The typical physician’s office visit is the closest most Americans will come to experiencing the conditions that characterized the waste and futility of the Soviet Union.
Olive AI, a private company based in Columbus, Ohio, intends to fix the problem of massive inefficiency in the U.S. healthcare industry by addressing healthcare’s most burdensome issues — delivering hospitals and health systems and payers increased revenue, reduced costs, and increased capacity. CEO Sean Lane, a former NSA agent, founded the company in 2012, after realizing that most systems in healthcare often aren’t connected. Traveling between hospitals, he noticed a “sea of cubicles” with employees doing the same tasks over and over again.
According to Lane, people feel lost in the system today and healthcare employees are essentially working in the dark due to outdated technology that creates a lack of shared knowledge and siloed data. Olive is designed to drive connections in the broken healthcare processes that stand between providers delivering patient care and payers. Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are designed to reveal life-changing insights that make healthcare more efficient, affordable and effective. Olive’s vision is to unleash a trillion dollars of hidden potential within healthcare by connecting its disconnected systems.
The robotics process automation (RPA) is a niche industry that, along with other more mature SaaS/Cloud enterprise software firms, is pioneering the “re-platforming” of enterprises, across a wide swath of industries, through automation and the surfacing of new data sets that were not available just five years ago.
In simple terms, a human trains a deployed digital robot to perform short repetitive tasks that often require multiple steps and have simple rules for execution.
A more complex description is this: These new data sets resist mean reversion because the discoveries between data and actions were previously too quanderous for humans to perceive or were simply impossible to discern and diffuse. Embedded inside this niche industry is the full potential for AI to draw lessons from its own experience – unlike traditional software that can only extend human actions (deterministic) – and the fast-emerging capacity to translate basic human reasoning into business logic (probabilistic) for machines. Absorbing this new technology into organizational values and practices presents challenges, but they are fast melting away against the payback profiles for RPA deployments that can be measured in terms of months or less and the trend towards more task-oriented entry points for first-touch applications that are low-risk, high-value automations.
One other dimension that makes RPA potentially more effective when deployed in a healthcare environment is the technical debt that is sometimes embedded in technology environments that are fast evolving, such as: constantly optimized interfaces and changing data formats. This can lead to breaking bots and the so called, “RPA death spiral.” Healthcare companies are slow moving, meaning its technology may be naturally architected to avoid these pitfalls.
Private equity has not missed the signals coming from Olive AI’s growing customer list. Not long after raising $106 million in funding in September 2020, the company closed a $225.5 million round in December, led by Tiger Global Management, giving it a $1.5 billion valuation.
Since the start of 2020, the company has raised a total of $385 million, with backers including General Catalyst, Drive Capital and GV.
In December, 2020, Olive announced the acquisition of Verata Health, a company focused on the friction around the $31 billion “prior authorization” problem.
Prior authorizations were the most costly and time-consuming transactions for providers in 2019 and are among the top reasons patient care is delayed. According to Olive, as cash-strapped hospitals and health systems strive to meet patient, payer and provider needs, the demand for AI technologies to increase efficiency and improve the patient experience has become critical.
Verata is a leading healthcare AI company, enabling Frictionless Prior Authorization® for providers and payers. Seamlessly connected to the nation’s top electronic health record (EHR) systems, Verata’s AI technology automatically initiates prior authorizations, retrieves payer rules, and helps identify and submit clinical documentation from the EHR. When payers leverage its AI platform, Verata enables point-of-care authorizations for providers and patients, dramatically accelerating access to care.
Olive and Verata’s combined prior authorization solution streamlines the process for providers, patients and payers by reducing write-offs by over 40% and cutting turnaround time for prior authorizations by up to 80%.
Here is Olive’s description of the results from a recent deployment: