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Podcasting and Healthcare IT Insights
Episode 640

Podcasting and Healthcare IT Insights

Joy Rios, Co-Founder of Chirpy Bird Health IT Consulting and Podcast Host

In this podcast, I am excited to host Joy Rios, the co-founder of Chirpy Bird Health I.T. Consulting and the Hit Like a Girl podcast co-host. Today, we hear Joy discuss her podcast and I.T. consulting business’s genesis and how her company helps clients by providing transitioning advice on transitioning to value-based care. Joy also shares insightful anecdotes, the joy of a supportive community through the Hit Like a Girl podcast, and key learnings from setbacks she has experienced. You can hear Joy‘s passion for healthcare as she speaks. We’ve really enjoyed our interview with Joy, and we hope you will, too!

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Podcasting and Healthcare IT Insights

Episode 640

About Joy Rios

Joy is the co-founder of Chirpy Bird Health IT Consulting and the Hit Like a Girl podcast’s co-host. She has written five books on quality payment programs to help doctors navigate the transition to value-based care. And she’s also passionate about advocating for women leaders in health care and health I.T.

Podcasting and Healthcare IT Insights with Joy Rios, Co-Founder of Chirpy Bird Health IT Consulting and Podcast Host transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Podcasting and Healthcare IT Insights with Joy Rios, Co-Founder of Chirpy Bird Health IT Consulting and Podcast Host was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Saul Marquez:
Hey, Outcomes Rocket listeners, Saul Marquez here. I get what a phenomenal asset a podcast could be for your business and also how frustrating it is to navigate editing and production, monetization, and achieving the ROI you’re looking for. Technical busywork shouldn’t stop you from getting your genius into the world, though. You should be able to build your brand easily with a professional podcast that gets attention. A patched-up podcast could ruin your business. Let us do the technical busy work behind the scenes while you share your genius on the mic and take the industry stage. Visit smoothpodcasting.com To learn more. That’s smoothpodcasting.com to learn more.

Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket, Saul Marquez is here, and today I have the privilege of hosting Joy Rios. She is the co-founder of Chirpy Bird Health IT Consulting and the co-host of the Hit Like a Girl podcast. That’s the Hit Like a Girl podcast. She has written five books on quality payment programs to help doctors navigate the transition to value-based care. And she’s also passionate about advocating for women leaders in health care and health I.T, and today we’re going to be talking about her activities as a fellow protester and health care, but also the work that she’s doing and Value-Based Care. So, Joy, such a privilege to have you here with us today. Thanks so much for joining.

Joy Rios:
Saul, this is a real pleasure. Thank you very much for having me.

Saul Marquez:
Absolutely. And so you’re up to some really cool things, traveling the country during COVID. Super interesting.

Joy Rios:
Safely.

Saul Marquez:
Safely. That’s right. Safely, driving, masks. All the good stuff. National parks. And among that, doing some really great things with your podcast and health care. So before we dive into the nuts and bolts of your impact, tell us a little bit more about what inspires your work in health care.

Joy Rios:
Sure. Happy to share. I just have a real belief that it is possible to do well by doing good. And so for the last probably five years and as much as since I kind of got my MBA back in the O’s, I’ve really just tried to make my career about having a positive impact in the world. And I know that sounds really, really cheesy, but there’s a lot of different ways to do that. And ultimately, that is something that drives me. And it’s shown up in different ways, specifically around the ideas behind value-based care and like the goals of getting there as our health care system, because as a complete system, it’s something that shows up for me as something that’s been broken for a really long time. So being on the track of being able to help and kind of get it going into a direction that is a little bit more useful for more people is something that means a lot to me. And then also being part of a culture change around women in particular. And I guess that kind of speaks to underserved communities or communities that are not necessarily at the forefront of our society. So, I mean, that’s kind of the nuts and bolts of it.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. Yeah. Now, that’s really neat. And there’s a big need for the type of support you guys provide, both with the work, that Chirpy Bird and also the inspiration that you guys are providing with your podcast Hit Like a Girl. So take us where you want to take us Joy, and talk to us about higher adding value to the health care ecosystem.

Joy Rios:
Well, I guess I’ll start with the Chirpy Bird stuff. And that is essentially we were health I.T. consulting. There’s this huge push to move towards digital be forth with a ton of clients that have started out on paper and are adopting an electronic health record and then figuring out how to use it. So we’ve been at this for quite a bit. We work with a lot of ambulatory providers, and regardless of what their specialty is, we tend to be vendor agnostic. So not really married to a specific technology or software or anything, but ultimately just looking at what are the goals, figuring out where the practice is and how can we get them from here to there and sort of align with what the government is asking for them. And I feel like a lot is being especially now a lot is being asked of from providers and nurses and their staff. And just it’s so important for them to be able to spend time and pay attention to what patients need that we try to do our best to kind of help them with the administrative like the back end stuff. I kind of liken what we do to being an accountant that at the end of the year they need to submit some data to the government and we can, as an accountant, help them make sure that it’s the right information that reflects the best for them to help them get the highest return, essentially.

Saul Marquez:
Now, that’s so interesting. And so are we talking about really taking a look at Medicare and it’s merit-based incentive payments and maximizing it?

Joy Rios:
That’s right. So, I mean, it started out with programs with meaningful use and the H.R. incentive program. But that has evolved over time to measuring quality, measuring improvement activities, looking at the costs, and also how practices use their technology. And all of that is wrapped up into the merit-based incentive payment system, which for folks that don’t follow that closely means that every doctor gets assigned to score somewhere between zero and one hundred every single year.

Saul Marquez:
And you want to be near the hundred, right?

Joy Rios:
Yeah. So you want to be close. It’s like you want an A right in school and then your reimbursement rate for Medicare gets tied to that score and it resets every year. So clinicians this year and 2020 are working on their score, which will determine their payment in 2022, two years from now. So it’s complicated. It’s complicated every single year. And we just try to make it as simple as possible so that folks can focus on the work that they should be working on, which is like working on patients, making sure that they’re as healthy as they can be.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, no, that’s great. And so this is key right. And if you’re a physician listening to this solo practitioner or not part of a large IDM, you’re responsible for tracking and managing your score Chirpy Bird is doing some pretty neat stuff to help you stay at the higher end of those dollars to be earned. What would you say makes what you guys do different or better than what’s available today in that respect?

Joy Rios:
Well, there are not very many organizations out there quite like us. There’s plenty of people that maybe work for an EHR company or they’ll be coming at it from a specific angle. And it’s usually tied to a larger vendor. And our consulting is one hundred percent agnostic. So we kind of don’t care what software you use or what method you want to report it. If you’re using your H.R., if you’re using claims, if you’re using a registry, you know, none of that particularly matters. We’re going to look at what the rules require, what resources a practice has in place, looking at their staff, how much time they have to dedicate, who’s their biller, what are their practices, et cetera, what are their goals and making sure that not only are they measuring the quality things that they actually care about, but that they actually want to make improvements on specifically to their what outcomes are they looking for and how can we get them there faster in line with the government requirements ultimately. So it’s kind of a niche thing that we do. And it’s nice. It’s somewhat tailor-made and meeting people where they are to kind of get them as far as we can.

Saul Marquez:
That’s really cool and sounds like a really useful service. And so as you think about stories, if you like, stories really resonate with all of us. What’s the story that you could go to that shows sort of the improvement in outcomes are probably most likely here. Business model innovation? I don’t know. I might be wrong. It might be both.

Joy Rios:
So one thing that comes up for me, we have a large practice that we work with over on the East Coast and they work for it with a lot of nursing homes in three different states. And so they were hit really hard with it this year. And they basically had to, one, adopt telehealth just like a lot of different organizations did. So how can they actually make sure that their staff is up to date, that they have a telehealth program? Two, they didn’t actually want to drop the ball like a lot of people sort of put their MIPS reporting or data collecting sort of on the sidelines, but they kind of double down on it to make sure that they wouldn’t really lose any traction. And a year ago, when we first started working with this particular organization, it was a little bit frustrating. We had a lot of kinks to work out. They weren’t necessarily measuring things like I had said that that mattered to them. And so we switched the quality measures, made sure that they aligned with their goals. They actually track a lot of dementia quality measures, four or five of them. And now we meet on a weekly basis. And one of the managers actually ended up coming down with covid earlier in the year, March or April. And so kind of supporting them through that, making sure that they had all of their needs met while also being able to take care of their staff and just adjust quickly was really something that it meant a lot to me.

Joy Rios:
I know that it meant a lot to them at the end of the day. And so now when we meet on a weekly basis, their performance rates are pretty close to one hundred percent all across the board. They’ve been able to just like get their staff. And they took the time to actually even using the downtime to make sure that they implemented different cost measures and they trained folks that on items or workflows that they hadn’t taken the time to train them before because they’re like, let’s use this downtime to make sure that we can bring this stuff to the forefront that had been on the back burner for so long. And so they ended up just kind of, well oiling their machine and they’re running clockwork over there. And so we’re already looking into what are the changes that they should anticipate for next year, and instead of playing catch up for this year or trying to like do the most at the very end, we’re already prepping for what they’re going to do to maximize and take advantage of the changes for next year because next year it looks like the telehealth codes or the place of services will be included for a lot of the measures that they’re tracking, which wasn’t something that was included before. So that’s one of the big changes between COVID from this year to the next.

Saul Marquez:
So interesting. Well, and there’s a success story and we’ve got so much on our plate that if you’re expecting to be the expert at everything that you do, if you haven’t discovered it already, probably well, that you’re going to fail. And so Joy and her team at Chirpy Bird are there to help with anything niche related and the changes. In fact, I think the average score since MIPS began is ninety-four point five out of one hundred, is that right?

Joy Rios:
That’s correct. We try to keep the bar pretty high. So even though there is what they call an excellent performance rate, which typically guarantees a higher reimbursement, in years past, that’s been like seventy-five out of one hundred points eighty-five out of one hundred points, we essentially try to just knock that out of the park and get people as close to a perfect score as we can get essentially every single year. Sounds awesome.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, no, that’s wonderful. So, hey, if you’re having problems. Hello, you don’t have to have those problems anymore.

Joy Rios:
That’s right. We’re here to help. Well, you mentioned something earlier which I wanted to pull that string, and it’s about being the expert in everything and how impossible that is. And one of the ways that we talk about in our podcast of the hit Like a Girl podcast in health care is super, super complicated. And there’s no way for any one of us to know at all or be the expert in anything. And part of our mission is just to kind of share with listeners and whoever wants to be part of our community the puzzle piece that we hold and understand, the puzzle pieces that they may hold and find ways that we can perhaps connect these dots quicker, can work together and create a supportive community and understanding the landscape a little bit better, and then hopefully finding ways to join forces and get farther and faster, essentially.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah. I think it’s an awesome point. And that’s why I think podcasting is so great, you know, and now there’s more and more podcasts and health care where we’re aggregating this knowledge, the different puzzle pieces to the health care equation. And it’s super useful. So, folks, if you haven’t had a chance to listen to Joy’s podcast, you definitely have to check it out. It is hitlikeagirlpod.com. She co-hosts that with Robin Roberts and just incredible guests. And they do a beautiful job of showcasing and interviewing some great health leaders, covering some challenging topics. Definitely, one you have to check out. We’ll include it in the show notes. So as you know, you’ve been an entrepreneur for many years now, Joy, out of the things that you’ve done, feel free to pull from the podcast or your consulting business. What’s been one of the biggest setbacks you’ve experienced and what was the key learning that’s made you better out of it?

Joy Rios:
You know, I thought about this for quite some time, and I’m thinking about all of the different challenges that both Robin and my business partner and co-host in podcast we’ve faced over the years that we’ve been together. And, man, there have been quite a few setbacks. I mean, one, we met at a job that we had worked at previously together. We helped manage a larger team. That whole team got laid off on a conference call on Friday. And so that ended up being sort of the launch of like, well, I guess that idea that we had for working together, it’s happening like whether we’re ready or not. Here we go. And, you know, really tragically, a month later after that happened, her son passed away.

Saul Marquez:
Oh, my gosh.

Joy Rios:
He had taken on had gotten a rare disease at the age of three and a half. And she’d been caring for him for a couple of years and he succumbed to that illness, acute flaccid myelitis and, you know, starting a business, having to deal with a very significant death in the family. And we kind of liken it to like trying to build a plane after you’ve jumped off a cliff. There was. A little bit like that at the time, and I don’t know that there are really many ways that you can necessarily prepare for that or say like what’s the lesson learned other than keep going and making sure that you’re not losing the forest for the trees? I think that’s also been part of the way that we and our team works together has really been to find ways to support each other through unexpected times and challenges because life happens. And I think that this year, in particular, is a very good example of that, of how can we be flexible for each other and really play to our strengths and where somebody else is feeling weak. And one of us can be strong and sort of tighten our network to just be one of support. And it’s interesting because that happened in 2018 and when COVID hit and everybody was kind of transitioning to this remote work from home environment, I have to tell you, not much changed for us. We had already been in that situation. Our team is somewhat dispersed. We work with the majority of women within our team anyway, and so they have flexible hours. They’re able to spend time with their families. It’s a matter of getting the work done, not necessarily the hours of day that they are doing it. And so having this somewhat sustainable model that was already built in to be somewhat flexible allowed us to not have too much of a culture shock when the COVID chapter began earlier this year.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, no, appreciate you sharing that. Definitely, a tough situation to deal with. The many things Right. they all kind of came at one time and it’s just like, oh, how do you plan for this? And I guess that’s really where the strong foundation for community comes from. I get the sense from both your podcast and your business that drive and that value for the community.

Joy Rios:
Yeah, I think so. I think it shows up in a lot of different ways, but ultimately trying to take away the idea and I guess focusing a little bit more on women. We do focus a lot on women in their unique kind of career path because they don’t always happen in a stepwise fashion. Often they’re a little bit more like a cha cha and people have to adjust their life a little bit. And, you know, so many things come up for me. And one is that I think there has to be a way forward for these unique life paths because women tend to be the ones who do a lot of running of organizations. They’re the ones who keep organizations going, whether it’s in health care or other industries. And we really wanted to find a way that we could take away the competition of feeling like, oh, there’s only a limited number of seats at the table, so we’re all going to be fighting each other for it. And instead, how can we find success in each other’s success, find ways to actually not just support each other, but when one of us makes it somewhere to turn around and help the next person follow our lead. And so it’s kind of grown into a little bit of both mentorship and being mentored by different women professionals. And that has been really neat. And I mean, it’s showed up in like we’re having a Twitter book clubs and we have a private black community and we’re finding ways that we can help each other’s organizations either, like giving feedback on your website or volunteer for different initiatives that they’ve got going on. And so it really has kind of grown and expanded into something a little bit bigger and greater than what even we had intended. But it’s kind of lovely. It’s been really great to see people kind of support not just us in our work, but support each other, because that’s ultimately the goal.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. And today, with COVID the need for community has never been greater. And I’ve had a lot of conversations with leaders in health care these past few months. And that need is there. And if you are a lady that is looking for community within health care or other high achieving women Hit Like a Girl Pod, just go there. And then there’s a link that says mentoring. There are some options that are literally like no-brainer options that you should take a look at. So really appreciate you sharing that, Joy. What are you most excited about today?

Joy Rios:
Well, on a personal note, I am excited that I have been able to spend time with people safely like I have been briefly mentioned. I’ve been on this road trip with my dog because I have been sheltering in place on my own for many months and it’s been really nice. Kind of tap in, I guess, to that community, and it’s been interesting to feel, again, kind of thinking about COVID like there are times when one can feel so alone and yet I realize, like, how much we do need each other. And it’s been I’ve been excited to sort of rediscover that even if I am on my own, how much of a support system I have, whether or not they are in the same room with me or across the country. And that has been something that’s been exciting for me, because I know that that like whether career-wise or business-wise or even just personally, that is something that is really meaningful. And at the end of the day makes me feel good and at the beginning of the day makes me excited to wake up.

Saul Marquez:
That’s awesome. Yeah, that’s so great. And, you know, I feel the same way, too. It’s the connections that I’ve been able to make through really the past that I’ve been able to find community in some of those. And I know it’s hard. So I’ll reemphasize for any women looking for health care, I mean, the niche is awesome too. you listen to this. You love health care. So, yeah, you know, if you’re a health care woman looking to connect with other like-minded health care women, great opportunity. So you obviously hear the passion. And the story here is very genuine and certainly an opportunity for you to act on it. You’re not alone. Joy, thanks so much again. And before we conclude, I love it if you could share a closing thought, and then the best place for the listeners could get in touch with you or find out more about the work that you do in health care.

Joy Rios:
Sure. Happy to share. I think where I’m going to land today is finding and following your purpose and not necessarily going after a specific career or a financial goal or just being really specific, but, you know, finding your purpose and then maybe doing the cha cha with your life that I think, you know, it is not necessarily even though you may have one step after the other is like following our dreams, but ultimately focus on what drives you and maybe the work that you would do even if you don’t get paid for it because sometimes that ends up being something that leads to much larger and bigger returns on your investment, time or energy or any other resources, something that you’ll continue to come back to and feel good about the life that you’re living. So I think that’s the thought that I would leave your listeners with. And if anybody would like to find me on Twitter I am @AskJoyRíos, on LinkedIn, I am Joy Rios, and then my two websites, one is chirpybird.com and hitlikeagirlpod.com.

Saul Marquez:
I love it, Joy. Well, listen, certainly no doubt you and your partner in crime are doing great things to bring joy to the world and also success in health care. So I really appreciate what you’re doing and I appreciate you sharing your message with us today.

Joy Rios:
I appreciate it. Thank you very much. So this has really been a treat.

Saul Marquez:
Hey, Outcomes Rocket listeners. Now podcast. No problem. Launch a professional podcast you’ll love in four weeks. Most people hire production companies to edit and distribute content that sounds bad and does nothing for their revenue or their network. But you could turn the key to a made to order podcast and skip all the pitfalls that make 90 percent of shows discontinue after five episodes. We’ve got the expertise, the elbow grease, and you’re back on this one. Visit smooth podcasting.com to learn more. That’s smoothpodcasting.com to learn more.

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Things You’ll Learn

Anticipate the changes that will happen next year, so you don’t have to play catch up.

Be part of a supportive community, and you’ll find strength in unexpected times and challenges.

Keep going. Make sure you’re not losing the forest for the trees.

Find success in other’s success. Find ways to support other people.

Resources:
https://www.chirpybirdinc.com/
https://www.hitlikeagirlpod.com/