It’s been a very busy week.
Today Mitchell announced they’re going to buy specialty bill review firm FairPay Solutions. Makes sense for Mitchell, as FPS’ technology and expertise is unmatched in the business, and will add a lot of value to Mitchell’s WC and auto BR solutions. Looks like current FPS CEO Chad Birckelbaw is only sticking around for a few months. That’s a BIG loss for Mitchell; Chad is not only one of the best people in the work comp services business, he’s also the guy who automated what had been a mostly-manual process and kept FPS moving forward in what has become a very competitive business.
Notably, Mitchell’s announcement said FPS will continue to support other bill review entities. That’s not going to last. I very much doubt the other BR companies are going to keep working with FPS; there’s just too much inherent conflict and the other firms are likely very concerned about KKR’s future plans for Mitchell.
There are a couple other transactions in process now which should close shortly. Looks like the trend is positive for strategic buyers – other companies with related businesses as they are winning most of these bidding wars.
WCRI has just released their annual CompScope Medical Benchmarks reports; the latest info on what’s happening in 14 states; haven’t had time to dig into them but hey, that’s what weekends are for!
The Benchmarks will be discussed at length at WCRI’s annual meeting – if you haven’t signed up yet, best get on it as they do max out. March 12-13 in Boston…details are here.
On the I-Can’t-Wait-Till-We-Drive-A-Stake-In-Their-Black-Hearts front, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Hawai’i and Maryland are doing their best to control physician dispensing in work comp. Alas, bought-and-paid-for legislators are much more interested in taking cash from dispensers than saving taxpayer dollars and employer jobs; in a hearing in the PA legislature, Representative Donna Oberlander asked Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway how much money the Workers Compensation Program would save if the General Assembly ended physician dispensing.