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Marie Foley: “Your best effort is always good enough”

I met the founder of Health Payment Systems through my husband at a golf tournament. For him, a healthcare event drove him to brainstorm with other business partners to create a better way for consumers to pay their medical bills. With a background in the credit card industry, the idea was born to create a […]

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I met the founder of Health Payment Systems through my husband at a golf tournament. For him, a healthcare event drove him to brainstorm with other business partners to create a better way for consumers to pay their medical bills. With a background in the credit card industry, the idea was born to create a family based credit card like statement that contained the prior months healthcare bills and explanation of benefits all in one. Fighting for a better way for consumers to experience the healthcare billing nightmare that is there without HPS, has been a passion of mine since I joined the company in 2008.


As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Marie Foley.

Marie Foley is an accomplished business professional with over 20 years experience in the Healthcare Industry. Proven ability to increase profitability of healthcare industry companies by initiating and maintaining relationships with providers, gaining buy-in on products from key executives, and developing / implementing winning pricing strategies. “Internal entrepreneur” with the history of developing and introducing successful new products. I have demonstrated talent for maximizing network competitiveness. Creator of process and procedure improvements that streamlined business processes, elevate productivity and efficiency, and enhance customer experience.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Growing up I always enjoyed Math classes. Problem solving was actually fun for me so I knew I wanted to find a field that utilized these skills. A friend told me about the Actuarial Program at UW-Madison so it all started with a great interview I had with the program director. The ever changing world of HealthCare led me to choose the Healthcare track of Actuarial Science. After graduation, I began my career as an actuarial consultant at an accounting firm joining a team of auditors that were responsible for auditing year end financial reports for insurance companies. This experience gave me a foundation of working together with others to find solutions for problems as well as investigative work. From there, I moved to an insurance company where I took on more of a business forecasting and reporting role to the regional CFO. After taking time off to raise our children, I reentered the workplace with HPS in an actuarial consulting role, quickly joining their leadership team to my current role of Vice president of Provider Relations & Actuarial Services.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

I met the founder of Health Payment Systems through my husband at a golf tournament. For him, a healthcare event drove him to brainstorm with other business partners to create a better way for consumers to pay their medical bills. With a background in the credit card industry, the idea was born to create a family based credit card like statement that contained the prior months healthcare bills and explanation of benefits all in one. Fighting for a better way for consumers to experience the healthcare billing nightmare that is there without HPS, has been a passion of mine since I joined the company in 2008. With more and more providers expecting payment prior to services, patients are forced to make a choice between maintaining their health and putting food on the table. HPS is disrupting the market by offering a different way for consumers to pay for their healthcare; offering one place to pay, one payment plan for all their medical bills. We are also disrupting how providers collect out of pocket amounts from patients. With HPS, the providers can focus on taking care of their patients rather than the billing and collection functions. For our providers, we eliminate billing and collection costs as well as the expense of all bad debt associated with our members Lowering healthcare costs, enabling patients to receive care they need without the financial barrier, giving patients an easy way to pay their healthcare bills, and making this available to as many people as possible is our mission.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I had several mentors along the way. The first was a female coworker at Ernst & Young, Wendy Young. The actuarial career path can be difficult due to the time you need to put in to study for the exams outside of long work hours. Her work ethic coupled with her drive to get through the exams was aspiring. Her mentorship guided me to be a hard worker, passing several exams early as well as achieving accolades from managers during review time. Even though I worked for Shawn Guertin at The Travelers for a short time, he gave me confidence to be who I am today. He actually advised me to stay home with our children if we could afford it which was one of the best decisions of my career. It gave me a great perspective on the importance of spending quality time with family and not to miss life’s most important moments. Additionally, the independence he gave me provided me with confidence to work independently and be somewhat of an entrepreneur within the company to bring success not really for myself but for others as well. This mentality I have carried with me throughout my career. Another mentor that is somewhat recent since I’m sure he doesn’t know it is our CEO Terry Rowinski. Through his leadership at HPS, I have watched the team work in full collaboration together to bring us to where we are today. The mentality of “take care of your fellow human” has reached new heights at HPS through his direction and guidance. We are stronger as a company since we all are working together, joining forces to make the consumer experience the best it can be.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

Being disruptive is good as long as the outcome is a better one for the individuals or companies that are impacted by the change. Change can be difficult so making sure the experience is a positive one to the end user is critical to move the change to the market.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

Be assertive when you are confident with a solution. Give your best effort for the benefit of others. Your best effort is always good enough.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

Help our team expand our membership and grow. I am always working to evolve and grow as a professional to support my team and clientele with an innovative approach.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

For women, sometimes our opinion is not “heard” as loudly as our male counterparts. Remember to do your homework, have facts and evidence to back up any opinion or recommended solution set. Once you have a solution set, it is important to remain confident and continue to voice your opinion(s) even if it means working harder to provide more documentation or proof of concept.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

Power of Positive Thinking. Something that I live by everyday. Having a positive mindset is key to accomplish everything.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” Philippians 4:13. Since I was young, my faith has always been the core of who I am. Working hard for Christ rather than myself gives me the greatest job satisfaction and helps me to feel confident in my work and life itself.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Read the bible and truly love your neighbor as yourself. Things that you were taught as a child are important to remember to live by as an adult as well. Kindness is infectious.

How can our readers follow you online? LinkedIn — linkedin.com/in/marie-foley-55059b6b

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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