When Heidi Jalali first encountered Kareo before it merged with PatientPop to form Tebra, she was already a seasoned healthcare professional and marketer. That said, she quickly discovered that the company and its product were unlike any she had worked with before.
Tebra’s platform provides independent physicians and other providers with a much-needed resource to manage some of the most cumbersome aspects of their practices: billing, electronic health records and practice growth technology.
At a time when physicians and other healthcare professionals are experiencing extreme pressure, the task of improving their lives — and those of their patients — through technology is a worthy challenge.
“With Tebra, we’re helping physicians in a way that I have never been able to do before,” Jalali, Tebra’s product marketing manager, care delivery, said. “We’re able to alleviate a lot of the pressures and the burnout that has resulted from Covid-19 by providing a type of software that helps independent healthcare providers and practitioners deliver better care to their patients.”
“Tebrans share a passion for unlocking better healthcare by helping independent practices bring modernized care to patients everywhere. We also share common values and beliefs that anchor our culture of workplace well-being.”
At Tebra, Jalali and other team members have an opportunity to collaborate within a mission-based team that is expanding its platform capabilities. It’s a team that provides a sorely needed product that ultimately enables doctors to improve their practices and their patients’ health outcomes.
“You may have one point of contact at a practice, but they’re impacting hundreds if not thousands of lives on a day-to-day basis,” Natalie Lisk, Tebra’s manager, strategic accounts, said. “I have three kids, and when they ask me what I do for my work, I get to tell them that I help doctors. In a very simple sense, I do that. And I also get to use that business portion of my skill set that I love. I enjoy being creative and figuring out how we can better doctors’ businesses.”
Investing in employees
Jordan King, director of people and culture, came to Tebra by way of PatientPop. In January 2021, he initially joined the legacy company to help build its rapidly growing team of 300 employees.
At the time of the merger later that year, King and his colleagues had helped to grow PatientPop’s team to more than 500. That number doubled to 1,100 almost overnight.
Now, King leads Tebra’s employee experience function, and works to ensure the success and well-being of team members in the combined organization. In his new role, King built out a team of employee experience architects and began to craft programs that invest in employee experience, from onboarding through promotion and into leadership positions.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty around mergers, but the fact that they shifted me to overseeing employee experience full time helped to reaffirm the commitment from the organization to the employee experience,” King said.
Since the merger, King and his team have built a new leadership development program for managers called LEADS, as well as a new orientation program called NEX, or new employee experience.
“It may be the best onboarding experience I’ve ever gone through,” said Jalali, who called navigating NEX “super smooth” despite potentially trying circumstances. “When I was hired, I was about to give birth to my son, so I really appreciated the ease of the onboarding process.”
In NEX, Jalali was assigned a mentor. She received resources to help her learn about her position. And she was able to meet colleagues and familiarize herself with many aspects of the newly merged company that she found instrumental in helping her succeed.
NEX begins with a three-day program for incoming Tebra employees. “Over 60 employees came together to develop NEX,” King said. “We created more than 18 sessions delivered across the three days with a focus on four key areas: culture, values alignment, business operations and product knowledge. From there, Tebrans move into job-specific training with managers from LEADS.”
The NEX development process also produced Fusion, a consolidated four-day program designed to give employees from legacy companies Kareo and PatientPop insights into Tebra’s business, culture, product, and plans for the future.
It’s a credit to Jordan’s team, Jalali said, that NEX is seamless and stress-free.
“At Tebra, employee experience isn’t just what spontaneously happens,” King said. “It’s not something that is farmed out to a business partner or something the recruiting team has to do in addition to their primary function. It’s cool to see Tebra investing so many resources to support employee experience.”
From learning the ropes to taking the reins
In June, Lisk became manager of Tebra’s strategic account management team. She brought a wealth of experience in sales from Kareo where she had served as senior strategic account manager with the company’s enterprise team. What she didn’t have was direct experience in management.
“I love learning, and this job is constantly keeping me on my toes.”
Fortunately for Lisk, people management was only the latest in a string of challenges that she has embraced and ultimately overcome. “Healthcare is a really good bottomless pit for challenge; I love learning, and this job is constantly keeping me on my toes.”
When Lisk was first introduced to LEADS, a 12-week program that allows 10 to 20 leaders throughout the Tebra organization come together to learn about self-development, team management and collaboration, she was feeling overwhelmed and struggled to balance the demands of her new role. Though initially trepidatious, Lisk decided to jump into the program headfirst. She soon found herself developing a repository of skills and resources she has used to tackle challenges and grow as a leader.
“There are a lot of things that you don’t consider as a new manager,” Lisk said. “LEADS has enabled me to think through those things, to feel prepared, to provide resources not only for myself but for my team and to provide structure for my team to be healthy and functioning at a high capacity.”
Particularly in a remote environment, Lisk noted, LEADS’ resources have been instrumental in her success as a manager. As has the support of her cohort. “To have colleagues who are going experiencing the same challenges and opportunities really helps humanize the experience of becoming a manager; they make me feel less alone, and that camaraderie, in turn, makes me feel more loyal to Tebra,” she said. It’s a value that Lisk doesn’t take for granted, and one that radiates throughout the organization.
“I really feel like we’re all here with a common goal in mind,” Jalali said. “We’re all here together. We’re here for the same reason. We’re making our lives better, and we’re making physicians’ and providers’ and ultimately, patients’ lives better with the product that we’re delivering.”