Podcast

The Redox Podcast 48: Patient Experience & Healthcare’s Move to the Cloud with ConvergeOne’s Matt Vestal

Posted October 12, 2022
By Niko Skievaski

Redox Podcast_Matt Vestal: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Redox Podcast_Matt Vestal: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Matt Vestal:
It’s not cloud for cloud’s sake, right? You’re seeing this incredibly competitive and quickly evolving healthcare market. I mean, gosh, look at, look at the number of mergers and acquisitions that have, that have occurred over the course of the past ten years, right? A lot of these healthcare marketplaces on the provider side are getting a lot more competitive, right, competing for the same patients on how do you differentiate yourself?

Niko Skievaski:
Hello and welcome to Episode 48 of the Redox Podcast. Today we’re discussing something near and dear to my heart, which is healthcare’s move to the cloud. And it couldn’t be more excited about our guest in Matt Vestal. He’s the healthcare provider lead over at ConvergeOne, which of course is a leader in digital monetization, collaboration and cloud. In this episode, we discuss the current state of cloud adoption in healthcare, why the cloud is not a strategy in and of itself, but really how it enables other fundamental initiatives. And we talk through a few examples of how the cloud enables better patient and health system employee experiences, all while cutting costs. And of course, some of the challenges in implementation. I’ve known Matt for years and I am so excited to have him on the show, talking to him is always a pleasure and you’ll see what I mean. Matt, welcome to the Redox Podcast!

Matt Vestal:
Thank you. Really appreciate you having me here.

Niko Skievaski:
To start off, I’d love to just hear your background. We’ve known each other for a little while through a couple of different avenues, but yeah, tell us about your journey to COne.

Matt Vestal:
Yeah. So currently I support the ConvergeOne healthcare practice. So I’ll describe ConvergeOne in a little bit more detail momentarily. But my, my journey started 15 years ago. I’ve been in healthcare, healthcare technology for 15 years, actually started my career off in hospital administration of all things, while I was a graduate student at Ohio State doing finance operations, strategic planning for hospitals and health systems spent some time at a safety net hospital in Chicago’s West Side, which was just awesome, totally got bit by the, the bug for community health and understanding social determinants and how they drive health and well-being. But when I graduated, I was fortunate enough to graduate in the spring of 2009. So I started, I started looking for jobs like right after Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and the whole financial meltdown started happening, and did something I never thought that I was going to do in my life, which was move back home to Kansas City and work for Cerner, it’s like literally the only place that I could find a job. And I’m thinking to myself at the time, oh, gosh, what am I? What am I doing? And it turned out to be amazing, right? An incredible experience, got to cut my teeth in the technology side of things, so I spent a number of years there doing delivery work, did some sales and account management. Ultimately decided that I wanted to move back toward the business of healthcare, working more closely on that side instead of just pure IT. And so I had the chance to, to connect with a gentleman who I worked with at Mt. Sinai on, on Chicago’s West Side, his name is Chris Cornu. He’s he’s currently the executive vice president, chief strategy officer of Cone Health, but wonderful mentor and friend. And at the time, he was running consulting for a strategy advisory firm, you know, an SG2 and it was awesome. I think that’s where I learned the most about the healthcare industry. Incredible experience engaging with strategic planning leaders, business development leaders, executive teams, boards of directors, enterprise service lines, specific strategic planning. But one of the main drivers of me moving away from that role is that I think sometimes you look at strategic planning as a, as a really interesting exercise, and then the next year the annual strategic planning comes back around and you, and you say, what have we, what have we moved forward with? What have we executed on? And started to see that there were real opportunities to execute more effectively against specific strategic planning initiatives and technology always seemed to be tied into these things. And I said to myself, my gosh, what? Why don’t I just get back into technology? And so the past six years or so been spent working with a variety of technology organizations, salesforce specifically, which is where I think you and I crossed paths, right? Which is really wonderful experience, but led me down the path, working with a company called New Age Expert, which was a salesforce implementation partner. New Age Experts was acquired last year by ConvergeOne so, ConvergeOne is a, is a large technology services company, got about 3000 associates around the world, 14,000 customers globally, relative, is it relevant to this conversation, 55% of our client base is is within the Fortune 100. So it gives you a sense of the types of organizations that, that we generally work with in the enterprise setting, and specific to healthcare, we work with more than 700 providers, hospitals, health systems, integrated delivery networks, payors, medtech, med device companies, digital health companies. But I think the thing that really differentiates us and I’ll take land here is the after the acquisition, like any acquisition, right, that you might be a part of, you kind of say, oh, my gosh, what’s, what’s going on here? You get really concerned about the culture, the culture is meshing well together. And I have to say that after 14 months, I could not be more pleased, impressed with the culture at ConvergeOne, and if you look at the net promoter scores that ConvergeOne has in the industry, we sit about at an 80 which the industry average is hovers around I think 42 or so. And that’s a testament to the people, right? The people and the culture, and the trust that, that our clients have with us. So it’s a, it’s a really incredible organization, we think there’s a lot of upside potential working in the healthcare ecosystem and supporting our clients there.

Niko Skievaski:
Nice. Yeah. And so you mentioned you work with a lot of very large companies and it’s not just healthcare, right? There’s many different industries that ConvergeOne is in. And as you’ve been getting up to speed and integrating into ConvergeOne as an individual, you found yourself kind of looking at the healthcare vertical. Can you talk a little bit about your, your role in particular and how you’re working with different health systems?

Matt Vestal:
Absolutely, yeah. So when I arrived to ConvergeOne, they were in the process of moving toward a, more of a vertical type organizational structure. So you’re right, Niko, they work across financial services and an entity they call SLED, like state and local governments education entities, and leadership took a step back and said, wow, a significant proportion of our business is comprised of healthcare providers and payers, medtech, med device companies, we really need to create this healthcare vertical as well and get a lot more intentional about how we’re formulating go to market strategies and understanding the various use cases and offers that we have in the market. And so my responsibility within the organization is to help support and lead that practice, right? Help formulate those strategies, help define what our, what the offers are, you know, aggregate use cases and success stories, support our field-based sales teams and delivery teams that are out there doing the awesome work. And you know, there’s really five primary areas that we work across. I think oftentimes you see technology companies that look at it, look at engagement through a product lens and we’ve wanted to really flip that on its head, right, product last. What we want to understand is what are the strategic initiatives that our customers are, are working on? What are the corresponding business problems that need to be solved to drive those strategic initiatives? And then what are the various things that we can do from a technology standpoint to support those, right? And what are the partners and products they’re in? And so the five areas that we really focus on are growth and expansion, and I’m just going to carve off providers for the sake of this conversation, and table, insurance companies and medtech, med device, but providers that we talk to are post-COVID really focused on growth and expansion again. I think the pandemic accelerated a lot of thinking and investment in digital health transformation as well as value-based care. And then I know we’re going to talk about this momentarily, but really driving improved and optimized finance and operations within the organization and the enterprise, and also cybersecurity is a core practice of ours as well. So those are the five areas that we really focus on in healthcare.

Niko Skievaski:
Nice. And it sounds like ConvergeOne almost found themselves in the healthcare industry. And what I’m imagining is happening is over the past probably 15 years or so in healthcare, we’ve been talking about moving to the cloud. And like, I’m just imagining CIOs being like, who’s the best and breed in helping people with their cloud strategy and ConvergeOne comes up, suddenly ConvergeOne’s in healthcare, and now you’re sort of formalizing the vertical and making sure that you’re strategically moving into the space to, to, to really have a more strategic approach to helping health systems grapple with the problems of how to advance their strategies using, using cloud-based technologies, is that, would that be a fair sort of summary?

Matt Vestal:
Yeah. Yeah. We’ve been in healthcare for a really long time. And I think when we looked across our portfolio of customers and looked at the data relative to the types of interactions that we were having with customers, we, we said we just need to get way more intentional. And cloud is certainly an aspect of that. I was reflecting this morning, Niko, the, the evolution toward the cloud over the course of the past 15 years, I remember, so shortly after I joined Cerner, we had a town hall meeting, I think it was like 2009 and Mike Nill, who was the, I forget, he’s like the chief engineering officer I think, back in that day. But he started talking about these offerings, about remote hosting, right, and, and this product they were calling Cerner Works and, and he’s talking about this cloud thing and all of us are going, what on earth are you? I can’t wrap, even wrap my head around what this cloud is. And he’s like, you know, I can touch the cloud, right? Like we have a data, so we have five data centers around the, around Kansas City and many more around the United States and globally. And it like I think that was the point in time where folks really started to say, especially IT leaders started to say, okay, like there’s this cloud thing coming around. And it took a long time, it is taken a long time. I remember us going back to our clients and talking about what Cerner was doing from a cloud hosting perspective and, and customers in the beginning, it was a, it was a Sisyphean effort, right? It was an uphill, it was an uphill battle trying to convince IT leaders that this thing that was a cloud, that it was secure and there was a lot of redundancy, and you had security and, and disaster recovery capabilities. And, oh, by the way, you would be able to maintain all of the compliance requirements that you would have with an on-prem solution. But I think the, the market, especially in the past 5 to 6 years, from what I’ve seen, has accelerated considerably toward, toward this thinking around the cloud and Converg One, there’s a gentleman at ConvergeOne, his name is Craig Chumley. He’s the executive vice president of Cloud and Managed Services for us. And he, he articulates it really well when he says that cloud modernization initiatives are really driven by our clients. And those clients are focused on a combination of things like delivering experiences that customers deserve and expect, but also are meeting business objectives that companies have specifically focused on top-line revenue. So so three things there, right, by growing revenues for the core business, but also enabling revenue diversification across the portfolio. I mean, what, what hospital or health system do you talk to that isn’t thinking about remote patient monitoring, that isn’t thinking about hospital at home or any kind of, of other service that they might be delivering to the market. Also competing for new customers based on a, on a customer experience. Like that’s something that’s really interesting, I think in healthcare that we’ve seen evolve over time is, is the paradigm of who the client is, is shifting from being provider-centric to patient-centric in a lot of ways. So they’re focusing, a lot of our customers are focusing on two separate but parallel paths to get patients into their networks, right? Yeah, sure. The, the traditional model of engaging with high-priority referral sources and getting those referrals sent into your network, but also patients as consumers, right? And making sure that both of those entities, referring provider and the patient as consumer, have an optimal customer experience whenever they engage with them. And then once you capture that patient, right, make sure you’re maximizing the lifetime customer value of that, of that patient, keeping them in network, making sure that every interaction they have with you is optimal. And then on the, on the cost side of things, right? I mean, we especially right now are living in a financially constrained environment, right? Incredible pressures related to labor, supply chain, inflation, and so I think a lot of, of organizations are also looking at the cloud and they’re saying, well, this, this helps us create more cost predictability and help drive incremental value to the bottom line. So those are, those are what we’re seeing in the market as it relates to cloud.

Niko Skievaski:
Yeah, I love where you’ve taken us because the cloud, I often see it being talked about as a strategy in and of itself, but it’s really kind of a means to accomplish these other things that are fundamentally important to the business of healthcare that you just went through, right, cost savings, the actual saving, saving money on the infrastructure and security aspects, building a more nimble digital health strategy that will enable things like remote patient monitoring and patient engagement tools and patient experience and access type things. So it is those strategies that the pandemic has certainly accelerated to become front and center for, for healthcare, that is, that is really driving the adoption of cloud-based technology. So, so the cloud is not, is not the actual strategy, it’s really to enable these other strategies, is that, is that fair?

Matt Vestal:
Right, that’s so well articulated, Niko, it’s not cloud for cloud sake, right? You’re seeing this incredibly competitive and quickly evolving healthcare market. I mean, gosh, look at, look at the number of mergers and acquisitions that have had that have occurred over the course of the past ten years, right? A lot of these healthcare marketplaces on the provider side are getting a lot more competitive, right? Now, competing for the same patients, how do you differentiate yourself? Well, optimal patient experience. Well, how do you do that? Well, you can deploy nimble, robust solutions and applications to better engage with those individuals. But also you look at new market entrants. My gosh, right, Niko, I’m sure you read a lot of those rock health reports around the amount of venture capital and private equity that was poured into healthcare over the course of the past three years, obviously, it’s it’s slowed considerably. However, these are organizations that have ideas, that have, have technologies that, that can compete and, and oftentimes compete upstream of, of these provider organizations. I mean, we have a lot of digital health companies that are looking at, well, how do we engage employees for large self-insured employers? And therefore, when they get upstream like that, they then, are able to control downstream referrals to those providers. And so the providers are looking at this saying, oh my gosh, you’ve got all these new market entrants that are disrupting traditional legacy channels for us. And, and we need to, we need to really figure out how we can modernize ourselves, have digital health modernization on, on our end to compete with some of these new upstart entities in the marketplace. So you’re right, I totally agree with you that it’s not cloud for cloud sake. It’s, it’s really a response to a lot of the, the market pressures and evolution that are going on in the healthcare marketplace right now.

Niko Skievaski:
Yeah, for sure. And you know, we started Redox in 2014 and at the beginning we, we knew that Redox was going to be this cloud-based middle layer that’s out between applications in the cloud and health systems. But we didn’t know if our, if our customers were the health systems or the vendors. And so when we went to market, we talked to a bunch of health systems and all of them are like, so you want me to send my data into your cloud so you can send it to other developers in their clouds? And we’re like, yeah. And you know, they’re polite, I think everyone who’s sold into health systems know that you never get, you never really get a no, but you kind of get a ok. Let’s, let’s talk again in six months, sort of like no, right? We were getting a lot of that, and I think we were realizing like, we were sort of a strategy to move data into the cloud, but there wasn’t anything on the other side, there wasn’t like, why are we doing this? And so this is really hitting home for me and reminding me of these early days and early conversations we had with health systems, because it wasn’t until we actually turned our focus to the actual digital health vendors, the ones who are creating some sort of tool that created some value for our health system, that we were able to get health systems to start actually doing that, sending data to Redox and then to these vendors through a cloud-based process. So, so we really rode into health systems on the backs of all of these vendors who were cloud native, who were being built in AWS and GCP and Azure because it made sense from a technology perspective and a scalability perspective. And that drove this, this, what I would call like a hybrid cloud adoption, because a lot of the data is moving to the cloud, but many of the source systems and many health systems are still using a, you know, they have a basement full of servers where they have a lot of the data and, you know, like Epic’s running in their basement, right? With Cerner, they might have a private cloud that’s, that’s running, but it’s not in a sort of public cloud environment. Which brings me to my question, I’ve seen, most health systems we work with are in a sort of hybrid model where they have one foot in their data center and one foot in the cloud for a lot of the, you know, the patient portal and other scheduling tools and things like that. What do you think the future of that’s going to be? Like, is it going to be, we’re going to be stuck in a hybrid world for, indefinitely? Or like, does that make sense as a long-term, sort of where the, what’s the right side of history for it? It’s kind of what I’m getting to, like are we moving towards a full cloud? Are they going to end up moving all of their EHRs and everything and that data center will become clinical space or empty? Yeah. Like where do you think it’s going as we, as we continue this adoption?

Matt Vestal:
That is a great question. And I’m going to, I wish I had a crystal ball to really have a better prediction, but I think the answer that you’re probably not going to like is it depends, right? You know, the velocity, it strikes me based on conversations that we have on a daily basis with, with our clients, that organizations that even to, a couple of years ago were, were very much averse to moving toward the cloud or are now starting to open up to the concept of it. And to your point around hybrid cloud, I think that’s a nice stepping stone. And one of the things that, that we work really closely with our customers on is hybrid cloud strategies, right? We need, what we realize very quickly and this is going back to the fact that 55% of our client base are Fortune 100 companies, right? It’s not very often that you walk into a very large enterprise organization, healthcare or not, where they’re just saying everything tomorrow is moving to the cloud, right? There’s usually, as you mentioned, Niko, kind of this patchwork quilt of on-prem, private cloud, public cloud type configuration. And so we, our technical architects and experts are very good at having conversations about how to move in a direction that is, that meets them where they’re at and where they want to go. oftentimes, we’ll hear customers come to us on the IT Teams in particular, and they’ll say the board of directors and the C-suite said that we need a cloud strategy. What do we, like what do we do here, right? And so that’s when, that’s when we really kick into gear and say, well, you don’t need to do a complete lift and shift, right? There can be a stepwise process, multi-year process to move in the direction and present your, your executive team and board of directors with a plan that’s sensible for you, meets you where, where you’re at, and addresses the needs of you and your, your patients. And there are a lot of different examples of this that I could highlight, but I would be remiss if I didn’t say that one of the core tenets of these conversations we’re having is piece of, of intellectual property that we’ve developed called C1 conversations, right? So C1 conversations is a, is … So an integration platform as a service. And really the intent is for it to facilitate a hybrid multi-cloud orchestration, so we’re doing things like.

Niko Skievaski:
Can you say that again? Hybrid, multi-cloud orchestration.

Matt Vestal:
Hybrid multi-cloud.

Niko Skievaski:
That’s beautiful.

Matt Vestal:
Orchestration. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker3:
So I can tell you, I want to hear more about these, the conversations.

Matt Vestal:
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Well, and this is where our partnership with Redox is, is really critical, right? We learn very quickly that a rate-limiting step to engaging with our healthcare provider clients is an EHR integration. Duh, right? And so we sought out a partnership with Redox because of your demonstrated capabilities to, to take these external cloud-based applications like C1 conversations and plug them into various EHRs. And we have a lot of overlap in our client base. So it just made a lot of sense. But once that data comes into C1 conversations, well, what are the other, what are the other integrations that are needed, right? Where is that data going? How is it being, how is it being collected? How, how, how are we creating logic around where that data is pushed to various other applications, right, that might not be plugged into, into Redox.

Niko Skievaski:
Yeah.

Matt Vestal:
And engine, right? And in particular, this is, this is relevant for organizations that are heavily engaged in like digital front door, patient access center type engagement. So, so we’re aggregating all of this data, right, across multiple disparate vendors. Maybe it’s, it’s Salesforce, Microsoft, Cisco, Genesis, AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, you name it, right? Where we’re aggregating this into one, one orchestrated, centralized location, right? And we’re enabling things like customer experience management, we’re supporting contact center infrastructure, we’re, we’re enabling omnichannel interactions on the part of agents with patients, right? So you can do chat, you can through your website, you can field calls and root them appropriately. You can have SMS communication and it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter what the various applications are, the intent is to stitch this together, to optimize for, for your workforce, for your agents, in particular, in that patient access center. But also, right, it’s kind of like a front of curtain back of curtain situation for patients. Patients don’t know the difference. All they know is that they’re having one unified interaction, engagement and optimized experience with that provider organization.

Niko Skievaski:
Nice. And to, to repeat back what you said to make sure I understand so the use case, a use case example of the C-one conversations is health system is trying to create a unified sort of digital experience for a patient. The patient might be interacting with the health system on the chat bot on their website, they might be requesting to schedule a visit, they might be in the portal sending a message, they might call in to check on their lab results, all of that communication needs to go somewhere. Who’s answering the phone? Who’s, who’s chatting with the patient? That’s the agent of the health system. And you’re your technology is pulling in all of these different sources of communication and allowing an agent to actually, like, communicate regardless of where the what channel it’s coming through.

Matt Vestal:
That’s exactly right, that’s exactly right. And so, so there’s kind of a back-end, front-end component to ,to C-one conversations where exactly what you, what you describe or stitching things together in the back end. But also if, if need be. And if it’s a, if it’s something that’s desirable for our customer, we can create a front-end unified agent desktop experience for that, that agent as well. But I’ll just give you, I’ll give you an example, a very large health system that we work with over in the East Coast. I had exactly the situation that that I described before, the, the IT department was approached by the executive team and said, hey, we really need to have a cloud strategy, how do we, how do we do this? And started thinking and prioritizing various initiatives. And they said, okay, Patient Access Center seems like a great place to start. There’s an organization, it’s, it’s probably pretty typical of a lot of large integrated delivery networks where they had grown through mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, you name it, with providers in their region. And they said, okay, we’ve gone through all this M&A, we’ve got all these different disparate systems that are being used by different clinics and hospitals and you name it, right? We really need to create this common experience across the same platform for all of these organizations, right? And when you do things like supporting remote patient work for individuals, really important. It was fascinating. I went on on-site there recently. And Niko, I know you’ve got experience working in a contact center, and I know you described your experience as something of it was a lot of fun, right? It’s a kind of a crazy environment. People are tossing paper planes around and it’s just it’s a fun time, fight? Well, these, these contact centers where, there was nobody there, everybody’s working from home, right? So how do you, how do you create an environment where remote workforce can do things like create 24 by 7 patient self-service capabilities and whether it be again through chat or SMS or inbound phone calls. And and also I need to also mention the fact that part of the C-one conversations offering that’s been really well received in the market is this intelligent virtual assistant like an IVA. And so think of it as AI that helps facilitate resolution of specific inquiries that don’t really need to be handled by an agent oftentimes. Like if you’re calling in and you just need directions to your, to your clinic, a chat bot can likely address those, those questions without having it roll over to a conversation with an agent. Or if you’re calling about the balance of a bill that you have, or if you’re calling about just the status of some lab results that maybe you, you went in and, and got weird with your, with your provider, they can be resolved right through this intelligent virtual assistant as opposed to leaning on those agents for, for that interaction. Which agents? There’s a, there’s a significant ROI associated with this, right? Our own calculations are that on average something like $13 dollars per interaction with an agent and cost for an organization, if you can have resolution with a, with a chat bot or this, this IVA, that can be around the order of $0.30, right? So but also if you think about it, when we look at workforce, it also creates a way better experience for that agent because they’re working at the top of their license, right. They’re taking appropriate calls from individuals that are inquiring about certain things instead of, instead of answering relatively basic questions that could be answered by, by the IVA. …

Niko Skievaski:
I’m just imagining.

Matt Vestal:
I went off, I went off, off, off script there a little bit, but.

Speaker3:
No, no, I’ll good. Yeah, I’m just, I’m just thinking of the old, the old crusty call trees of like press one for, for this, press two for that, and this sounds like a much, a much better solution where, yeah. It’s not using the sort of call tree logic, right? It’s, it’s a little more, a little more a little smarter than that.

Matt Vestal:
That’s right. I mean, I’m happy. I’m happy you mentioned that, right? Because how many of us just call in to whatever, whatever organization we’re working with.

Niko Skievaski:
Yeah.

Matt Vestal:
And we get, we just, we hear the press and you don’t even get to one before you start just pounding on zero because you’re like, I don’t want to go through this experience, right? And there’s a woman named Kathy Sobel with ConvergeOne, she leads our customer experience strategy and has wonderful contact center experience and works a lot in healthcare. And she said the five, the five worst words that you can say as an agent to an individual calling in is how can I help you? Because you’ve gone, right, even if you’ve, even if you’ve done that call tree saying, all right, press one, oh press one if you want to schedule an appointment with a provider, all right, then it rolls you into another one, right? It’s like, well, press one, if you’re looking for a primary care provider, press two, you know what I’m saying? And then it rolls you into another one. And so, yeah, I mean, why not lean on technology to say, hey, Niko, thank you so much for calling in, what can I help you with today? I’m looking to schedule an appointment, right? And then it takes you through a series of, of questions, right? And you’re, you’re engaging in a more personalized manner with that, with that, that chat bot or that IVA. And then when you get rolled into a conversation with an agent, there’s other technologies. Again, stitching all these things together in the back end, it can say, hey, Niko is calling in and here’s relevant information about what he’s calling in for so that that agent might be able to say, hey, Niko, thank you so much for, for calling. Just give me, just give me 5 seconds to review what you’re, what you’re calling in for, okay, thank you, I see that you’re trying to schedule an appointment with your provider, let’s move forward from there, it’s a way better experience. And it’s a small, it can be, this is a small thing. This is a small part of what we do with our, with our provider-client base. But I think it’s really important and it’s, it’s fascinating to see, again, going back to the enterprise strategic initiatives that most, if not all of our clients have in play around, optimize experience, digital health modernization, patient access, growth, etc. You know, they get to that next phase where they say, boy, we need to execute on this and how do we do this from a technology standpoint? You know that’s where, that’s where I think ConvergeOne really shines in our interactions with, with customers.

Speaker3:
Nice. I am thinking back to my EHR implementation days and just thinking about implementing a solution like you’re talking about and, and using that as part of a cloud strategy. What are some of the challenges when it comes to actually adopting this and, and moving it into production?

Matt Vestal:
Change, change management. Niko, you, you hit the nail on the head. It’s, it’s really challenging. And I’m sure that, that the Redox team likely experiences similar things, right? Where all the way across the organization, you might have detractors, right? Maybe it’s, maybe it’s an individual who feels like their role might be threatened by a new technology or service coming, coming to, to the organization. Maybe it’s, it’s someone in the business unit that would have selected a different technology or has a relationship with a different vendor that was their preference. It, what we find to be really critical and key is creating a robust project structure that pulls in all of the relevant key stakeholders and using the fact that we have strong relationships with a lot of our clients and we have wonderful resources, again, going back to that, that net promoter score of 80, there’s a reason that we focus on hiring the right people, it makes adoption and deployment or deployment and adoption of any technology a lot easier when you’ve got a cohesive working unit and a lot of trust built into that relationship with a customer because adoption is so critical and also so challenging at the same time, trying to think if I have anything else to say about that, that was kind of a high-level non-answer to an answer.

Niko Skievaski:
No, it totally makes sense. Yeah. And any software implementation comes with, comes with these challenges, right? And getting people to actually fundamentally change the way they do their jobs. I know I struggle with this when, when our team introduces new, new tech and they’re like, hey, we need you to, to write in this thing now, I’m like, I don’t even know how to sign into that. And it’s basic stuff, but it’s, it’s challenging when, when we have our habits and ways of doing things that new technology adoption changes. Yeah. So I can, I can totally empathize with that. I am, I am interested sort of in a nice summary here. Like what is the, if, if you think about like over the next year, we’re sort of moving into this post-COVID world or figuring out what post-COVID looks like, if we ever even can get that. But like, what are you most excited about when you think about the health systems you’re working with and the challenges they’re having today? Like, is there a light at the end of the tunnel in a year or are we going to have more challenges? Like like what is the, where do you think will be?

Matt Vestal:
Oh, this is an awesome question. Here’s, here’s what excites me most, right? As an industry, I think that we’ve been moving along a path of generally speaking, the status quo is, is good enough. And I think the pandemic really opened a lot of, a lot of folks and organization’s eyes to the fact that there are a lot of opportunities to improve things like patient access, like addressing health disparities, right? Like not necessarily focusing so much on the traditional fee-for-service market where you’re cross-subsidizing loss-leading services with very high margin procedural-based interventions, right? What are all these, all these organizations, all these providers were really scared when they had to shut down their operating rooms and, and ambulatory surgery centers and postpone orthopedic procedures and things of that nature, because those are the, those are the financial leading services that are provided. And so I think a lot of organizations are taking a step back after the pandemic and saying, okay, is there a way that we can, we can deploy technologies or care delivery approaches or engage in more meaningful value-based payment and contracting models that reduce risk, right, or mitigate risk across our enterprise. And my hope is that we, we can continue down that path instead of moving back into a pre-pandemic mindset of just fee-for-service, right? And I think honestly, I think that there are a lot of interesting things that are going on at a macro level that may force organization’s hands at doing that, right? We always talk about things like Medicare and Medicaid, and they’re very important programs, right? So Medicare gets 65 million Americans that are enrolled in Medicare. A lot of them are moving into Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid has 85 million Americans. But when you look at traditional health insurance, right, the vast majority of Americans get their health insurance through their employers, there’s 160 million Americans that get their health insurance through employers. And I think employers are a bit of a sleeping giant in the healthcare industry, and they’re starting to wake up and say, hold on a second. I’ve got, I’ve got a say in this, right? Because what the, what I’m paying for, I’m not getting a return on investment on, right? If you, when we, when we do an analysis over the course of the past 20 years, and we look at wages and inflation and healthcare expenditures, there’s a reason that Warren Buffett calls healthcare like a tapeworm on the American economy because it just gobbles up, those wage increases. And I think for a family of four, the average total premium, something like 22,000 dollars, right, a year. So it’s 16,000 dollars paid by the employer, 6000 dollars paid by the, by the family, that’s a lot of money, right? That is a lot of money. And, and so you’re starting to see lots of, of things like direct to employer contracting, you’re starting to see organizations come to the market with really clever benefit structures, again, that get upstream from a lot of these provider organizations and disrupt those legacy channels by which patients are accessing those services. And, and those providers are not going to be able to just compete on saying, okay, I need to be in network with this carrier, and these are the negotiated prices that I have. They’re going to have to say, okay, how do I also win, how do I also win the hearts and minds of these patients over here that that might have completely different benefit structures and decisions to make relative to how they consume services? And, you know, providers are really going to have to have to think critically about how they deliver on, on cost, quality, and experience in a different way in the coming years, I think. So that’s what I’m most excited about, Niko, I think that we’re going to see a far different healthcare, healthcare market in the next 5 to 10 years than we have over the course of the past 5 to 10.

Niko Skievaski:
Yeah, yeah. I am hopeful for that as well. And I love that you brought that up because it’s something that we’ve, it seems like there’s been unity around wanting to move, move out of a fee-for-service world, wanting to deliver better patient experiences, wanted to deliver better value for the cost that we’re putting into it. But it’s like, a lot of the drivers seem to be missing in the past and there wasn’t an urgency to do it. And that’s what I feel like has fundamentally changed. But yeah, I so appreciate you coming on the show today and talking us through what’s going on at ConvergeOne. I’m so excited that we’re able to actually formally work together after all these years of, you know, running into each other around the, the Denver scene and the conference scene and the salesforce world. So, yeah, it is, it is a pleasure to have you on and be working with you, so thank you so much.

Matt Vestal:
Likewise! We’re, I’m personally so grateful that you gave me the opportunity to come on and also personally grateful to have the relationship we do, Niko. And also we’re incredibly excited as an organization about the relationship we have with, with Redox. And I think that there’s going to be a lot more exciting things to come this year and next.

Niko Skievaski:
Nice, great. Well, let’s, let’s, let’s do a wrap. Do you want to lead us in a one clap? Do you know how this works?

Matt Vestal:
No.

Niko Skievaski:
Yeah, you can do it. The listeners can can join in as well. But you basically, you just say one clap and then we clap together in unison.

Matt Vestal:
I like it. One clap.

Niko Skievaski:
Yeah.

Matt Vestal:
One clap.

Niko Skievaski:
We did it. That’s how we had meeting, that’s how we do in meetings at Redox.

Matt Vestal:
It’s probably more cohesive. I, I need to get a little bit better at that, but.

Niko Skievaski:
No, no, that, that was perfect. That’s, that’s how they, that’s how they go. It’s hard to be in sync on, on Zoom, but we are best of it.

Niko Skievaski:
Thanks again for joining us on the show. If you’re interested in learning more about the work Matt and his team are up to, check out their website at ConvergeOne.com. That’s ConvergeOne all spelled out, no numbers in that. This has been a production of the Redox podcast. If you haven’t subscribed yet, be sure to do so, we talk about the latest trends in digital health with the industry’s most knowledgeable leaders. And of course, if you liked it, leave a review, share us with your friends. I also wanted to drop a quick plug for the Redox Connect Conference happening in Philly on October 18th. I mostly want to tell you about it so we can hang out at the Masonic Temple together in Philadelphia. If you’ve ever been to a redox event, you know that this conference will be something unique and if you’re a Redox customer, it’s free. So check it out. It’s RedoxEngine.com/Connect-Conference-2022. Sorry for the, the long URL, but that’s where the details are, where you can find registration. And of course for customers, let your customer, your Redox counterpart, know if you’d like to attend and we’ll get you a free pass. Thank you again for listening to the Redox Podcast.

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As you can see from this episode’s cover art, Matt Vestal from ConvergeOne brought a little extra flair and personality to this installment of the Redox podcast. In addition to having a wicked sense of humor, Matt has spent more than 15 years in healthcare technology, and recently joined C1 to help transform the healthcare arm of their IT and cloud offerings. In our conversation, Matt offers a wealth of insights on the future of cloud strategy in the healthcare space, including his vision for how to modernize the composable patient experience through seamless technology adoption.

“It’s not cloud for cloud’s sake. You’re seeing this incredibly competitive and quickly evolving healthcare market. When competing for the same patients, how do you differentiate yourself? Optimal patient experience. How do you do that? Well, you can deploy nimble, robust solutions and applications to better engage with those individuals. It’s really a response to a lot of the market pressures and evolution that are going on in healthcare right now.”

Matt Vestal, Healthcare Provider Lead at ConvergeOne