Former Microsoft exec named as Providence St. Joseph Health's CFO
- Venkat Bhamidipati has been named EVP and CFO for Providence St. Joseph Health.
He will oversee finance, revenue diversification, accounting and tax and reimbursement, as well as real estate, supply chain, growth and revenue cycle.
Bhamidipati previously served as managing director for business development and growth strategy at Microsoft, a company he worked at for 13 years. July 31 will be his first day as CFO at the 50-hospital system.
Bhamidipati comes to Providence at a time providers and health systems are going through large, systematic transformations. He is looking to leverage his Microsoft experience to look into technology investments which could equate to new revenue streams for the hospital operator.
There are many drivers changing the healthcare industry. An aging population with chronic conditions in tandem with uncertainty coming out of Washington over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has set a backdrop for providers who are facing strained budgets. Meanwhile, individuals, potentially worried about medical costs, have been showing up to hospitals less and less.
In addition, cost structures for providers are changing while new technologies are emerging in the space and looking to grab legacy tech marketshare. Bhamidipati told Healthcare Dive investments in such technologies will be critical for the system.
"The healthcare industry is going through pretty broad multidimensional transformation," Bhamidipati said, adding that some of the areas to watch are in the digital health and patient consumerism spaces. "Both of those have improved patient outcomes and new business models. Ultimately, in healthcare it's about creating value for patients and creating the highest outcomes at the most cost efficient way," he said.
While at Microsoft, Bhamidipati was a key player in the company's transition to cloud products.
He told Healthcare Dive he'll be looking at investments for Providence that can provide personalized patient and consumer experience. "It's not just engaging your patient but [also] how you better empower your care teams and improve care team productivity," he said, adding Big Data and artificial intelligence could be means to streamline operations and improve care outcomes.
With a focus on patient care and balancing the system's cost structure, Bhamidipati stated he'll be looking to be smart with demand drivers and make sure investments are in the right areas for the system. He noted platforms that he's excited about are ones that provide insights into operational best practices while harnessing cloud, mobile and social technology to improve value for patients.
Bhamidipati said these technologies will be a key strategy for the system's revenue stream and growth opportunities going forward. "Providers have been too dependent on hospital revenue, and given declining reimbursement levels, I'm excited to think through some new revenue streams to support the mission," he said. He noted he will be looking at digital/patient engagement offerings, population health efforts and leveraging the scale and size of Providence to potentially scale out and bring new tools to the market.
"I'm looking forward to engaging with the senior leadership team and business leaders to come up with a value-generating portfolio," he said.
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