Cincinnati health system partners with Columbus unicorn

By May 7, 2021 August 7th, 2021 News

One of Greater Cincinnati’s largest health care systems is partnering with a Columbus-based unicorn to open a new on-site AI-powered command center that could help drive increased automation.

TriHealth, which operates six hospitals in the region, including its flagships Good Samaritan in University Heights and Bethesda North in Montgomery, this week announced a partnership with Olive AI Inc., one of the state’s fast-growing health care IT startups. Olive will implement an “ alphasite” at TriHealth’s offices in Norwood, or an on-site AI command center that will deploy and manage AI workers to help the health system automate tasks.

Olive will start in TriHealth’s revenue cycle department to optimize processes like claims status checks, officials said in a release. The system can be scaled rapidly to meet needs as they arise.

It represents one of only 22 alphasites currently up and running nationwide. Last year, Olive said it planned to build 66 alphasites by the end of 2021.

“In every industry as digital and information technology has been introduced, it has resulted in greater efficiencies. That has not been the case in health care,” Mark Clement, TriHealth president and CEO, said. “The implementation of technology has resulted in increased costs in our industry. The promise of Olive is we will be able to deploy artificial intelligence to create greater efficiencies and improved effectiveness allowing us to automate routine processes.”

Olive, in the eight years since its founding, has raised more than $448 million, included a $225.5 million round in December that put its valuation at $1.5 billion, cementing its unicorn status. Health care has been the fastest industry to spend more on AI during the pandemic, according to a recent survey by consultant McKinsey & Co.

“Health care is drowning in data,” Sean Lane, CEO of Olive, said in the release. “The industry has been collecting information for decades, but the data lives in silos. Olive connects health care’s systems to create a network of intelligence.”

TriHealth said it’s prepared to expand the use of AI and automation “into as many areas of health care as possible,” including the clinical side, said Emily Seitz Pawlak, VP of revenue cycle. The goal is to provide better care, better outcomes and better value to patients and the community.

Besides Bethesda North and Good Sam, TriHealth operates four other hospitals in the region as well as 14 major ambulatory campuses and more than 140 sites of care. The health system employs around 14,000.