Neha Palan: Unleashing the Woman Power with GeBBS Healthcare Solutions

Neha Palan

In the dynamic landscape of corporate governance and risk management, Neha Palan stands as a beacon of leadership and empowerment, exemplifying the true essence of woman power. As the Chief Risk and Compliance Officer (CRCO) at GeBBS Healthcare Solutions, Neha spearheads the Enterprise Risk Management, Compliance, Ethics, Management Assurance, and Sustainability functions across the company’s operations in India, USA, and the Philippines. With a distinguished background as a Chartered Accountant and CISA certification, Neha brings over 21 years of extensive experience in Governance, Risk, Information Security, ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance), and Compliance review services across a diverse array of industries, including IT/ITES, BPO, Healthcare, Telecom, Aviation, Oil and Gas, Manufacturing, and Retail sectors.

Neha’s professional journey is marked by her tenure with major conglomerates in the IT/ITES and BPO industry and renowned global Big Four consulting firms, where she provided invaluable insights and guidance to clients on Risk, Assurance, Audit, and Compliance services. Her expertise extends beyond traditional risk management frameworks, encompassing a deep understanding of various industries, business risks, information security laws, and a passion for sustainability. This comprehensive knowledge base has enabled Neha to forge a strong internal control environment for GeBBS Healthcare Solutions and her previous affiliations, ensuring regulatory compliance and fostering sustainable business practices.

Embodying A Powerful Spirit

As a trailblazer in her field, Neha Palan embodies the spirit of woman power, breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings with her unwavering determination and commitment to excellence. Her leadership at GeBBS Healthcare Solutions inspires aspiring professionals, particularly women, encouraging them to embrace their potential and seize opportunities for growth and advancement in the corporate world. Neha’s remarkable achievements underscore the invaluable contributions of women in driving organizational success and shaping the future of governance, risk management, and compliance in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape.

Neha, a Chartered Accountant, thrived on the challenge of her exams and while CAs typically specialize in finance, audit, or tax, Neha’s passion lied in developing internal controls and information security. This versatile knowledge allowed her to combine operational understanding gained through extensive travel with risk management expertise.

Neha has parlayed this skillset into a successful career, transitioning from consulting to industry, manufacturing to services, and India to the global compliance world. Her core mission remains constant: enabling ethical and sustainable business growth.

As the Chief Risk and Compliance Officer at GeBBS, Neha oversees comprehensive risk and compliance programs, ESG initiatives, and ethical business conduct. She ensures GeBBS meets its objectives, remains compliant, and delivers a secure experience for its healthcare clients in the USA.

A Caring and Compassionate Company

GeBBS, a KLAS leader in RCM and Risk Adjustment, has been recognized on the IAOP® Global Outsourcing 100® list for nine consecutive years. Its vision is to be a trusted partner for healthcare providers in the US, allowing them to focus on patient care while GeBBS handles revenue cycle management.

This success stems from GeBBS’ commitment to quality and innovation and a team of 15,000+ global experts who leverage technology to simplify revenue cycle management and unlock growth. Understanding the regulatory environment and the importance of data security is paramount for GeBBS, making it a valuable partner for healthcare providers navigating the complex US healthcare system.

The Crucial Factor

Neha highlights the challenges of today’s VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) business landscape. Businesses face economic downturns, resource scarcity, cyber threats, and ever-changing regulations. Attracting and retaining talent, especially Gen Z, is also crucial.

Economic factors like inflation can strain cash flow and growth for small and medium businesses.

Risk management is essential. Businesses need strategies to address new risks, potentially including:

  • Adapting products and services to changing customer needs.
  • Embracing new technologies.
  • Investing in talent acquisition, training, and engagement.
  • Leveraging compliance as a competitive advantage.
  • Strengthening cybersecurity.
  • Optimizing processes for growth and quality.
  • Prioritizing sustainable and responsible business practices.

Embracing Innovations

Neha, as GeBBS’s CRCO, goes beyond following regulations. She embraces innovation and user needs while maintaining the highest security, privacy, and ethical standards. Here’s her approach:

*Patient Data Security: GeBBS prioritizes patient information security with advanced measures and a culture of confidentiality.

*Responsible AI Adoption: Recognizing the potential risks of AI/RPA, GeBBS implements ethical assessments and bias controls before deployment.

*Building Cyber Resilience: GeBBS invests in robust infrastructure, threat detection, and employee training to combat cyber threats.

*Empowering People and Innovation: GeBBS fosters a culture of learning and upskilling while ensuring compliance through training and initiatives like the GeBBS Innovation Council.

Sustainably Patient-Centric

Neha leads GeBBS’s ESG program, believing sustainability strengthens business success. Since 2014, GeBBS has focused on community empowerment, people investment, and environmental conservation. Here’s how Neha strengthens their ESG efforts:

~Embedding Sustainability: ESG considerations are integrated throughout GeBBS’s operations, impacting decision-making and reporting.

~Aligned Priorities: Sustainability goals are aligned with organizational objectives for a unified approach to success and positive impact.

~Transparent Reporting: GeBBS uses a comprehensive framework for internal ESG reporting and publishes sustainability goals on its website.

~Balancing Impact and Growth: GeBBS minimizes environmental impact with initiatives like tree planting while maintaining growth through a strong sustainability strategy.

~Diverse and Inclusive Culture: GeBBS works to attract a diverse workforce and foster an inclusive environment for all employees.

~Streamlined Collaboration: Governance processes ensure ESG programs deliver value and GeBBS partners contribute to achieving goals.

Techno-Digital Adoption

Neha has rightly mentioned the digital era and how technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing efficiency. When asked how she mitigates the risks of information handling in the digital age, Neha says that today, cyber risk is a top-of-mind risk for all executives.

She emphasizes the importance of cybersecurity, especially after recent attacks on healthcare providers. As CRCO, she builds trust with clients by ensuring their data is safe. Here’s her approach:

>Risk Management: Comprehensive assessments identify vulnerabilities and threats to client data. Mitigation plans and monitoring programs are implemented.

>Regulatory Compliance: Staying updated on evolving data privacy laws like GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA ensures compliance.

>Strong Policies: Robust information handling policies are developed with relevant stakeholders, addressing data handling, access controls, and security measures.

>Employee Training: Training programs educate employees on information security best practices and how to handle sensitive data.

>Vendor Management: Third-party vendors are evaluated for their security practices to mitigate vendor-related risks.

>Monitoring and Enforcement: Monitoring tools and processes are implemented to detect violations and enforce compliance through disciplinary actions and audits.

>Incident Response Planning: Plans are in place to identify, contain, and respond to data breaches and other security incidents.

>Continuous Improvement: Policies, procedures, and controls are regularly reviewed and updated to adapt to evolving threats and regulations.

Her Relationship Ethos

When asked how she manages external stakeholders’ engagement with GeBBS, such as investors, regulators, industry associations, and advocacy groups, to stay informed about emerging compliance trends and best practices in diversity, inclusion, and ESG, Neha says that as a CRCO, major chunk of role involves building a relationship with stakeholders and providing assurance on the critical aspects. “I believe the below aspects have worked for me in building long-lasting and mutually rewarding rapport:”

^Effective Communication: Clear communication plans tailored to stakeholder needs ensure a smooth flow of information for decision-making and reporting.

^Trust and Transparency: Building trust is a core value in all her communication and practices. She ensures investors and regulators have the information they need.

^Staying Informed: To maintain their expertise, Neha and her team actively stay updated on regulatory changes through training, memberships, and KPIs.

Navigating Obstacles

Neha describes how GeBBS navigated the challenges of the global pandemic:

~Customer Focus: Maintaining business continuity through a pre-existing, regularly updated Business Continuity Plan (BCP) ensured minimal disruption and continued customer service.

~Employee Safety: Remote work protocols, social distancing measures, and mental health support prioritized employee well-being throughout the crisis.

~Data-Driven Decisions: Real-time tracking of employee well-being, productivity, and supply chains provided data for strategic adjustments and resource allocation.

~Community Engagement: GeBBS partnered with local businesses, offered virtual volunteering, and provided mental health support programs, demonstrating social responsibility and strengthening community ties.

This experience reinforced Neha’s importance of proactive risk management.

Raining Wisdom

As a women leader, Neha’s advice to aspiring women leaders in the Risk and Compliance field is pragmatic:

*Confidence and Assertiveness: Believe in yourself and your expertise. Develop strong communication skills to be heard and understood.

*Stay Informed and Adaptable: Continuously update your knowledge and embrace change in the dynamic R&C landscape. Be ready to learn new skills and adjust strategies.

*Lifelong Learning: Learning goes beyond books. Explore, ask questions, and form your own opinions.

*Strategic Networking: Build relationships with other women in R&C through associations, events, and mentorship programs. Increase your visibility by speaking publicly and sharing your expertise.

Success comes through hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Believe in your potential to make a significant impact in R&C!