16208438361_60e48e879a_zInside RowdMap’s Whiskey Row office, this innovative startup is cultivating creativity and collaboration. Open space, playful décor, and fun perks—like a fully stocked bourbon bar and a giant connect-4 board—exemplify a come-as-you-are philosophy that anchors the company.

Typical startup? Maybe. Success in disrupting the healthcare industry and creating better outcomes for all involved? Absolutely.

So how are they doing?

Recognized by the White House Chief Data Scientist and Chief Technology Officer of the United States Department of Health and Human Service, check. Key partnership with U.S. News & World Report, check. Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year, check. Working with industry leaders and gaining attention from across the country, check.

full_logo_whiteIn the beginning there was data and a dare

The origin story of the business is one for the books—it began with a dare to do something great from Todd Park, then the Chief Technology Officer of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Co-founders Josh and Melanie Rosenthal, along with Burak Sezen, came to the table with years of experience, as they tell it, “working with member and claim-level data, predictive models and provider profiling from the Dartmouth Atlas for Unwarranted Variation.”

RowdMap provides a mix of medical economics consulting and data analysis through their risk-readiness platform. The company uses open data to help payers and providers create stronger value-chains of care—ones in which everyone involved sees a benefit Doctors who prioritize high-value care are better compensated, providers are able to optimize their networks, and, most significantly, patients receive an enriched standard of care.

As fee-for-service models become eradicated due to changing healthcare policies across the U.S., the demand for RowdMap’s services continues to grow. The company is seeing so much growth, in fact, that they’re hiring two new client strategists. One of these positions is for a dual speaker who’s fluent in both English and Spanish.

18359910169_06552c1272_zDon’t change the player, change the game

RowdMap’s client strategists, who function as project managers and consultants, work side-by-side with analysts to help clients interpret data about the care they provide. “We’re essentially… problem solvers,” Josh Rosenthal explains. “Our clients are buying the answer to a question.”

The organization uses a flat model, and they champion creativity and innovation from every team member, regardless of their role. Employees are given the tools and support they need to learn while doing, which opens the door for a more invested and genuine specialist-client partnership.

Client Strategist Eric Andreoli, who has been with RowdMap for around six months, explains that the aim is a truly “collaborative relationship.” But an innovative relationship takes an innovative approach—one that gets clients thinking differently. Tactile items, like Legos and Silly Putty, are staples of many client meetings. “We bring these,” says Andreoli, “because we want our clients to transcend ‘business as usual.’ We’re going to talk about a different way of thinking about existing things.” Just like at the RowdMap office, the art of creative play is a bedrock for successful work.

Expanding into new markets


A Spanish-speaking client specialist will enable RowdMap to extend its reach to include “rural, poor and underserved areas,” says Rosenthal, and like other client strategist roles, the position will entail some travel to access communities that are most at-risk.

“Reducing low-value care” at both the payer and provider levels, notes Rosenthal, “creates additional care for those who need it.” It also helps allocate more “dollars for payers and providers,” he explains, which is important because payers and providers “with social and public missions to serve all geographies really need to pay attention to low-value care in order to make their missions work.”

“Doctors used to get paid to do more stuff,” Rosenthal explains, “but in the past year, that’s shifted—now the focus is to get people healthier.” Client strategists play a key role in that outcome, acting as liaisons, Andreoli says, to “help clients understand and then act on all the data we have.”

Part of the job entails meeting with clients, “talking with them about what their priorities are, what they want to do and what they want to accomplish, and then translating that into a project plan,” says Andreoli. Day to day, he continues, client specialists function as a valuable resource for “pushing project plans forward.” For Rosenthal, the position does the most good when client specialists are able to “coach [clients] through the conversations that are creating high-value chains of care.”

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