Prescription for growth

Health insurer unifies finance to support massive increase in demand.

Promo for Healthfirst Case Study

Reduces financial closing and reporting cycle times.

Provides secure supplier portal, easing A/P’s burden.

Gives cost-centre managers time-saving, self-serve reports.

Delivers a gross annual financial benefit of $2.5 million.

Healthfirst’s name aptly describes its healthcare model: it puts the members’ health first, using a value-based payment arrangement with its hospitals and providers to deliver top quality care and improve patient outcomes. Since its founding more than 25 years ago, the company has grown to 5,400 employees and built a network of more than 40,000 healthcare providers and over 80 participating hospitals in the New York City metropolitan area and Long Island.

In 2017, Healthfirst embarked on a mission to overhaul the outdated systems supporting its finance and HR operations. More and more, those systems were causing friction in business workflows and putting constraints on growth. Outdated manual processes were time-consuming and error-prone, which led to high-risk reporting, low visibility across business functions, and a less than optimal employee experience.

Decision crossroads

Assistant Vice President of Business Technology Damion Mavour recalls the legacy systems as disparate, cumbersome and having limitations on both expansion and enhancements. “We were at a crossroads,” he says. “Do we continue investing in them separately or seek a more modern and unified platform that not only supports both our finance and HR requirements, but can also carry us into the future?”

After evaluating several different options, Healthfirst chose Workday for the cloud-based platform and flexibility it offers. The wide range of financial management capabilities in Workday Enterprise Management Cloud, plus Enterprise Planning and Human Capital Management (HCM) with payroll and talent management, provide a unified platform for Healthfirst to scale and grow. Craig Barattin, Vice President of Finance and Controller, says, “Having finance plus HCM and payroll in the same place has fostered more collaboration between different teams. Information is easy to share and access.”

Maryanne Starosa, Director of Financial Technology Programs, adds, “Workday has enabled secure self-service among our employees, managers and suppliers through our portal, which is a huge value. Users get their information faster, and the people they used to rely on can now do more productive work.”


Supported 45% revenue growth from 2018 Workday go-live through 2021

Delivers a $2.5 million gross annual financial benefit

Workday gave us lots of flexibility that helped during the pandemic’s uncertain times so we could work without interruptions.

Vice President of Finance and Controller

Automation and scale, a foundation for efficiency and growth

The Healthfirst finance organisation automated many banking activities, such as account reconciliations and monthly closings. “With Workday, we shaved as many as seven days from our internal monthly closing process,” Barattin says.

Reporting has become easier, too, with gains in the depth and scope of capabilities and outcomes. The finance group deployed a dynamic data model that allows it to run real-time reports across numerous dimensions and drill down to a data’s source in a unified system whenever necessary. “Financial data is more readily available,” says Barattin. “And we can put it into our reporting for regulatory compliance, which lets us analyse it and respond to requests or audit questions faster.”

Starosa notes that audits are more efficient. “Everything is traceable from inception to completion,” she says. “Before this, trying to find an audit trail was labour-intensive and time-consuming.”



finance organisation efficiency improvement

$1.7 million

in annual cost avoidance


reduction in monthly closings


improvement in the number of automated key controls


reduction in time to produce management reports

Workday has great drill down capabilities … it’s just a click. Before, we’d have to create another report to get more information.

Director of Financial Technology Programs

Spend management vastly improved

Workday has helped by automating invoice processing, tracking and management. Business users have direct visibility into purchase orders and the status of invoices and payments. “Our users can find the status of transactions in real time instead of waiting 24 hours for Accounts Payable to respond,” says Starosa.



reduction in invoice processing and expense reimbursement times


decrease in overdue supplier invoice inquiries


reduction in employee expense report questions

With Workday, we have more visibility to enable settlement runs so we pay our invoices faster and keep our providers happier.

Accounts Payable Manager

Automated, accurate enterprise planning

The Healthfirst financial planning and analysis (FP&A) function is vital to helping executive management make more informed business decisions. Enterprise Planning has automated much of the company’s planning, improved its accuracy, and made more of it available on demand.

Cost-centre managers no longer submit their plan data in spreadsheets. They can also conduct personnel cost planning in real time, with easy access to self-serve reports for operating expense actuals. “This transparency gives cost-centre managers visibility into where they are landing, sooner than they had in the past, which is a big benefit,” says Eric Spies, Director of Budget and Planning. “We can create one consolidated variance report for each cost centre, and if a manager wants more details, they can go into Workday to pull additional details themselves.”

During the uncertain times early in the pandemic, Spies recalls that his team was asked to forecast administrative expenses using new assumptions and in a fraction of the time it usually took. “With Workday, we were able to deliver those forecasts, which were vital to guiding our business through these unprecedented times and wouldn’t have been possible in our old systems,” he says. “Today, that agility allows us to respond to a new set of assumptions just as quickly, so we can better advise our leadership on the different scenarios they might be considering.”



improved FP&A and cost-centre manager productivity


reduction in annual budget completion


reduction in quarterly financial forecast

The growth and complexity we faced in recent years would have been difficult to manage had we stayed on our legacy systems and not moved to Workday.

Director of Budget and Planning

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