Friday, September 21, 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
Tampa General nurses record the last heartbeats of dying patients, making a family memory

Tampa General nurses record the last heartbeats of dying patients, making a family memory

TAMPA — As John Reisinger waited with family at Tampa General Hospital, grief settled in like a fog. So some of the details are hazy.But he remembers the moment when three women in white lab coats approached him.The day before, his niece, Jessica Rau...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Retro Fitness sets first of several area locations in Citrus Park

Retro Fitness sets first of several area locations in Citrus Park

In early fall, Retro Fitness will open a 17,000 square foot fitness facility in Citrus Park, and it plans for more Tampa Bay area locations.Founded in 2005, Retro Fitness has 153 clubs throughout the United States and is the official fitness center o...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Joe and Son's Olive Oils, a legacy Ybor business, finds new roots in Carrollwood

Joe and Son's Olive Oils, a legacy Ybor business, finds new roots in Carrollwood

Andrea Gebbia grew up in Carrollwood, and now she is bringing the family business to the neighborhood of her youth.In late fall, Joe and Son’s Olive Oils is slated to open a second location."I feel so blessed having the ability to grow my...
Updated: 6 hours ago
The guys who brought you Tampa’s Armature Works plan high-end offices next door, and they’ve already signed a lease with med-tech company AxoGen

The guys who brought you Tampa’s Armature Works plan high-end offices next door, and they’ve already signed a lease with med-tech company AxoGen

TAMPA — Coming soon from the developers who brought you the Armature Works: Heights Union, two high-end office buildings next door to the trendy food hall, event space and co-working complex overlooking the Hillsborough River.Developers said Friday t...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Chi Chop + Kung Fu Tea looks to succeed where others failed

Chi Chop + Kung Fu Tea looks to succeed where others failed

RIVEVIEW – Amy Lin knows that her newest Chi Chop + Kung Fu Tea store is in a location where previous businesses have not lasted.The short-lived Tap’s Brewhouse & Deli and even shorter-lived Top Shelf Sports Bar and Grill tried to r...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Walmart is teaming with a Seminole Heights chef to promote locally grown mushrooms

Walmart is teaming with a Seminole Heights chef to promote locally grown mushrooms

TAMPA — It might seem like an unlikely match from the outside: A distinguished chef with a restaurant known for inventive plates using produce shoppers can find at… Walmart?Walmart, the country’s largest grocer, is known for having a core consumer wh...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Federal loans open to Pinellas businesses struggling against Red Tide

Federal loans open to Pinellas businesses struggling against Red Tide

The U.S. Small Business Administration has extended its disaster loan program to include Pinellas and Pasco county businesses affected by Red Tide.Already, the Pinellas County Economic Development Office was taking applications for bridge loans to he...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Watch: A southern white rhinoceros calf just a week after being born at ZooTampa

Watch: A southern white rhinoceros calf just a week after being born at ZooTampa

TAMPA — A southern white rhinoceros gave birth to a calf at ZooTampa on Sept. 12, marking the sixth successful birth of the species in the zoo's history. In a news release, ZooTampa said southern white rhinoceroses are a nearly threatened spec...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Baggers, cashiers soon can grow beards at Publix

Baggers, cashiers soon can grow beards at Publix

ORLANDO — The faces of baggers, cashiers and stockers at a Florida-based grocery chain may look slightly different in the near future.That's because Publix said Friday that it would start allowing workers to grow beards and other facial hair b...
Updated: 10 hours ago
They spent $15,000 adding a driveway to their St. Pete House. Now the city says they can’t park on it

They spent $15,000 adding a driveway to their St. Pete House. Now the city says they can’t park on it

ST. PETERSBURG — One day in January, Dana Cremo was on her front porch hanging a vintage screen door when two city employees walked up. "You can’t park on your driveway," they said. "Why?" she asked. "Because somebody filed a complaint," they said. F...
Published: 09/21/18