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Friday catch up; lots doing in workers’ comp

A very busy week indeed – here’s what happened.

MedRisk’s management changes

Long-time CEO Mike Ryan has stepped up to Executive Chair, and President Ken Martino is moving up to CEO. Mike has led the organization as President for more than 7 years. Founder and Chair Shelley Boyce named Mike CEO several years ago. I know Shelley, Ken and Mike very well.

MedRisk’s annual growth has averaged over 20% for the last decade. The company now employs 1,200 people, all located here in the US.

There’s no question MedRisk, perhaps the most successful company in the work comp services sector is in very good hands. (MedRisk is an HSA consulting client)

Mental health in the workplace – Great take on the big increase in workplace stress from HomeCare Connect’s Teresa Williams in today’s WorkCompWire.  Teresa notes that the percentage of adults with depression or anxiety has tripled over the last year. Her piece has helpful recommendations that employers:

  • list what they are doing to protect employees
  • be honest and straightforward about the employer’s financial situation
  • refer workers to trusted sources for information on COVID – NOT YouTube videos from random cranks
  • keep in mind that younger workers seem more vulnerable to stress than we older folks.

Progress in bringing science to claims handling

Congratulations to Gallagher Bassett’s Jeffrey Austin White and colleagues – GB’s Treatment Quality Index (TQI) was named Insurtech Initiative of the Year. The Index, coupled with Clinical Guidance, identifies which claims would benefit from what type of clinical attention and when to apply it.

There’s a lot of really good thinking behind TQI; it addresses one of the toughest challenges faced by claims handlers.

Innovate or else.

Coincidentally, GB’s Gary Anderberg PhD penned a terrific piece on what we have learned and can learn from COVID.  One of his 5 takeaways:

COVID has cast a strong light on the fact that we always act on imperfect, half developed information, that all decisions are provisional, that updating your data constantly and rigorously is not a luxury.

(GB is not an HSA client)

Gary’s piece came the same day the Harvard Business Review published a though-provoking article on innovation…noting one huge retailer spent 18 months developing and implementing curb-side pickup. This went pretty much nowhere…until COVID.

Substitute “telemedicine” for “curbside pickup” and “workers’ comp insurer” for “retailer” and you will learn a lot about the cost of not innovating.

What does this mean for you?

Great companies succeed by delivering the service customers don’t even know they want.

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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