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Vegas – Day One

Random takes from the first day of the National WC Conference.

myMatrixx landed the party spot of the Conference; SkyFall atop the Delano last night. First class event, lots of fun people, and great way to start the week.

The Vegas venue is excellent. Everything you need is here, located close to the hall, hotel, meeting spots, and restaurants. It makes doing business at the conference easy and efficient.

Damn expensive, but easy and efficient. I just paid $4.65 for a medium cup of dark roast – but got it at 5 am. The gym is pricey indeed. And dining here is just stupid expensive. Wah Wah Wah…I know, first world problem.

Conversations with several folks highly knowledgeable about work comp pharmacy. The industry continues to consolidate, drug spend continues to drop, led by double-digit reductions in opioid spend, and the revenue model will have to change.

Paradigm announced it is rebranding it’s subsidiaries; all will carry the Paradigm name. That makes a world of sense.

  • Paradigm has a strong brand name and is closely tied to catastrophic claims. When folks think cat claims, Paradigm is the name that comes to mind. Leveraging that brand awareness is just smart business.
  • The company hosted a media dinner last night – a very intelligent move and one other companies would do well to consider. All the key media outlets were there – and even a few minor ones like MCM.
  • Very few work comp services businesses understand the value of brand. As in almost none. Paradigm CEO John Watts does – and his company will be better off for it.

Paradigm paid very hefty prices for recent acquisitions, and itself sold for a billion dollars or so just a few months back. Watts et al will have to hit on all cylinders all the time to make that investment pay off. So far, so good. But the hard work is ahead of them.

Finally, among my many foibles is a terrible memory for names – I’m OK on faces, but can’t remember names at all. So, it’s not you – it’s me.

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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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