What's next for Providence's Tegria and revenue cycle investments, per Wasif Rasheed

Wasif Rasheed serves as executive vice president and chief revenue and growth officer at Renton, Wash.-based Providence. 

Mr. Rasheed will be on panels "Innovation in the Revenue Cycle: What to Know for the Next 5 Years" and a keynote speaker for "Alleviating Bottlenecks: How to Solve Prior Authorization to Boost Patient Satisfaction and Reduce Write-Offs" at Becker's 7th Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle, which will take place in Chicago from Oct. 4-7.

To learn more about the conference and Mr. Rasheed's session, click here.

Question: What are you most excited about right now and what makes you nervous?

Mr. Rasheed: Right now, I’m most excited about what’s emerging from the Providence and Tegria collaboration and what we’ve shown through our “Better Together” efforts across Tegria companies. We launched Tegria on the belief that we could cultivate organizations that addressed pain points common to all health systems – and in doing so improve the financial sustainability of those health systems as our customers and of Providence. 

Engaging Tegria’s IT services and revenue cycle teams to support urgent Providence needs has been a specific proof point that furthered my confidence in this endeavor, and we have emerging interest from other health systems to participate as customers and even as investors in Tegria, which is a huge vote of confidence for the direction we are headed in. At the same time, the healthcare industry is evolving at a pace we have not seen before – and this is putting real stress on our organization and challenging us to transition from old norms to new sets of expectations and ways of working. 

Within Providence and Tegria, we’ve aimed to account for this by building a shared vision and understanding between technology talent we are onboarding and individuals with deep industry expertise. The collaborative nature of Providence and Tegria make me feel better about this than I’d feel if we were an independent technology business or health system attempting to solve these problems, but it will continue to be a learning journey and I am grateful for the support our organization can provide.

Q: How is your role evolving?

WR: As our number of partnerships across Providence and Tegria has grown, I’ve had to act much more deliberately when selecting potential partners, engaging them on an ongoing basis, and deciding where to weigh in such that I am making the highest and best use of my time. I believe this will continue to evolve moving forward; Providence has a history of successful collaboration with great organizations like Truveta, Microsoft, Nuance, and Cedar and our focus on approaching care in new ways means that we are always asking how we can generate new value through partnership. I am glad that I also get to partner with a fantastic leadership team at Providence that helps engage the board with these partners and has ensured we realize value from these efforts.

Q: How are you thinking about growth and investments for the next year or two?

WR: As much as we are focused on technology and serving more consumers at Providence and more customers through Tegria, investing in our caregivers is top-of-mind. You have heard this from others, but I cannot understate how challenging the last two-and-a-half years have been. The pace of change for our caregivers has left them with a desire for stability and tools to help ease a burden that seems to have only mounted through the pandemic. As such, ensuring that our caregivers have what they need to thrive is paramount. 

Importantly, this means investing in training and capability development in new areas – including engaging with new technologies and leading process redesign – such that our caregivers are able to adopt new skills needed for our evolving healthcare landscape. Along with our people, we are investing in technology adoption. First, AI / [machine learning] is an area where we are anticipating growth in the next [two to three] years. We have invested in our data infrastructure, and we anticipate those investments will now yield results as we have a data environment that can support these applications. In addition, automating tasks is important, and we are looking for opportunities to continue to do this. 

Natural language processing, optical character recognition and blockchain are also areas where we are excited to push what is possible, both within Providence and with partners, as highlighted by our ongoing work with Microsoft, Nuance and others.

Q: Where are the best opportunities to integrate tech into finance operations and the revenue cycle?

WR: Both our consumers and caregivers are frustrated with their experience today, and we are aiming to address needs throughout our revenue cycle as a result. For consumers, we are introducing Cedar, a patient engagement and financial technology platform that represents best-in-class technology and should significantly improve our front-end experience as patients interact with us through registration, insurance verification, cost estimation and payment. For caregivers, we are focused on developing smarter workflows and adopting process automation to ensure they are able to work smarter, not harder, especially as the complexity of claims rises and volume of payer denials increases.

I am most excited by what our Providence and Tegria teams have been working on with respect to advanced analytics models around denial prediction and our ability to preempt and remedy claims before they go out, improving our collections, reducing our total workload and helping the health system overall become more efficient over time.

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