bond unexpectedly departed, kicking off multiple rounds of layoffs. But that was all in the past, interim CEO Bob Crutchfield told employees Monday at an all-staff meeting, because the founder of grocery delivery company Shipt was buying CareSync.

"We’re on incredibly good financial footing," Crutchfield said in a video recording of the Monday meeting. "We have a stability now that allows us to grow to the future."

Then the deal with Shipt unraveled, according to former employees and letters from the company to its staff obtained by the Tampa Bay Times.

CareSync ceased operations Thursday, laying off nearly 300 employees.

CareSync’s main phone line was not accepting calls Friday morning, and a pre-recorded message said the company was shutting down because it could not find a buyer or strategic partner. The company offered an online platform to help patients with under Medicare keep all of their medical records, appointments and prescription schedules in one place. Its patient portal would still be operational for the time being, the message said.

In one of two letters to employees that the Times obtained, CareSync chief operating officer Joy Powell said the company had been seeking a buyer but was unsuccessful. CareSync has filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification informing the state of Florida that all 292 employees were being laid off as of Thursday.

Of those, 167 worked at the company’s Tampa headquarters, while 125 were at its Wachula location.

The shuttering came as a shock to employees, who on Monday were told by Shipt founder Bill Smith that he and his family were buying the company. Smith was visiting employees at the Tampa office. Though he currently helms Shipt, the grocery delivery company was not involved in the deal.

"My family will own 100 percent of the company going forward," Smith told employees in a video recording of the Monday meeting. "We’re making a very significant financial commitment to the company, and my perspective on this is that we’re going to build this company for the long-term. I didn’t come into this thing to flip this company in a couple years."

Contacted Friday, Smith gave this statement: "A syndicate of investors, including the Smith Family Office, had intentions to acquire CareSync. We were hopeful that our support could save the company and would ultimately lead to a successful outcome for everyone involved, including the employees. Unfortunately the company ran out of time."

Terms of the discussed sale were not available.

Outwardly, CareSync had appeared to be on an upward trajectory in recent years. It moved its headquarters to a $4.5 million office space in northern Hillsborough County and had raised more than $28 million in funding from private investors over the past three years. As of late 2016, it was looking to double its workforce.

Related coverage: CareSync, a Tampa IT health care company, plans to hire 200 people over the next year, mostly nurses>

As of Friday morning, some employees still hadn’t been notified officially. JoJo Hernandez, a single mother who worked for the company since 2016, said coworkers let her know the company had shuttered. Now she’s worried about being able to pay rent.

"Travis Bond’s favorite words were, ‘We are one family,’ " she said. "Where are they now?"

MORE: Go here for more Business News

Contact these reporters at [email protected], [email protected] or (727) 892-2249.

Comments
Disney unveils plans for 'Guardians of Galaxy' coaster, high-tech robots

Disney unveils plans for 'Guardians of Galaxy' coaster, high-tech robots

At an amusement park industry trade show, a Disney executive hails the next generation of animatronics.
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Pinellas hotels report 6 percent dip in room sales since Red Tide hit

Pinellas hotels report 6 percent dip in room sales since Red Tide hit

Pinellas County is still on track to break its bed-tax collection record, even though Red Tide has showed no signs of letting up.
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ford, Walmart test self-driving grocery delivery in South Florida

Ford, Walmart test self-driving grocery delivery in South Florida

Ford and Walmart are teaming up to test a self-driving grocery delivery service.
Updated: 3 hours ago
Chick-fil-A now offering delivery, celebrates by giving away free sandwiches

Chick-fil-A now offering delivery, celebrates by giving away free sandwiches

Chick-Fil-A will give away free classic chicken sandwiches to customers who order at least $5 worth of food from DoorDash, a delivery service.
Updated: 4 hours ago
These are the 'worst toys' of the holiday season

These are the 'worst toys' of the holiday season

A Black Panther "slash claw" and a plastic Power Rangers sword are among the items topping a consumer safety group's annual list of worst toys for the holiday season.
Updated: 6 hours ago
The Daystarter: A whole lot of suing going on in the Florida recount; why Rick Scott and Bill Nelson are smack in the middle; a Hall of Fame kind of night for Martin St. Louis

The Daystarter: A whole lot of suing going on in the Florida recount; why Rick Scott and Bill Nelson are smack in the middle; a Hall of Fame kind of night for Martin St. Louis

The Daystarter: Marc Topkin on Rays’ manager Kevin Cash falling short of the top AL manager award; Graham Brink on why Amazon just isn’t that into Tampa Bay; and Tom Jones on why the Bucs are keeping Jameis Winston on the bench.
Updated: 8 hours ago
Time running out for officials to reach stadium deal with Rays

Time running out for officials to reach stadium deal with Rays

With elections in the rearview mirror, focus shifts to efforts to move the Tampa Bay Rays to Ybor City.
Updated: 7 hours ago
Dear Amazon, from Tampa Bay: Why don't you love us?

Dear Amazon, from Tampa Bay: Why don't you love us?

Seattle-based Amazon decided to open a second headquarters, splitting it between New York City and the Washington, D.C., area. Tampa Bay never had a chance.
Updated: 7 hours ago
Joggers, cyclists now wait to see where future of Upper Tampa Bay Trail leads

Joggers, cyclists now wait to see where future of Upper Tampa Bay Trail leads

Hillsborough commissioners are not recommending a realignment of the Upper Tampa Bay Trail to make room for a 300-unit apartment block. But whether trail users can claim victory is unsure.
Published: 11/13/18
Allegiant Air opening nine new routes from Sarasota, Bradenton

Allegiant Air opening nine new routes from Sarasota, Bradenton

Allegiant Air is opening nine new nonstop routes from the Sarasota area to destinations such as Baltimore.
Published: 11/13/18