Now live at 70-plus hospitals nationwide, Gratia has supported employees while helping health system reduce contract nursing labor costs
AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Gratia Health, a 25m Health portfolio company, is emerging from stealth with seed funding led by JumpStart Capital, and a major contract with strategic partner, ScionHealth, to implement its incentive compensation platform across ScionHealth’s more than 70 specialty hospitals.
To combat the challenge of costly contract labor for front-line caregivers and to retain and reward outstanding full-time employees, ScionHealth, a national health system with approximately 25,000 team members, announced a strategic partnership with health technology startup Gratia Health to implement a tech-enabled employee incentive platform for caregivers who pick up work shifts at the company’s 76 specialty hospitals.
After a successful pilot program in which ScionHealth saw notable reduction in contract labor utilization, Louisville-based ScionHealth has extended the partnership with Gratia to all of its specialty hospitals in 21 states.
Gratia’s technology enables caregivers to participate in a uniquely designed shift pick up incentive program. Eligible staff can easily find and secure extra shifts while tracking their progress toward pay incentives and status rewards that help caregivers reach personal earnings goals.
“ScionHealth’s purpose is to empower the hands that heal to do what they do best,” said Daniel Brywczynski, President of Specialty Hospitals for ScionHealth. “An essential part of that is providing caregivers with opportunities to help them reach their personal, professional, and financial goals – ultimately, creating careers that are satisfying and sustainable. ScionHealth prides itself on leaning into new ideas and seeking out partnerships that can move our team forward, and we’ve done that with Gratia Health.”
Employees can utilize Gratia’s two-way texting application to check their status in the incentive program, easily engage and ask questions. Gratia delivers automated nudges and progress notifications to caregivers that optimize the program for engagement and reward attainment. In addition, Gratia provides administrators with tools to gauge program performance and streamline back-office support functions.
Kelcie McCloskey, who serves as Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Operating Officer at ScionHealth’s Kindred Hospital Albuquerque (New Mexico), said the Gratia-powered incentive program enables caregivers to earn meaningfully variable pay for their efforts while monitoring their progress toward their financial goals in real time. They can also plan their work schedules around those goals.
“Being recognized and incentivized for one’s hard work and having the ability to gauge pay increase on-demand is huge for our employees,” McCloskey said.
ScionHealth’s partnership with Gratia traces to early 2022, when ScionHealth formed a clinical labor taskforce to explore various ways the organization could tackle workforce challenges facing the healthcare industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the rising cost of contract labor. ScionHealth sought ways to make the employee experience for front-line healthcare workers more compelling and sustainable, with a focus on incentivizing and rewarding team members, especially those who go above and beyond.
Newly formed Gratia, which was incubated by 25m Health, met ScionHealth’s needs by offering a comprehensive incentive compensation platform specifically designed for the healthcare industry. Gratia automates incentives by offering a portfolio of customized programs that are deployed and managed through its proprietary software. So far, given the reduction in contract labor costs, ScionHealth has seen a significant return on its investment with Gratia, allowing the company to continue reinvesting in its workforce.
“Our partnership with Gratia has propelled innovation and technology to the forefront and has assisted with contract-labor reduction by promoting a shared responsibility model to care for our patient population,” said Michelle Dennis, Senior Director of Workforce Development at ScionHealth. “Rewarding employees versus paying contract labor is not only fiscally responsible, but it also helps maintain clinical quality and continuity of care – which is every healthcare organization’s goal.”
ScionHealth and Gratia are already looking to build upon their initial success by piloting and rolling out additional incentive programs, including attendance and preceptorship, to further address workforce health in 2024.
With a third of nurses say they intend to leave their job next year, and hospitals paying upwards of 2.5X for contract nurses compared to pre-pandemic, Gratia’s novel approach to maximizing healthcare workforce performance and wellness through incentivization will be a welcome tool for other healthcare employers confronting similar challenges.
“The staffing shortage and general wellness of our front-line healthcare workers is perhaps the biggest challenge our industry faces today,” said Harrison Tyner, Co-Founder and President of Gratia Health. “Our approach from the beginning was to focus on long-term, sustainable solutions that create healthier work environments for staffed healthcare workers. In creating a truly innovative approach to how clinical staff are recognized and incentivized, we’ve tapped into a deep well of value that is creating a win-win environment for everyone.
“None of this would have been possible without ScionHealth’s steadfast commitment to innovation and focus on empowering their clinical staff to do their best work. We are excited to continue expanding our offering and empower other healthcare employers that face similar workforce challenges.”
Gratia is a venture-backed health technology startup that specializes in helping healthcare employers create healthy, sustainable workforces through its incentive compensation platform. Our goal is to develop and deploy a portfolio of data informed incentive programs that help create more sustainable work environments for shift-based healthcare providers, like nurses. Our programs are designed using proven behavioral science concepts to address chronic workforce challenges within systems and are deployed using our proprietary software platform that gamifies the experience for participating providers. The end result is increased compensation and satisfaction for providers and a definitive, significant near-term ROI for employers.
About Scion Health:
ScionHealth strives to deliver on its promise of high-quality, patient-centered hospital care by empowering the hands that heal to do what they do best. The health system is focused on driving innovation, serving its communities, and investing in people and technology to deliver compassionate patient care and excellent health outcomes. Based in Louisville, ScionHealth operates 94 hospital campuses (76 specialty hospitals and 18 community hospital campuses and associated health systems) and eight senior living locations in 28 states.
About 25M Health:
Founded in 2021 through partnership with Apollo Global Management, ScionHealth, Lifepoint Health and 25madison, 25m Health is a thesis-driven healthtech Venture Studio building and investing in new companies in the digital health space with a sharp focus on B2B healthcare IT and B2B2C tech-enabled care delivery. 25m Health startups are focused on validated enterprise commercial opportunities to meet the needs of ScionHealth and Lifepoint Health patients, providers and platforms. By building alongside and in partnership with two of the largest for-profit health systems in the country, 25m Health companies are able to ensure their offerings are prepared for growth in large-TAM opportunities and reduce market adoption risk.
Co-Founder & President, Gratia Health