RamaOnHealthcare December 4, 2019
In June, RamaOnHealthcare sat down with Bluetree CEO, Jeremy Schwach, following Providence’s acquisition of Bluetree.
As 2019 comes to a close and Bluetree crosses the six-month mark under Providence’s wing, Rama caught up with Jeremy again to discuss all things healthcare.
Rama: I imagine the latter half of 2019 following the acquisition of Bluetree by Providence has been a little hectic. Tell us a bit about what you’ve been working on.
JEREMY: It’s certainly been an exciting time and the response from our clients has been overwhelmingly positive. As far as our focus, we had two main objectives for the months following the acquisition:
First, we wanted to continue to provide the best in class service to our clients and avoid any potential distraction. Frankly, this turned out to be a pretty straightforward task. The company rallied around our new direction and we didn’t miss a beat.
Second, we hoped to work with Providence to collaboratively design the foundation for our new integrated solutions and services company. This is our long-term home and we have this opportunity to extend Providence’s mission of “health for a better world,” so we wanted to be deliberate about building the new organization. To do this, we’ve focused on organizing all the skillsets we have today (Managed Services, Epic and Meditech strategy in revenue cycle, clinical and analytics, Community Connect capabilities, etc.), and then looking externally to determine where else we should focus.
As we’re looking to add new skill sets, we have this new opportunity to deploy these solutions to Providence first before bringing them to market. This will enable us to be more strategic and efficient long-term to ensure we’re solving real problems. You’ll be hearing a lot more about these activities in the coming months, but we feel fortunate to be at the forefront of what I think is an industry-changing approach to diversification.
Rama: What’s the biggest thing you’re seeing in healthcare heading into 2020?
JEREMY: You know, I’m optimistic about what we’re seeing. There are two primary areas that seem to be getting some real traction.
First, it feels like our clients are putting genuine effort into running more efficiently (and not just talking about trying different things). Everyone knows they need to do more with less, and our clients are pushing us to help them. We’re now working with dozens of Epic organizations to better support their physicians and IT teams through our Epic-smart Service Center and Managed Services programs. Ultimately there is an opportunity for us to help keep the lights on so our clients can focus on the future.
The other area that seems to be getting some airtime is clinical workflow improvement. I think the industry is finally prioritizing it. We’ve always helped our clients make more money in the revenue cycle. But now we’re pairing bottom-line outcomes with a more specific focus on physician comfort and practice analytics. I think we’re all realizing that maximizing your system’s ROI without reducing the burden on the provider is not a sustainable approach. So we’re having a lot of success partnering with organizations to move the needle (and quantify) their physicians’ comfort levels.
Rama: What are you most proud of in 2019? You grew, you were part of a unique acquisition… at the end of the day, what keeps you going?
JEREMY: We’re in such a fortunate position. When we started Bluetree seven years ago, our goal was simply to make the consulting market better. That was it. I could never have imagined that we’d grow to over 320 people, take home the most #1 Black Book ratings in their most recent report, maintain a customer NPS (Net Promoter Score) of 74 again in 2019, and then get acquired to help one of the largest health systems in the world transform how they support their mission.
I’m proud of the hundreds of people who have worked tirelessly to make our clients better. It’s not hard for us to get up in the morning.