“The way you do anything is the way you do everything.”
Susan Gatehouse, the founder of Axea Solutions, has played a pivotal role in the healthcare industry. CIO Women is proud to introduce her as The Most Influential Woman to Watch in 2023.
Susan Gatehouse ‘s fundamental principles are grounded in service to others, a vision for a greater future with a tenacity to succeed. Although the precise definition of an influential person may vary, Susan Gatehouse is a clear portrait of it.
With nearly 30 years of experience as a top provider of revenue cycle solutions and creative insights into the business of healthcare, Susan Gatehouse is a well-known speaker and an author on a national scale. Breaking down barriers, redefining solution management to encourage innovative thinking, and bringing people together to develop sustainable remedies are some of her many strengths.
By this, she has acquired several accolades and recognition over the years for her work. Susan Gatehouse was recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of ten female vendor leaders to know and received a Professional Achievement Award from Georgia’s chapter of Health Information Management. She has served as a guest correspondent and content contributor for numerous broadcasts and publications for the healthcare sector.
Her expertise has allowed her to deliver speeches and lectures for industry organizations such as AHIMA, HFMA, GHIMA, GAMA, and GHA. You may also find her co-hosting and or participating from time to time on Medlearn Media’s weekly broadcasts with Talk Ten Tuesday or RAC Monitor Monday broadcast. She also served as a contributing author and editor for the book, Implementing Information Security in Healthcare: Building a Security Program. Susan Gatehouse is a contributing author for the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Moving Science to Coverage. Additionally, she served as the keynote speaker at the Global Conference in Public Health.
Susan Gatehouse established Axea Solutions in 1999 with the primary objective of offering clients up-to-date, comprehensive, and accurate auditing services as well as education. As the Executive Officer (CEO) of Axea Solutions, Susan is the driving force behind the company’s success.
Her initial inspiration came from her fascination with science, illness mechanisms, and medical treatment alternatives. She finds great satisfaction in being able to transform this knowledge into big data for trending settings and problem-solving. With regard to her career, Susan Gatehouse sees this as a gift.
Healthcare data and its importance has evolved significantly since the inception of Axea Solutions, Inc. Today, under Susan’s leadership, Axea has developed into one of the top revenue cycle improvement and health information management (HIM) firms in the industry, serving a variety of clients across the country. In 2019 Axea was awarded one of the 50 best places to work.
Where did this wonderful journey begin?
“… always, always practice gratitude.”
Susan Gatehouse had a full-time job and spent her night’s contract coding. She was able to immerse herself in many healthcare settings as a result, quickly becoming highly versed in the field.
She traveled five days a week while employed by two large healthcare consulting organizations. As a result, she garnered a broader understanding of the functional operations and revenue cycle within healthcare organizations.
When Susan accepted the position as Director of the Department of Surgery for a significant teaching organization, this further customized her breadth of healthcare experience as she moved into the physician world of reimbursement. In this new role, she handled the billing and coding for more than 40 general surgeons. Even with this elevated position, Susan Gatehouse continued doing contract work to stay current and expand her practical knowledge.
Susan Gatehouse earned her degree in Health Information Management from Louisiana Tech University, which helps support her organic understanding of health information management. Still, she attributes much of the expertise she has acquired to the excellent mentors she has met through her professional journey and the continuous desire to develop deep foundational knowledge in the heart of the revenue cycle.
Axea Solutions was founded from an identified need; as the request for contract services grew, so came the inception of Axea Solutions, Inc. She thinks of herself as fortunate, as all of her experiences allowed her to build the company from a solid foundation of industry knowledge at a fundamental level.
When asked about her influencers in the entrepreneurial journey, she says, “I must say my father was a significant influence. He is an inspiration and showed me hard work and discipline are paramount in achieving goals. My personal healthcare experiences continue to allow me to look through the lens of the patient, guiding me in delivering support in a value-based healthcare environment.
In general, life has helped me to lead with empathy and vulnerability and to always practice Gratitude.” Gratitude leans itself to a heightened sense of appreciation for “what is.” In Susan’s personal life, she is an avid hiker and certified yoga instructor and recently completed her certification in Grounded Kids yoga. Susan Gatehouse is passionate about kids and the ability to give back to the community. Teaching kids coping systems for navigating a significantly different environment is paramount.
Holding true to her belief in mindfulness and the importance of mini work breaks. She implemented mindful movement within the walls of Axea during COVID. “Our employees needed a break to stand, stretch, and breathe without being attached to a monitor.” Fifteen minutes made a tremendous difference in the employees’ ability to manage stress and maintain focus. The Axea Team found it so beneficial that the practice has continued to provide this benefit today and is expanding this to twice a month verse one time per month at the request of the employees.
Axea Solutions – Principal element
“Work with integrity and earn success via the caliber of the results.”
Axea Solutions, Inc. is a reliable and trusted firm in the revenue cycle space. The company collaborates with partners to provide needed tools to improve the heart of the revenue cycle while supporting revenue integrity.
The company helps its customers grow their businesses by offering knowledgeable revenue cycle services and technology that help them increase the accuracy of clinical documentation and coding, optimize patient financial workflow, and improve clinical outcomes. The team is dedicated to their work and the clients they assist.
With more than 30 years of experience in every facet of the heart of the healthcare revenue cycle, Susan Gatehouse is a seasoned expert. Susan’s strategic leadership empowers the Axea team to assist clients in overcoming today’s complex rules, regulations, and coding challenges. With an in-depth understanding of payer, quality, industry regulations, clinical documentation, ICD-10 medical coding, and related topics, Susan significantly impacts the company’s high performance.
Working closely with the C suite, Clinicians, Revenue Integrity, Health Information Management, and compliance, Susan Gatehouse and the Axea team develop solutions for challenges frequently assigned with the dynamic world of healthcare reimbursement.
Weaved into Axea Solutions’ culture is the importance of giving back to the community and supporting select non-profit organizations to help make a difference through team volunteer projects under the capable guidance of Susan. The team at Axea wholeheartedly supports the various opportunities Susan Gatehouse and her Management Team have created to continuously make an effort to get outside oneself and make a tangible difference in the world by lifting up the vulnerable.
“Always ask why…you will be amazed at what you learn.”
Every small business’s founder must balance a variety of responsibilities. Susan’s earliest professional years are tied to wearing numerous hats and taking on various roles. Though there are many challenges in running any business, time management was the greatest challenge.
Another challenging area was maintaining fair pricing while delivering a high standard of work. Healthcare is a continuously changing industry, bringing various challenges in upholding accuracy.
For Susan, overcoming these challenges has been relatively smooth by focusing on developing an exceptional team of efficient and competent experts while simultaneously building the technology to support the team with client endeavors.
Axea Solutions, Inc. was initially established to provide coding audit services, and since then, it has introduced additional service lines to support complexities and increased compliance requirements around coding. It has continuously developed technological solutions for efficient, accurate improvements.
The business quickly realized the necessity for industry-wide, holistic training and education for accurate medical coding and concise clinician documentation. Axea Academy®, a training platform, was created as a result. It has developed into a comprehensive solution for the management and education of coding teams, in an effort to satisfy the demands of ever-changing coding guidelines and governmental regulations. This tool has also proven invaluable in onboarding, cross-training coders, and providing re-enforcement of a coder’s knowledge.
Approach life with a spirit of excellence is ingrained in the company’s corporate culture. It is one of the fundamental reasons the company attained and has sustained its success. It is with a consistent message to perform with integrity and succeed on merit through the quality of the work.
As a result, Axea Solutions maintains its commitment to helping its clients succeed financially while delivering solutions in streamlined processes within the revenue cycle. The healthcare industry and technologies have seen a dynamic shift in the post-pandemic era. Due to its staunch vision, the company remains strong and successful.
The company maintains its client-focused approach, with a loyal customer base. It has experienced solid revenue growth within the healthcare space and is expanding outside of healthcare.
Susan Gatehouse says, “Axea maintains its simple and clear corporate vision; to provide superior value-added services by listening to and meeting clients’ needs, guided by a commitment to integrity.”
A step ahead
“If you are the smartest person in the room, change rooms.”
Healthcare rules and regulations continue to change at a rapid pace and implementing changes within a healthcare continuum is often a long, arduous task. Nevertheless, the company is a trusted partner that consistently delivers results.
Susan Gatehouse is committed to providing services that support the revenue cycle while being a resource for those within and new in the industry.
The company provides services in and around the heart of the revenue cycle. Susan Gatehouse adds, “Our focus is not on adding service lines but rather to further expand our solutions to reach and resolve the clients’ obstacles. For example, integrating our two legacy platforms, Axea Academy and AccuTrend, to expand client support and automation.”
If life was a book?
“Pivot: Life requires us to change and adapt to our environment on a regular basis. The world of healthcare is no exception. Going “Pro” at one’s ability to pivot will serve them well in life.”
A word of advice for the budding entrepreneurs
Susan Gatehouse advises emerging entrepreneurs to try and find a mentor in their industry for wise counsel. With constant technological developments, staying abreast of innovation and industry changes is critical.
She says, “Always remain curious — A mindset of lifelong learning is paramount while realizing one can never ask too many questions. It is critical to remember that patience is a virtue; attaining one’s professional goals in any field takes time to achieve. Continual professional development is vital, as is embracing learning opportunities that present themselves. Keep your mind open to business possibilities; one never knows the path to which an opportunity may lead, the people one may encounter, and expanding knowledge.