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September 21, 2023

LHC Members Hear from naviHealth’s Clay Richards on Mentorships and Staying Curious

LHC Members Hear from naviHealth’s Clay Richards on Mentorships and Staying Curious

Recently, Leadership Health Care (LHC) members attended an executive briefing with Clay Richards, CEO of naviHealth a Nashville-based care transitions company that works with health systems, health plans and post-acute providers to reduce waste and improve patient outcomes. The discussion was moderated by Meaghen Greene, vice president of business development at naviHealth. During the discussion, Richards gave an overview of naviHealth’s business model, his role as CEO and advice he has for the emerging leaders in the audience.

Richards opened the discussion by explaining naviHealth’s unique role in working with both payers and providers. Today, the company’s business is split almost 50/50 between payers and providers, something the company sees as an asset.

“The expertise we have from working with health systems around bundle payments really helps us when we’re working with a health plan in a new market,” said Richards. “And the same is true regarding our expertise from working with health plans when we start working with a new health system—it’s an advantage.”

Currently, naviHealth is experiencing a period of rapid growth, with plans of growing its total company staff by 30-40 percent in the coming years. One way Richards hopes to manage that growth is by continuing to make smart hiring decisions.

“We’ve really invested in our culture and remain focused on hiring great people,” said Richards. “As we’re adding a lot of new colleagues in markets all across the country, we really want to find people who believe in what we’re trying to do. While technical skills are important, we don’t want to sacrifice quality for speed and we want to make the right hires.”

In his role as CEO, Richards said he’s always looking for people who are intellectually curious and who are willing to take risks.

“Regardless of what your job is within a company, you should constantly be asking questions,” said Richards. “This shows that you want to learn and make your company better. And be willing to try because even if you fail, there’s a lesson you can take away from that attempt. With that in mind, I’m really focused on creating a culture of experimentation at naviHealth.”

Richards also sees mentorships as an important part of anyone’s career, whether someone is just starting out or is in the role of CEO. He sees having mentors as a great way to continue to learn and grow.

“Good mentors are able to give you long-term perspective and aren’t as distracted by the immediate challenges or frustrations you are presenting to them,” said Richards. “They see challenges as part of the process and help you to uncover what you can learn from a given challenge that will help you as you move forward.”

He closed out his discussion by highlighting what Nashville can do to maintain its position as a health care capital and its interconnective health care ecosystem.

“Nashville is unique in that people will give back because they want to see other people from Nashville succeed,” said Richards. “As the city, and industry, continues to grow, Nashville needs to stay intentional about supporting and growing other companies.”

This executive briefing was part of ongoing programming for the Council’s Leadership Health Care (LHC) initiative, offering members insight from national industry leaders in an interactive setting. For more information about LHC, visit

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