As we suggested in our last post, major change is afoot at Acumen! We are well and truly on our way with our Acumen 2.0 powered by Epic product, as well as our Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) service. We also have a leadership change with the retirement of our longtime president Dana Hensley last year. To discuss these and other changes including our new blog format and cadence, we sat down for a Q&A with our new company president, Sam Gopal.
Q: How has your transition to this role been so far?
Sam: First off, I’d like to congratulate Dana on his well-deserved retirement after a long and distinguished career in healthcare administration overall, and at Acumen in particular. Dana along with Drs. Dugan and Frank Maddux, Dr. Ketchersid, and other Acumen pioneers have built an amazing team and foundational company culture of customer focus. It is my honor and privilege to be able to stand on the shoulders of these giants and continue our company’s mission of delivering tools and services to help nephrology practices remain independent and grow in a rapidly changing healthcare industry landscape. Now six months into the role, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with several of our client practices and most of our team. I appreciate the magnitude of the change effort that Acumen 2.0 represents for our clients and our team. I’m equally inspired by the tremendous opportunity this represents for all stakeholders involved—for patients, for physician practices, and for Acumen. Thank you to all of our clients who made the time to meet at RPA last week. If you missed us at RPA, I look forward to visiting with you soon and learning how we can better serve you.
Q: Can you share your thoughts on why we’re transitioning to Acumen 2.0?
Sam: At our core, Acumen has strived to improve the user experience for our nephrology providers and practice users with our software tools. We’ve successfully delivered on this, and Acumen today has the market-leading nephrology-specific EHR, PM, and mobile charge capture products. So, you might ask, why are we messing with a good thing?
There are a few reasons, and they’re all about you—our nephrology practice clients:
- The transition to value-based care, care coordination, and new meaningful use requirements for data sharing and interoperability have significantly raised the bar for EHR compliance
- With the growing shortage of nephrologists entering the specialty, there is a compelling need for tools to establish standards of care and better support and scale the impact of NPs and ACPs
- Payors are demanding more sophisticated data-driven reporting and quality performance tied to integrated care
After thorough due diligence, we’ve invested in Epic as our “platform for the future.” Our team has worked on tailoring the Epic software to be high performing and focused to the needs of nephrology practices working with our Medical Advisory Boards and several of your peer physician practices. Your response and overall positive feedback have confirmed that this is the right direction for Acumen 2.0.
Q: What is the rationale for launching an RCM service?
Sam: We recognize that our move to Acumen 2.0 and related timing is a unilateral decision and can lead to an unforeseen change burden on your practice. We have developed our RCM service to provide you with flexible choices and support your practice to ensure an operationally successful transition. We have assembled a team with significant nephrology-specific RCM experience as well as deep Epic experience to complement your practice staff so that they can continue to focus on the individual needs of your practice. We have also developed compelling pricing models to best suit your practice’s financial preference—be it reducing transition costs, retaining your practice staff, or ensuring continued performance metrics. We invite you to contact your Acumen representative to learn more.
Q: What changes are in store for the blog?
Sam: We appreciate our committed blog audience and subscribers. With our new products and services, we are re-focusing our blog to cover the following themes:
- Value-based care information: Updates on Quality improvement, MIPS, MACRA, and related topics
- Business of nephrology: Content and updates on practice management, RCM, and business issues
- Acumen 2.0 and Epic platform: Updates on the Acumen 2.0 roadmap and new functionality releases
- Community feedback: Interviews with Acumen clients on their experiences
- Clinical updates: Guest posts by FMC Medical Office on clinical topics
- Health IT updates: Connected/digital health and implications for nephrology practices
- Healthcare industry updates: Noteworthy briefings on disruption and relevant macro topics
We will be introducing new blog writers from the Acumen team as we cover these expanded topics. We will also be moving to a two-week cadence for our blog going forward to allow us to go deeper in each post.
What additional topics would you like to see us cover? What are your thoughts on this new blog cadence? (As always, you can share your feedback by posting a comment below.)
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sam: I live in Austin, TX, with my wife and two teenage daughters. I travel frequently to our offices in Nashville, TN, and Durham, NC, as well as to meet with our clients. In my free time, I enjoy riding my motorcycle through scenic Texas hill country.
Do you have any additional questions for Sam or the Acumen team? Please submit a comment below and we’ll post them here along with our responses.