Founder’s Story

Robby, a veteran of the behavioral healthcare industry, has found success in disrupting industries to improve them.

His introduction to the behavioral healthcare space was through an electronic medical records software startup named KIPU. He was highly instrumental in the development, launch, and growth of KIPU, becoming the industry standard EMR for addiction treatment centers, which sold in January of 2021 for over $290 million to TCV Partners. KIPU currently has over 1,800 addiction treatment facilities utilizing its software.

Armed with the knowledge of rehabilitation practices and noticing the need for more detox centers in the Los Angeles area, he founded Malibu Detox in 2015. After seeing clients go in and out and then return, he realized there was a tremendous need for quality long-term residential care.

“The facilities did not care about the client’s success and wellness, and the insurance companies set up the system for failure, meaning repeat clients were extremely profitable. There was no financial incentive or motivation for success. The success rate for clients staying clean and sober for one year out of treatment is between 4-6%. That is unacceptable for any business, especially healthcare. I wondered, “how can I fix this and disrupt an industry?” Treatment was ripe for a change, and it was personal because of my own struggles with addiction. It was the best of both worlds: a personal passion and something that needed to be done.”

He did not stop at creating a space in the area for residential treatment but extended that into how treatment was administered. “People are learning faster… It is not as simple anymore to just say it is a disease. Environmental factors play an enormous role. For today’s generation, it is a mental health epidemic. The opioid epidemic is just the tip of the iceberg. Depression, anxiety, self-esteem, OCD, etc. …substances help solve these problems for a while; they are a band-aid. We need to deal with the underlying issues to have successful outcomes.”

Prioritizing individualized treatment paths, Robby sees success as going beyond just whether or not clients stay sober. “How is the job going? How are your bills? How are the family, friends, and support relationships? There are a million data points we can look at…Outcomes are the most important thing.”

Taking what he has learned throughout his life, from his own experience with formal education to his work in multiple industries, Robby’s vision is to alter the course and find a better way.

“Unless I am disrupting, I am bored. The goal is to spread this so we can impact more than the clients at the facility that are inside our four walls. There are multiple ways to do that, especially with the utilization of technology. The goal is to positively impact people’s lives on the largest scale possible.”

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