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Thanks for…

I wanted to do a post on all the things work-related I’m thankful for – but there aren’t enough pixels to include them all. So, here are the top few.

Most of the people in the work comp industry are committed to doing the right thing. Whether it’s getting injured workers the best care possible along with their indemnity checks, paying good docs fast and well, or helping employers lower their costs and increase productivity, the folks who do the work (mostly) do it well and diligently.

I’d like to single out a few organizations, jobs, and people:

  • Medical directors are a way under-appreciated force for good. Payers need to use them more effectively, elevate their importance and give them more responsibility.
  • The workers in the trenches – case managers, adjusters, bill processors. You are the “sharp point of the spear”, where all those brilliant ideas from home office end up in your work flow along with every other to-do.  How you manage we’ll never know.
  • Research organizations – specifically CWCI and WCRI, and the leaders thereof.  Rick Victor has remade WCRI into a more relevant, proactive, insight-delivering organization that uses social media quite effectively; his replacement at WCRI has enormous shoes to fill.  CWCI’s Alex Swedlow is brilliantly effective; a great speaker, Alex and his team are able to get more relevant research done faster than humanly possible, and present it in a way that demands attention.
  • Bob Wilson of  Bob’s coverage of Plotkin-Gate is one of the best examples of what social media can do and how effective it can be. We don’t agree on much anything politically, but we both agree Bob’s efforts have been a major force for good. Actually Bob probably thinks they’re even better than that…
  • The American Insurance Association, and especially Bruce Wood and Leigh Ann Pusey.  AIA’s leadership on critical issues, tireless advocacy, and commitment to doing the right thing for employers and injured workers has deeply impressed me. These are very good people.
  • The new crop of entrepreneurs and the companies they are running are shaking up the industry, finding under-served or poorly-served niches and fighting for business.  Whether run by newbies or veterans of other successful start-ups many of these new entrants are making a mark.
  • The work comp PBM industry.  Sure, I’m biased, as I run a trade group for PBMs – that also gives me a very good view into the business.  There’s no other segment of the industry that has been as effective in its core responsibility – delivering the right medical care at the best price to the most injured workers.  Across the industry customer service satisfaction is high, costs continue to decline, access continues to be a non-issue, and the quality of care improves with tighter controls on dangerous and inappropriate drugs.
  • Finally, the 5706 subscribers to  I deeply appreciate your readership, comments, views and contributions.  Even when I don’t agree.

Enjoy the holiday.  You’ve earned it!

6 thoughts on “Thanks for…”

  1. Dear Joe; I am a retired Medical Director of Accident Fund Company in Michigan and I would agree wholeheartedly that Medical Directors should be held in higher esteem. They should be included in the CEO’s executive assitants staff to clarify medical issues that financial matters impact.

  2. Joe, I’m sure many of the MCM subscribers share the sentiment of thanks to you for bringing attention to the more important issues of our industry. In particular your attention to Physician Dispensing inspires action and resulted in some victories.

  3. We are thankful for you too Joe! Thanks for all your coverage of the workers’ compensation system and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Joe:
    I wish we had taken a selfie in LV with you between Bob Wilson and me. I believe you referred to the moment as a thorn between two roses.
    Happy Thanksgiving and keep up the good work!

    1. Joe – I believe it was a “rose between two thorns”, but I’m getting old and my memory isn’t what it used to be – which wasn’t much!

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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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