Not a single player in healthcare benefits from the slow, paper-based provider data management processes that plague the system. Fortunately, through our marketplace-like ecosystem and platform, Madaket is able to work with payers, providers, partners, and even competitors to enable seamless, automated healthcare administration.
Having been with Madaket for six years, Rob Bradley has seen it all and worked with every type of organization Madaket can engage. For this edition of Open Source, we sat down with Rob, VP of Channel Management, dad, and concert-lover to discuss just what it means to be a neutral industry platform, what he’s learned in his tenure, and what his life is like outside of work.
You recently had a role shift. Tell us about the change from Customer Engagement to Channel Management and why this new role was created.
Over the past six years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with every customer and every partner we’ve engaged with. I’ve loved creating solutions that are mutually beneficial and overcome challenges that we or they alone could not achieve. Because I know Madaket and our product intimately, it became the logical transition to focus full time on supporting our growing partner ecosystem. It’s a natural evolution of working directly with customers utilizing our product, understanding their usage, taking that experience, and working with partners that are potentially reselling the Madaket solution or engaging with new customers to help them go to market and support their efforts.
Madaket has always been a neutral hub that can work with all types of organizations. Tell us more about how Madaket engages with these different groups.
Madaket always has and always will sit in the middle of all the chaos between providers, payers, and the many other companies that are involved in healthcare administration. What’s unique about Madaket is that we are truly a neutral third party. We have non-revenue-driven relationships on all sides of the ecosystem. As a result, we enable customers and competitors to come together to collaborate and improve healthcare.
We can take in data, reformat it in a very flexible manner, deliver it to a payer, as well as deliver that same data in a different format, in a different method to a trading partner, clearinghouse, or a physician’s office. It allows us to stay neutral, see trends, and educate both payer and provider customers on what we see in the industry through our ecosystem.
You’ve been with Madaket for six years. What have you learned in that time?
As an early employee at Madaket, I’ve had the opportunity to do almost every role in the business, from basic setup processes (adding forms and documentation and data into our system) to being engaged with our first few customers in selling and onboarding. So I’ve learned to appreciate the scaling of a technology business and validating every aspect of building a product. We know technology, we know the processes that we support, but it’s critical that we engage our customers, our prospects, and our industry partners because they are sharing knowledge of industry trends, areas of healthcare that we haven’t been exposed to ensure that we’re thinking through how our solution adapts and matures to meet all of their needs. It’s amazing; the six years have flown by. Two kids a few moves later, I’m still excited about what we’re doing today and what the future has in store.
What do you think Madaket has learned in these six years?
In the early years, we were very bullish on how easy it is to solve healthcare challenges with technology, and because “it was so easy,” it would be logical for industry players to adopt technology quickly to replace manual processes. That’s not true. What we have a greater appreciation for now is that healthcare is risk averse. “If it’s not broken, why fix it?” is a mentality that we hear time and time again. It’s impacted how we build our products and how we engage with customers. A lot of things that Madaket automates historically have been done very manually. From a customer or partner standpoint, it’s not scalable, it’s very expensive, but it does increase the level of control of the process. Someone who’s been doing the same process for 20 years has full control over that process, and while there might be errors along the way, they feel confident in the process that they know. So getting the buy-in from individuals like that is something that we need to be very cognizant of as we go through the engagement process.
We know that many processes in healthcare are actually broken. So how does Madaket get people to see that what’s “not broken” actually is?
It takes a really healthy discovery and dialogue with our prospects or customers and being able to empathize with the challenges that they see on a daily basis. We hear things like, “Payer X still requires me to download a form, sign it with a very specific color ink, put a letter in an envelope, and send it off to them.” Madaket has overcome these challenges so that individuals don’t have to do those painful tasks again and again and again. We respect and appreciate what it’s like to be in the trenches, and we’re often getting them to see what their job or career can look like when they reduce the eight hours they’re spending on tedious tasks and focus on more exciting opportunities that drive more value than signing documents with ink.
What does success look like for Madaket from your perspective?
Success looks like solving more problems. It’s demonstrating that Madaket can reduce lifecycles of certain tasks and see validated results. An area that always has been a focus and will continue to be a focus is gaining the trust and respect of major payers. As we talked earlier about resistance to change, payers have often demonstrated that in regards to leveraging new tools and technology to automate processes in their world. If we can overcome the challenges and build that trust and camaraderie with payers, the impact of those wins will be felt across the provider ecosystem.
What’s the best part of working at Madaket?
Madaket has had a culture of everyone being equal, and it’s a very flat organization from a communication and support perspective. The entire company is brought into our central goals of the business. My ability to go to Eric, our CEO, or someone in the trenches on a daily basis and have good, healthy dialogue is so valuable. More importantly, those individuals that are in the trenches supporting our customers and databases are very comfortable coming to me and working through issues, discussing major opportunities, or sharing wins. Beyond that, we have a trusting culture that’s allowed me as someone with young children and a crazy personal schedule to be very successful and contribute in a way that is significant but not monitored on a 9-5, punch-in-punch-out schedule. The startup world has a reputation of people working hundreds of hours and not having other priorities. But that’s not the case here. Madaket has a good balance of appreciating your personal life and commitments outside work, while fostering in you a commitment to the overall goals of Madaket.
What’s your life like outside of work?
My life these days is filled with supporting and managing and playing with my kids. I have a 3-year-old, Miles, and a 5-year-old, Ruby, who are the best parts of my life. They are extremely fun, extraordinarily stressful, exhausting, and many other things — some that are appropriate, some that are less appropriate to share. But I’m loving spending time with my family and watching my kids have small wins. For example, my daughter went to camp for the first time recently, and she caught her first fish. Beyond that, I spend my time in the winter snowboarding as much as I possibly can. Before the pandemic, I’d spend at least a few days a year, if not more, going on the road and seeing live concerts. Phish is my favorite band. So those are things that I like to enjoy outside of work as well.