February 16, 2022 LEADERSHIP PROFILE

CarePoint President Rachel Cupp Channels Late CEO As Inspiration

Katie Hopewell  /  Charleston Digital Corridor
Carepoint President, Rachel CuppCarepoint President, Rachel Cupp
Carepoint President, Rachel CuppCarepoint President, Rachel Cupp
Carepoint President, Rachel CuppCarepoint President, Rachel Cupp

At the intersection of pharmaceuticals and technology, Rachel Cupp, President of CarePoint, helps pharmacies of all kinds - from retail pharmacies to home delivery and mail order to specialty pharmacies - streamline their work. Having worked her way up the company, from support to sales to her current role, Cupp has come to embrace the identity of CarePoint and has dedicated herself to ensuring the company's sustainability by keeping in line with technological advancements.

Though daunting to fill the role following the passing of the former President and CEO, Jim Whitney, Cupp's story is one that implores aligning with one's interests and working with the benefit of others - employees, clients, and partners - consistently in mind.

This series is brought to you by Charleston County Economic Development.

Would you want to start by giving me a bit of information about your background? Where you're from, where you attended college and what you studied?

I graduated from college back in 2004 from Lander University in Greenwood, South Carolina. I majored in Computer Science with an emphasis in Networking, which is not exactly related to what I do now but has still been valuable knowledge for me. I grew up in Georgia and upstate South Carolina and moved to Charleston when I was in my early 20's.

Any memorable first jobs or positions?

One of my first jobs out of college was for a company in Greenwood. It was a medical billing company. I did a lot of the paperwork and some of their data imports, which was kind of related to my interests. But I really wanted to do something in my field, and they didn't have anything like that at the time.

So, I found another job in Greenwood and I worked there for about a year. It was a local community bank; it was a really fun job. I had a really great boss there; she taught me a lot and we still keep in touch.

How did you get to working with CarePoint?

In 2005, the medical billing company I previously worked for had an IT opening in Charleston, which is how I ended up here. I stayed in that position for about two years; it was fairly boring to be honest. It was, really, me answering a help desk number, where all the employees couldn't come to me directly but just called that number. It was a lot of me just plugging in printers for people and fixing that kind of stuff, which wasn't what I wanted to do. I came to CarePoint after that, in March 2007, and I've been here ever since. It will actually mark 15 years in March 2022.

I liked it because it was medical and pharmacy related. I had some pharmacy knowledge, so I felt prepared, but I did not realize that pharmacy is its own niche. It's a big industry and it changes a lot. What you'll find is that a lot of the pharmacy and medical software is pretty antiquated compared to other systems.

I started out as a Support Analyst, answering calls and helping clients with the software. Because we're a small company, support analysts end up doing a little bit of everything, but this also makes it easier to move up. I did support for about a year and then I moved into Implementations. We traveled out to pharmacy sites and did training and troubleshooting in person, which really helped me. You don't realize, when you're on the phone, what your clients are actually going through.

What does CarePoint do?

We facilitate pharmacy management software. We develop and support everything in-house and we help pharmacies of all types. The management system for pharmacies is basically the software used to hold data entries for the sake of adjudicating prescriptions against insurance companies, so customers know their copay price, and the pharmacy knows how much the insurance company is paying them. We also have an accounts receivable module, so they know what to expect from patients and respective insurance companies prior to actual transactions. We also develop software for mail-order and home delivery pharmacies.

What obstacles have you faced with your business and how did you overcome them?

After our salesperson left in 2010, I began working directly with our CEO and President at the time, Jim Whitney. He took over as President of the company back in 2000. Jim did great things back in the early 2000s; it was fun to work with him and I learned a lot. In 2014, he unfortunately came down with Stage 4 cancer. He was a fighter and made it all the way to April 2018. When I got that dreaded call from his wife, I knew it was time for me to step in, without his guidance. I'm still learning as we go.

Then I got to work on the sales side. Coming from the client services side of things, I always wondered why people in sales would sell things that we don't offer, and it became clear that working in sales forces you to take things in new directions. You adopt a new mindset of: "Well, maybe we can do that in the future, even if we don't now." And that mindset has really helped me as I've worked in my current position, because it helped me shift the company away from the vision that Jim had and move things forward.

What do you see as the future of your company?

That's actually what I think about every day. To be quite honest, we need to work with cloud hosting, which we're already utilizing with some of our customers, but we want to implement it as a whole on our end. But on our road map, we're working to make our Sequel and Azure databases compatible. At this point, we're doing a lot of research and development. So, I really see us revamping our product and making it web accessible moving forward.

How has it been building your business in Charleston?

We launched the business here. It has been great. It's a great location for when clients come on site - everyone wants to come to Charleston.

How do you feel about working with the CDC?

We've been at the Charleston Tech Center since September 2021. It is cool building and conveniently located. Our staff attend a lot of the CDCu classes, which has been helpful. And having more development and marketing-oriented people around us has really benefited our development and sales teams. We rented out the top conference room and had a catered lunch and that was a great experience. I'm excited with the mix of professionals in the building and look forward to meeting more of them.

Do you have anything to say specifically about being a woman in your position?

It can be a little intimidating, but it's much better now than it was when I started. In 2004, this was a male-dominated profession, but I thankfully haven't encountered any issues. It's encouraging to see that, over the years, we have so many more women working for us after I was the only one for a while.

What were your misconceptions about running a tech business/being an entrepreneur?

Having come from a more hands-on sort of background and then taking over the role that I did back in 2018, I didn't realize how many pieces there are to running a company. From looking at expenses and revenue to keeping an eye on all of the departments, it's a lot. It's important to stay in the loop with the latest technology, which sounds easy, but it's so much more challenging than expected.

What do you look for in people you hire?

I value people's personalities. A strong resume is great, but I really like to talk to someone face to face. I like to show them the work environment and make sure it's a good fit for them and for us. I value somebody that is willing to go the extra mile and adds a personal touch to their work.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs or new graduates looking to work in tech?

Make sure you find a role that either is a fit for you or soon will be. For me, I always wanted to do more. There's a lot of people who aren't that way; they just want to do one thing. There's a lot out there, so try to keep keying in on your interests and what you want to do for the long term.

What keeps you inspired?

I always have this sort of urge in the back of my head to do well for Jim. I know that he wanted CarePoint to be very successful and that really keeps me going. But our employees too; I want to do as much as I can for them. In fact, that's why we ended up at the Charleston Tech Center. It is a great work environment.

Rapid Fire

Favorite Charleston beach? Folly Beach

Favorite book or podcast? The Dateline podcast

Favorite app? I love UberEats and DoorDash