Matthew Hawkins Helps Waystar Transform the Healthcare Market

The Waystar Health CEO balances software solutions with a customer focus that is second to none

Brook Hollis Photography

“When I was in school, my favorite professor told our whole class, ‘If you want to make an impact in life, ride on a horse that can win a race worth winning,’” Matthew Hawkins, CEO at healthcare technology company Waystar, remembers. “At the time, I remember thinking that I didn’t know much about horse racing, but it was a message that really wound up influencing the rest of my life.” Hawkins says that in having the opportunity to develop and implement software that can bring effectiveness and productivity to its users, Waystar is able to positively impact healthcare—and he can’t imagine a race that’s more worth running.

Waystar’s proprietary platform was created, in essence, to help healthcare providers of any size spend less time worrying about reimbursements and more time delivering care. Hawkins understands his charge may be strong but feels that it’s necessary to say it loud and clear. “The status quo isn’t going to get us where we need to be; incrementalism can work in some industries, but I don’t believe it is sufficient in healthcare today,” the CEO says. “We’re still spending $3 trillion on healthcare in this country with significant administrative burdens and mountains and mountains of waste, and we want to help change that.”

Matthew Hawkins, Waystar Health Brook Hollis Photography

The Waystar platform’s cloud-based software eases the administrative burdens that help providers get paid with minimal chance of claim denial or getting bounced back from insurance companies. “Our algorithms, AI, and machine-learning capabilities allow our software to do what has previously been done manually,” Hawkins says. By automating processes like prior authorization, patients are able to receive vital care faster—and without the back-and-forth phone calls that can pile up for healthcare administrative teams. “We’re literally saving hours of time just with this one piece of our platform,” Hawkins says.

Waystar is also able to boast a 98 percent first-pass clean claim rate across its network because of machine learning technology that makes sure claims forms are coded properly, reducing the chance of insurance companies’ denying claims and elongating the reimbursement process. It’s an accomplishment that earned Waystar a number one ranking from KLAS. “Our competitors are getting by with a first-pass clean claim rate in the low 80 percent range, and all they’re doing is creating tons of downstream work for a claim that wasn’t submitted correctly,” Hawkins says.

Hawkins says that Waystar’s customer focus is the perfect supplement to its software solutions. “There is a reason we’re ranked first in the industry in customer support and client satisfaction. Communicating with Waystar is such a different experience than what many users have become accustomed to when using other technologies within their systems and offices,” Hawkins says. “You can call our client support team at any time and we will be all over it; we take a great deal of pride in that.”

“We’re still spending $3 trillion on healthcare in this country with significant administrative burdens and mountains and mountains of waste, and we want to help change that.”

The CEO’s focus on people isn’t a new development. “I learned that I get energy from working and interacting with people,” Hawkins says. “We’re a software business; we don’t rely on robots or fleets of trucks. We rely on people.” In many ways, Hawkins sees his role at Waystar as the perfect combination of his customer-minded approach and his passion for software solutions. It’s precisely why Waystar has been able to drive change from both  technological and relational perspectives.

The CEO says that Waystar’s mission-driven approach is what attracted him to the company in 2017. “We are honestly crazy enough to believe that, as more people use our platform, we’re going to actually be able to transform the healthcare market and provide a benefit to future generations for decades to come,” Hawkins says. The market seems to be on board.

In July 2019, EQT and CPPIB announced their intent to acquire a majority stake in Waystar, joining Bain Capital as big believers in the company’s ability to make a significant impact on healthcare. “We see these partnerships as a continuation of our relentless goal to take care of our clients,” Hawkins says.

As Waystar continues on its path to transform healthcare, Hawkins is confident that he’s finally found the right horse to ride in a race that can’t afford not to be won. “We’re creating a great place for our team members to work and to make them a part of something so much bigger than themselves; I’m grateful just to be part of it.”