Insight, analysis & opinion from Joe Paduda

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Jun
28

OneCall’s doing great!

I think it’s only fair to allow One Call to tell their side of the story. So, here it is.

Yesterday One Call execs had an off-site meeting and subsequently released a letter to customers extolling the successes the firm is having; landing new customers, rolling out Polaris, improving patient experience, and really improving customer satisfaction.

Oh, and OCCM is fully compliant with its debt covenants and is meeting its financial obligations.

Allow me to make a few observations.

First, current financials will not be reported until some time after June 30 – two days from now – so Mr Baldwin is technically correct when he states that OCCM is “fully compliant.”  Until those financial results are reported (likely mid July, or in two weeks), the debt holders don’t know if OCCM is or is not in compliance; Q1 financials indicated OCCM was compliant – if barely so.

Second, congratulations to OCCM on landing “13 new customer relationships.” Not to be too picky, but I don’t know if that is expansions of existing relationships – say by adding transportation to an existing customer relationship, are entirely new customers, expanding from a one-state contract to multiple states, or what exactly.

Third, Mr Baldwin didn’t mention that Broadspire, Nationwide, and several of the Great American companies have terminated or are terminating or drastically reducing their business with One Call.

I do not envy Baldwin and the folks at One Call; they are in a very difficult position which Baldwin stepped into long after the die was cast. OCCM is loaded down with a huge and growing debt burden, has spent millions on an IT system that – in my estimation – will not improve customer satisfaction, and is trying to compete with other suppliers that are nimble, deliver excellent customer service, and aren’t trying to be all things to all people.

With the exception of Eileen Auen, Peter Madeja, or Mike Ryan I don’t know any leader who could salvage the situation. And even those august personages would face the greatest test of their prodigious talents.

But here’s the really awful thing – even after recent layoffs, OneCall still has thousands of employees who will be affected by this. They had nothing to do with the sale of various predecessor companies, the ridiculous debt, the frankly stupid decision by Apax to put the company together in the first place, the investment of millions into an IT system that could well be too little, too late.

Yet the folks who do the work every day are going to be the ones most hurt.

That sucks.

What does this mean for you?

Fortune favors the prepared. (borrowed from Louis Pasteur)

 

 


19 thoughts on “OneCall’s doing great!”

  1. OCCM HR just sent out a mass email to all employees reiterating that OCCM is “financially stable” in response to your blog. They didn’t name you by name, of course, but clearly word has gotten around to where OCCM is in full damage control now to ensure there aren’t people looking for new jobs. Do they think we’re all incompetent and can’t read between the lines? Even for people who don’t know of this blog, we had layoffs only a few months ago and sending this message just further drives home that there IS something to be worried about. Keep up the good work, Joe!

    1. Hello Anon – thanks for the comment. Hope you and your colleagues come out of this in good shape; it happened to me so I understand how stressful it can be.

      No worries on tracking – I’ve deleted all that info and continue to do so from anyone in north Florida that communicates w the blog.
      Be well – Joe

    2. I would note, as someone else who received the internal One Call email, the platform for which Mr. Paduda divulges information is still a BLOG, and even includes the subtitle “Insight, Analysis and Opinion”. I would encourage One Call employees who follow Mr. Paduda’s “Managed Care Matters”, thereby also his continuous opposition to everything One Call, to take what they read with a grain of salt. There is clear bias here and thereby misses the mark on the principles of ethical journalism.

      1. HelLo AA – thanks for the comment, appreciate you taking the time to write.

        I’d ask exactly how I “missed the principles of ethical journalism.” If you can provide specific examples and explain my failures I’d most appreciate it.

        I can always improve and appreciate any help you can provide.

        thanks Joe

  2. I have no dog in the fight. Whether or not Occm survives is of no consequence to me directly (although I’d certainly feel for the folks that work there). That being said, one needs to wonder about the impact of your blog on their current customers and creating panic that can certainly destabilize them even if they are ok today. Given that your clients hugely benefit from this, it really makes me wonder about whether or not you are acting as an independent observer looking out for the every day Joe or really have an incentive to make the PE owners of your clients significantly more wealthy, potentially hurting all the current employees. I’m not the only one wondering.

    1. Hey Bill – thanks for the note. Couple observations.

      First, I’m reporting what is actually happening. Just the facts. The financial situation is tenuous indeed, and that’s not my opinion, that is the conclusion of the debt holders – as reported by Debtwire. OCCM is most assuredly not “OK” – if you believe otherwise I’d like to hear the rationale.

      Second, no part of me thinks any work comp payer is going to make a decision based on solely on my opinion; I’m just not that influential. If my opinion is backed up with facts, data, and logic along with all necessary supporting documentation and research, decision makers often take my considered view into account. I am under no illusion about my “influence”; while some respect my views others do not and that’s fine.

      Third, I had several offers to become involved in OCCM over the years, including one made by the investors who flew up to my tiny town in upstate NY to have lunch with me. I was honored, but respectfully declined as I’ve ALWAYS believed the current version of OCCM would fail and even I, as brilliant and capable and articulate as I am (that’s sarcasm btw) wouldn’t have been able to change that. I could have made a lot of “consulting fees” working for OCCM, but…

      Fourth, I do NOT work with clients I don’t believe in – and I don’t give a rat’s behind how much I’m offered. I’ve worked my ass off to build a reputation that I’ve staked my career on, and I’m very comfortable I’ve done this the right way. I”m not a money-focused person, I’m all about personal reputation. Which leads me to…

      Fifth. I’d suggest you – and the other ones “wondering” stop imputing incentives and making unfounded assumptions and instead look at the facts; you’re making an unsupported insinuation that does you no credit. Did you read the debtwire story? Have you seen OCCM’s financials? Did you read Moody’s and S&P’s credit reports?

      If you don’t think OCCM is in dire straits I’d love to hear the rationale. And if I have it wrong, show me where and how.

      I look forward to your response.

      cheers Joe

  3. Joe, thank you, for exposing the ugly truth of greed… Too many customers are tired of the lies..

  4. I would have to say that at this point the issue is not so much management, but more the lack of internal talent with industry knowledge that has been generated through multiple means over the last few years. Any leader is going to need to recognize this, and change it quickly to right the ship. Nice job twisting the knife though. I do feel sorry for everyone going through the difficult times, or watching people they have worked with for many years disappear.

    1. I can answer that question emphatically “YES” as a former decision making employee being held to one presently.

  5. Does anyone remember how this all started in 2008? And, who was at the reins then? They took the company down a very dark path, with no way out. Not that the PE firm, CEO or management really cared. They got their money and fled the “scene of the crime”. – Take care — for the future of our industry.

    1. Hello “bill”

      The email you provided is inactive/fake and you are using a blinded web address. Unless you are an African American woman with Alzheimer’s the website you provided is also fake.

      Provide proof of who you are and I’ll be happy to engage. As I’ve made clear multiple times I reserve the right to know who is commenting here.

      1. Hello readers!

        FYI “bill smith” commented on this post (see above), and I thanked him for his comment and addressed his points in a follow-up comment.

        “bill” responded to me without speaking to my points; I emailed “bill” at the email address he provided in an effort to have a dialogue. Turns out “bill’s” email address is fake.

        Further, the website “bill” provided in his original comment is for a woman dealing with Alzheimer’s.

        I’m happy to engage with any and all, with the proviso that they identify who they are. “bill”, coward that he is, refuses to do that, instead stooping to insults and ad hominem attacks.

        That’s unfortunate indeed.

        So, a reminder. You know who I am. If you want to comment, I reserve the right to ascertain your identity and you have to provide it.

        Hope everyone has or had a great weekend.

        cheers Joe

  6. Good morning Joe,
    Having worked for OCCM for many years I had to watch many of my colleagues and friends lose their jobs over the 3+ layoffs. When we had Don Duford at the helm (One Call singularly), things were great! When Joe Delaney was the leader of MSC they were good over there too! Each of our companies had our own identity. We cherished our clients and appreciated them. We took care of business I.e. injured workers. I often wonder if that is exactly why the fall from grace. We completely lost ourselves, our unified vision. Then came the greed. They changed goals, processes, systems and staff on a whim. We used to joke that there must be a dart board somewhere that decided our fate that day. One Call and MSC were amazing companies (individually) that provided the best service and industry training a person could ask for.

    Hoping the very few good folks still left make it through this most recent challenge unscathed. (I’m leaving Align out of this mix since they just seem to go with the flow.) Full disclosure, I left OCCM by my own choice. I’m no dumb bunny.

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates

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