Dr. Leah Houston is a board-certified Emergency Physician. She was caught up in a credentialing snafu that inspired her to start a new company to address the issue. As an entrepreneur, she intends to create a very secure physician-controlled credentialing tool using blockchain technology.

While practicing medicine across the U.S., Dr. Houston recognized a common problem affecting physicians. It’s uncompensated administrative burdens related to physician credentialing that lead to administrative waste and physician burnout. This burden reduces access to patient care and worsens the physician shortage.

She began her company, HPEC (which can be found at hpec.io) in early 2018 when she realized blockchain could solve the problem with its distributed ledger technology. H-PEC is using that technology to create a decentralized autonomous organization of doctors by verifying the credentials of every physician member and making that information portable and secure.

blockchain secure

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

She’s an entrepreneur in the early phases of creating this start-up company. She’s been promoting her business, pitching it to investor groups, and seeking physician partners.

Leah is super-enthusiastic about this new venture. And part of her inspiration comes from addressing a personal credentialing nightmare that she describes in some detail during our conversation. It's a bit reminiscent of my conversation with Sylvia Romm.

One disclaimer: I’m not making any judgment with regard to the likelihood of success of her business, nor am I making any recommendation to invest or partner in her venture.

Using Blockchain to Protect Physicians

During our conversation, Leah touched on the following topics:

  • The credentialing issue that helped motivate her to create her company.
  • How her entrepreneurial interests developed.
  • The challenges facing physicians as it relates to credentialing and licensing.
  • How her company, HPEC, intends to solve this problem.
  • How to find incubators such as StartUp Health.
  • An invitation to listeners to contact her and consider joining her mission to use blockchain to bring control of healthcare back into physicians' hands.
blockchain fraud prison

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

The most surprising realization that I had during our interview was that many of us may not be aware that former employers are using our credentials to order tests, or bill for services, long after we've left employment. That can lead to a situation, as it did with Dr. Houston, in which we're wrongly accused of practicing without a license, or of billing for services that we did not perform.

Contact Leah Houston

I thoroughly enjoyed speaking with Leah. Her story was both frightening and inspiring. I think she gave us a good glimpse into the world of health technology start-ups.

You can learn more about her company at hpec.io and you can email her at support@hpec.io.

Follow My New Project

Before closing, I want to tell you about a new project I’m working on.

I believe you have so much knowledge as a practicing physician, or as someone involved in a non-clinical career, that you can readily teach others. I’ve seen other physicians do it. And technology is advancing in a way that makes it much easier.

It’s a great way to create a part- or full-time online business and generate income that will enable you to reduce your dependence on your high stress clinical career.

I believe it’ll be of interest to many of you to learn how to start such an online business. To that end, I’m working on bringing on a guest or two who has created such a business.

Also, since I’m in the process of developing products like an eBook and online courses, I think you may find it interesting to hear about my experiences. So, I’m going to chronicle my efforts to create and market those products.

However, I’m not able to fit those updates into my usual podcast episodes. You’ve told me the upper limit you wish to consume is 30 minutes.

Creating My Online Business Edition of the Newsletter

So, I’m going to be adding a weekly update to my newsletter specifically devoted to chronicling this journey. My goal is to share my successes and my failures as I move to create my own online side-hustle. I’m calling this series of newsletters Creating My Online Business.

To follow me on this journey as I share what I learn, you’ll need to sign up for my newsletter. You can do that by going to vitalpe.net/signup.

If you want to receive a FREE 24-page guide to 5 non-clinical careers, go to vitalpe.net/freeguide. But do it now. I’ll soon be taking down this free guide, editing it and converting it to a paid ebook, as part of my online business strategy. But, you can still get a free copy at vitalpe.net/freeguide.

Get My Newsletter

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on the Apple Podcast App.

If you liked today’s episode, please tell your friends about it and SHARE it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

And join me next week for another episode of Physician Nonclinical Careers.

Right click here and “Save As” to download this podcast episode to your computer.


The opinions expressed herein are those of me and my guest, where applicable. While the information published in written form and in audio form on the podcast are true and accurate, to the best of my knowledge, there is no express or implied guarantee that using the methods discussed herein will lead to success in your career, life or business.

The opinions are my own, and my guest's, and not those of any organizations that I'm a member of, or affiliated with. The information presented on this blog and related podcast is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only and should not be construed as advice, such a medical, legal, tax, emotional or other types of advice.

If you take action on any information provided on the blog or podcast, it is at your own risk. Always consult a professional, e.g., attorney, accountant, career counsellor, etc., before making any major decisions related to the subject matter of the blog and podcast.