It’s been a blur – here are the quick takeaways from the last 3+ days in New Orleans
The new new thing is…
Telehealth. Several entities are either specializing in telehealth, telemedicine, or some aspect thereof. Provider organizations have proprietary applications, independent third parties have theirs (CHC is one I met with), and others are talking about what they’re going to do. Seemed like there was a lot of product development happening on the fly – which is fine – and a good thing. Hearing from lots of stakeholders is always productive.
Blockchain. When asked to name one thing that people aren’t talking about that they should be, I named Blockchain. Here’s what this is – and why you need to know about it. That was actually one of two things I discussed – the other is admin expense – which we’ll dig into next week.
What wasn’t there?
More accurately, who wasn’t there. Young executives in positions of significant responsibility were noticeably rare. BTW “young” is a very relative term in workers’ comp; people who I think of as “young” are 51-52.
In other industries, I’d guess young is rather…younger than that.
As many have been noting, we’ve got a real dearth of young talented professionals in positions of responsibility. That’s pretty damn scary, as the work comp world is in for massive changes over the next decade, and old guys like me aren’t nearly as prepared to anticipate and address these changes as younger people are.
There was also a noticeable lack of insurance folks at the gathering. Im hearing this is due to end-of-the-year cutbacks on travel to make those 2016 financials just a little rosier. TPAs were also a little light on staff this time around.
While the pace of acquisitions has tapered off significantly, I spoke with several owners who are in the process of working on transactions. Not big ones, but what we’re going to see is more small transactions beefing up a company’s core capabilities or expanding its product lines. Prices are also down, as at least two investors told me the OneCall situation has significantly affected valuations.