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OneCall acquiring TechHealth

Giant workers’ comp managed care firm OneCallCare Management will announce today it is acquiring Tampa-based TechHealth.

TechHealth, which has been on and off the block several times, provides a range of services  – transportation, home health, DME, PT, pharmacy and imaging to the comp industry.  As OCS already has a robust offering in all but two of the product lines, it may well be OCS’ owners were seeking a toehold in pharmacy and PT, while adding a bit more capability in transportation and home health/DME (I don’t see TH’s imaging as material to the deal).

With revenues well above $100 million and a solid technology platform, TechHealth will also add top line revenue and a different customer mix (heavier on the smaller-payer end) to OCM.

TechHealth got its big start serving AIG’s regional claims office in Florida around the turn of the century, the value proposition defined as relieving the adjuster of the hassle of handling the multiple services needed for complex claims.

TH grew in fits and starts, primarily by selling into claims offices with a few regional carriers and TPAs using their services on a broader scale. The one-stop-shop value prop, while appealing on its face, has yet to gain appreciable traction amongst the larger (top 20) payers.  While there are several competitors with similar strategies, none has managed to become a major supplier across all (or even most) of the service lines with any of the big payers.

The OCM model is markedly different.

As the largest imaging, DME/HHC, dental, and transportation/translation supplier, it can make the argument that the promise of the one-stop shop is now reality. The addition of Harbor Health gives OCM insights into physician-ancillary service provider relationships, which it will undoubtedly use to increase the volume of services delivered thru OCM.

OCM’s model is anchored in the “original” OneCall Imaging’s expertise and deep experience in scheduling imaging; the new owners leveraged that expertise and combined it with similar services (if you’re getting an MRI, you may need transportation). The growth – primarily via acquisition – has been impressive, as OCM is now the largest single supplier of services to the WC market, eclipsing Coventry Workers’ Comp last year.

This isn’t the only deal you’ll hear about this summer; word is one – or more – of the big bill review firms are looking at a transaction, and there are at least two others expected to be announced before the kids head back to school.

What does this mean for you?

For payers, fewer choices. For entrepreneurs, an opportunity to launch something new and different, albeit a high-risk one. 



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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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