Five Questions With: Steven Mason

ChartWise Medical Systems Inc., the web-based, computer-assisted clinical documentation improvement software company, has promoted Steven Mason, formerly chief operating officer and president, to serve as CEO and president. The promotion came shortly before ChartWise was named among the fastest-growing companies in PBNs 2018 Fastest Growing & Innovative CompaniesPBN took the opportunity to ask Mason about his new role and the company’s future plans.

PBN: When you were named president and CEO, you were charged with taking a more aggressive approach for increasing ChartWise’s market leader position with new outpatient and payer-focused CDI solutions for health systems and provider-funded health plans and accountable care organizations. How’s that work going?

MASON: It’s going very well. We had a great product foundation to begin with, so adding additional components to an already great solution has been an exciting process. It’s always easier, in my opinion, to build upon strength versus having to start from scratch, or fix a product that’s broken or not being well-received by the market.

We have been very diligent exploring the needs of our customers and analyzing where the clinical documentation improvement market is going. We feel like we have the right product road map, and we are on track to release our first new product in Q2 2019.

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PBN: What did you know about the company when then-CEO Dr. Jonathan L. Elion named you president in 2017? What were your impressions?

MASON: My impressions of Dr. Elion and ChartWise were very positive prior to joining the company. I had the benefit of meeting and interacting with Dr. Elion for several years while I was CEO of another company, which was funded by the same private equity firm. We referred to each other as “portfolio brothers” and shared ideas and even co-presented on several joint sales opportunities.

PBN: What’s been the most challenging part of your work with ChartWise?

MASON: The most challenging part of my work at ChartWise is trying to prioritize all the excellent product ideas and opportunities we have. We can only make one or two big investments in new product development, so it’s difficult to choose which of these to invest in and take to market.

PBN: How common is it for a physician to also have the grasp of software that Dr. Elion used to found ChartWise? Is that combination of skills a recruiting focus there?

MASON: It’s extremely rare and hard to find. Fortunately for us, Dr. Elion is busy leading our product-development strategy and he is still very involved in building the future of the company.

PBN: Last year you told PBN ChartWise would invest in building out its sales force to expand your customer base. How successful has that been?

MASON: Our sales organization is fully staffed and operational. We have recruited a great team of experienced health care sales executives and marketing experts. Part of our new sales strategy required a branding refresh for the company along with new sales tools, marketing collateral and new business-development initiatives, so it’s been a busy year so far. We are already seeing the benefits of this approach with significantly increased contract bookings in the second half of 2018 and a great pipeline heading into next year.

Rob Borkowski is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Borkowski@PBN.com.