In the front hall of RowdMap’s office, a row of flags adorns the wall, proudly highlighting the alma mater of the company’s 35 employees. There’s a mix of Ivy League and local schools, a variety of educations and backgrounds that, for co-founder Josh Rosenthal, represents a key element of the company’s dynamic.
The downtown office is nestled against Louisville’s 21c museum hotel and spans half of the second floor of the building next door. Inside, the environment reflects the work-hard, play-hard culture of the startup. Featuring plenty of open space decorated in bright colors with playful, modern themes, the tone here conveys the idea that earnest work doesn’t have to be boring.
RowdMap was dreamed into existence by husband and wife team Josh and Melanie Rosenthal along with Burak Sezen five years ago. They burst onto the healthcare scene with a unique risk-readiness platform that they offer to payers and providers alongside a useful mix of data analysis and consulting. As recent policy changes de-emphasize and even begin to penalize fee-for-service care, this is a service that becomes increasingly necessary. Josh Rosenthal explains, “Our business is really in business to business, we serve health plans and providers,” helping them find the path to creating a chain of high-value care.
“We’re using the data as a stick for transformation,” Rosenthal shares, highlighting a new medical economic reality for payers and providers — a change that benefits everyone, especially patients. What RowdMap is doing, says Rosenthal, “is flipping the model.”
And that flip is garnering a lot of attention for RowdMap within the industry, which means they’re growing. They’re currently looking to add another client strategist to their team.
Client strategists work closely with analysts to aid clients with the interpretation of their own data. This allows them to build better networks, promote stronger chains of high-value care and prioritize lower dollar-per-outcome results for patients.
“We’re essentially product people and problem solvers, there are no professional managers here,” says Rosenthal. He stresses a work model that doesn’t include a boss holding the hands of employees through a checklist of what they need to do next. Instead, team members within this flat organization are armed with the tools and resources they need “to create and innovate,” giving them comfort and latitude to fail forward and learn in action.
“Our approach is to get clients to think differently,” explains Client Strategist Eric Andreoli, with the very deliberate goal of transcending the traditional client model. The priority of the client strategy team, notes Andreoli, is “to help clients understand and then act on all the data we have.”
In practice, this might look like helping physician groups examine referral data for the end result of improved patient care or finding new ways to make physician ratings more easily accessible to consumers.
Day-to-day in the role of Client Strategist
The Client Strategist role functions somewhere between a project management and consultant position, with team members acting as liaisons between the company’s data team and RowdMap clients.
Strategists value a truly involved, collaborative relationship with clients that’s complimentary to the payer or provider. As a result, says Andreoli, “Our clients love us.” Sometimes there are even hugs.
Client Strategist Alex Brayton notes that the reason for this is two-fold. Part of it, he says, “is our culture and our relationship [with our clients], but also,” he admits, “our stuff is really good.”
Both Andreoli and Brayton have been with company for around five months and hail from a more traditional healthcare consulting background. The transition to RowdMap from a more rigid culture has been, Brayton says, “great.” But what he finds the most rewarding, he adds, is “seeing that moment when [what we do] clicks with the client, and their eyes just light up.” They realize that “this stuff is new and unique and cool, and now I get it.” That moment of clarity is one that Brayton knows personally. “I get why the clients love it,” he says, “because I remember that experience as well.”
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