Q&A with Joe Madsen, Consultant

Joe handles client implementations and operational delivery, with work covering Medicaid financing and revenue maximization, Medicaid managed care, business development, provider policy, and reimbursement. As a Consultant, Joe handles ongoing client engagement while driving project objectives. He also takes part in the firm’s Next Generation group, an internal cohort of emerging leaders, experts, and staff from across the organization.

What brought you to Sellers Dorsey?
When I started my career, I was trying to get started on a path in the digital media world, and I connected with creative folks and firms wherever I could. My background consisted of lots of creative and editorial work, so I thought a path forward in marketing would fit. Somewhere in that process, I was put in touch with Sellers Dorsey; I was told I would be a good fit for the entry-level marketing role they wanted to fill. I quickly sent a resume and cover letter, and after several great conversations, I was happy to accept the position. I was happier still in the months that followed; life at the firm exceeded my expectations.

A big part of my job was to understand the kind of work we do and communicate that narrative to clients old and new. As I grew more and more in the role, so too did my interest in our work with clients. And I began to realize that my goals were shifting. I enjoyed marketing and sales but working with clients on Medicaid Financing initiatives appealed to me, too. So, after a year in my marketing role, I changed course and took an associate position with the client servicing staff. And since then, I have taken the next step into the role of Consultant and Project Manager. My path has been unexpected and exciting, with lots of opportunity to grow and learn. And with every step, I am reminded of why I took the offer in the first place—because this firm encourages development.

What is your area of expertise?
My work sits squarely in the Medicaid Financing world, specifically supplemental payments for physician groups. I serve these engagements as a Project Manager, coordinating multi-pronged projects with internal teams and external partners, working with decades-long policy and financing experts to craft solutions for clients, and keeping those clients engaged with every project element. While I’ve learned a great deal of Medicaid financing and policy, I wouldn’t call myself the expert in those fields. I consult the experts to do my job which is to keep projects moving on pace. 

Who are your typical clients?
My clients are typically physician groups associated with large academic medical centers who serve high volumes of Medicaid and uninsured populations.

 What have you worked on recently?
At the risk of being redundant, my most recent work continues to be helping the design and implementation of funding streams for physician groups and large academic medical centers. Our clients’ work, however, never ends, so ours doesn’t either. In the COVID-19 climate, healthcare providers are experiencing drastic revenue shortages due to sweeping holds on elective care and increasing costs to address the pandemic. Now more than ever, we are working with clients across the country—and with their state Medicaid agencies—to protect federal revenue streams which are critical to the care our providers offer to the most vulnerable populations.

What do you like about working at Sellers Dorsey?
The people. I love the work, and I love the seemingly never-ending learning curve that comes with healthcare policy and finance. There’s always more to dig into. Always more to wrap your brain around. But far and away, the people are what keeps me coming back. I have the privilege of working with some exceptionally bright and talented folks, both internally and externally. They keep me on my toes. But more importantly, they like working with people, too—people who understand the value of forging strong relationships. And when it comes to our projects, we take a very involved approach where no one is too important for the work. It’s all hands on deck. Our firm’s leadership knows how to engage people at all levels of the chain of command.

How has your work changed?
Well, going back to my intro story, my work shifted in a big way after a year of starting with Sellers Dorsey. I began on one path in marketing with some ideas of where that would lead, and although I was surprised, I was happy to discover that those ideas changed. To me, it was a clear sign of how engaged I was. How excited I felt about the work. Shifting course toward client engagements was new territory for me, but I believed I could excel because I was with a firm that believed it too. And I know that continues to be the case.

What is one important thing you have learned during your time at Sellers Dorsey? Alternatively, is there something else you would like to share?
I’ve learned that learning is the objective. We play a very hands-on role with our clients, and we take lots of initiative in the work we do to implement the critical revenue streams they need to serve their vulnerable patients. However, the solutions we formulate are not always clear at the start. It takes a lot of collaboration and investigation before you can formulate solutions to complex issues. It takes action-driven learning. Learning the relationships. Learning the technical weeds of the work. And learning the policy underpinning it all. If you’re learning, you’re on the right path and you’re getting somewhere.

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