Brian Robertson, Founder & CEO, VisiQuate
As the famous mathematician Clive Humby said, “Data is the new oil.” It is a valuable resource and very useful when refined, and more importantly, when used for achieving some community or societal greater good. In healthcare, data plays a critical role in everything from predicting disease outbreaks and circumventing preventable illnesses, to better managing chronic disease, optimizing supply chains and driving dramatic revenue cycle improvements among other things.It can empower healthcare organizations to improve top line growth, reduce cycle times, and ultimately deliver better patient care.
However, despite the immense promise of data, many healthcare providers have yet to realize its true potential. With the rapid, nearly exponential increase in the vast data volumes generated every single day, the healthcare industry is challenged by information overload; a situation where the average enterprise data warehouse or data lake fails to deliver enough actionable insights to achieve a compelling payback. This is most often a leadership and execution problem though. Becoming truly data driven is an Enterprise wide endeavor; it is the farthest thing from an IT project. Brian Robertson, an industry veteran and two-time Founder of healthcare analytics companies (including his role as Founder of VisiQuate), has had a front row seat to working with leaders to solve this challenge for over 20 years.
Brian believes that one of the biggest challenges is the continued quest people have for some type of technology silver bullet. But products and technology without deep expertise rarely solve big data problems at scale.
He sensed the need for both a comprehensive platform and a full complement of experts in both the business and technical domains to truly translate complex and disparate data into actionable, value-rich insights. The company was delivering point solutions to help providers manage specific areas of the revenue cycle and other clinical and operational areas, such as Chronic Disease Management. But he felt that something was missing with point solutions alone. His vision was to combine the best of hybrid elastic cloud models, a full stack analytics platform, and expert services into a complete advanced analytics as a service approach.
“Healthcare is a complicated, chaotic, fragmented landscape of siloed data. Point solutions are good and I believe in them up to a certain point. But when you have clients that are growing through acquisition, and you’re trying to help them create yield and cost optimization strategies, you need more than cookie-cutter point solutions. Because those clients have disparate Health Information Systems like Epic, Cerner, Meditech, and lots of peripheral systems and bolt-ons that they need to bring together. And that calls for analytics that are more dynamic than the standard cookie-cutter approach,” asserts Brian.
Driven by this vision, he started working towards developing the most comprehensive platform that could crowdsource intelligence, bring out and organize best practices, and help clients understand what it takes to become data-driven, and then give them the ability to do it in a way to scale and integrate over time. This is what VisiQuate has done, and how they see the future of advanced analytics for the next decade.
Delivering End-To-End Revenue Cycle Management and Analytics Solutions
VisiQuate offers revenue cycle management and denials management analytics that improve yield and accounts receivable (A/R) performance through intelligent workflow and work listing that leverages data science vs. conventional methods of “load balancing” workload. Backed up by advanced insights and data analytics, the company enables healthcare organizations to achieve cost optimization, which is always important, but is especially critical amid the current pandemic.
“The reality is that most hospitals don’t have an analytics department, so it’s difficult for them to obtain the types of truly advanced insights that dramatically move the needle. But if they’re going to be truly data-driven, they need them. So we give clients the ability to become data-driven without the huge up-front financial and skill-set investment and we significantly collapse time for them in a manner that doesn’t break the bank, and now after hundreds of successful implementations, we believe we have taken out a lot of risk, and that our model is proven,” states Brian.
One of the major benefits of VisiQuate is that users need fewer touches and interventions to resolve each transaction/encounter/claim. Their analytics also improve the ever-elusive “speed-to-quality decision” cycle. When all its benefits are combined, VisiQuate delivers an annual 3X to 5X return on investment. With data and digital innovation in its DNA, the company has been able to easily transition and expand its overall offering and capabilities into artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotic process automation (RPA), cognitive learning, and deep learning, among others. Harnessing these technologies, it has developed Ana, a cognitive learning platform and interactive, automated data and decision assistant.
“Now all of our AI initiatives and offerings carry the Ana brand. It’s essentially our Watson. Ana is designed to take costs out of the system. Depending on which source you look at, there is over $250 billionof waste annually, just in the revenue cycle. That’s a huge number to go after, which means the market’s appetite to automate business and achieve all of those yield improvements wherever possible is growing by the day,” Brian explained.
Helping Providers Manage the Full Spectrum of Chronic Diseases
VisiQuate also provides HealthMobile.D, a chronic care ecosystem that helps patients, caregivers, health plans, and medical device makers manage the full spectrum of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and chronic heart failure. The platform combines the knowledge of leading physicians and advanced analytics and brings new insights to life on tablets and smartphones. It collects data securely from patients and makes patient problems visible as alerts that physicians can address quickly.
In addition, HealthMobile.D supports every use case for analytics, whether it’s an endocrinologist measuring HbA1c levels, or a nutritionist conducting meal planning. It also enables providers to measure population risk, manage population health, and create corporate wellness programs, anong with incentive and gamification programs designed to move the needle on clinical patient behavior.
Fostering True Trusted Advisor Relationships with Clients
Besides its value-driven solutions, one of the key aspects that make VisiQuate truly unique is its commitment to maintaining trusted advisor relationships with its clients. The company understands that trust is earned, so it works hard for its clients and helps them with the role they’re playing in achieving corporate objectives. It believes in creating real friendships with clients, while remaining laser-focused on delivering value to the client.
“Ultimately, we try to be a true, trusted thought leader for our clients, and be their guides and experts in the field. We give them playbooks that help them find value every day. We have client and innovation summits where they can all connect and share knowledge. We try to be a complete knowledge source in our area of expertise, so they know they can come to us when they have a need for advanced content and strategy,” affirms Brian.
Diligent Employees Propel the Company’s Success
The company attributes its success to its highly dedicated team, whose technical prowess and combined experience have helped the company to grow impressively. The empowering work culture at VisiQuate helps its employees maximize their potential and contribute the most to the success of the company. Driven by an intrinsic motivation to go the extra mile for clients, each of its employees works relentlessly to accomplish demonstrable value for its clients.
“If you’re in the advanced analytics space for healthcare, it’s rewarding to get out of bed in the morning knowing you’re solving big problems and moving the needle on patient care, and specifically on the financial side of patient care. This is because if people can better monetize their businesses through advanced insights, they can more effectively re-invest operational dollar efficiency to improve the cost, quality, and all other aspects of their services to the healthcare consumer,” adds Brian.
Cautiously Optimistic About the Future
Even though the world is not out of the woods yet with COVID-19, people have started re-thinking what “normal” will be in the future. But VisiQuate does not anticipate a “new normal” where expectations are lowered. They believe it’s possible to build on successful responses to the pandemic, and create a “better normal.” With this optimistic outlook in mind, VisiQuate looks forward to helping its clients navigate through these challenging times, and continue to provide quality services and value-driven results.
According to Brian, healthcare organizations should not just be looking at what they know but searching for what they don’t know, so they will be better prepared for the future. He states that many healthcare executives know there is technology that has solved problems, and can continue to help them solve problems, but they have to invest in it.
“They know that they can’t just keep kicking the can down the road. It’s one thing to say we will go on a journey to automate the hospital or the business side of the house and it’s another to commit to a timeline to do it.” In a future where the demand curve can get inverted overnight, as we are experiencing now, every penny matters. Healthcare organizations have a tremendous amount of redundancy and repetitiveness that they can automate. The technology to do it is there, so it’s more about leadership and political will,” concludes Brian.