During our time at RIMS 2014, we had Workers’ Comp industry stakeholders participate in WorkCompWire’s “4 For 14” series, focused on what to look for this year and in the future! Here’s what Pat Chavanu, President of Network Synergy Group had to say:
1. What do you believe will be the most significant development in the Worker’s Comp industry in 2014?
That can be covered in two words – continued uncertainty. We have ICD10 delayed another year – despite the fact that many of us have already invested significant time and resources to become compliant. Plus, there is the ongoing confusion and uncertainty surrounding the ACA – what affect will it have on work comp? Many leaders in our industry are taking a wait and see attitude – but what we really need at this stage is answers. We were all hoping to achieve more clarity in 2014 – but I’m not sure we’ll see it this year.
2. What is the top issue/problem you and your organization are currently grappling with?
Overall, the marketplace is still fairly passive when it comes to managing PT, relying mostly on discounted networks as the primary means of controlling spend. But employers/payers are looking for better ways to improve outcomes and control costs and they are looking to companies like us to help them. Employers want to attack their key cost drivers. For example, over the past few years employers have been aggressively looking for ways to rein in costs for pharmacy and diagnostics – they’ve seen a lot of success from those efforts. As PT also represents a significant percentage of medical spend, employers are now looking for a more proactive approach to managing their PT program, which has helped grow our business tremendously.
3. Looking out 5 years, beyond obvious trends, what do you think one big change in the Workers’ Comp industry will be?
That’s a hard one as there are so many. There are of course the implications of an aging workforce, industry consolidations and the ACA. But I think one major change is going to be employer engagement in the process to improve the system. There is so much happening at the State and at the Federal levels, as well as in the courts that affect costs. Employers are recognizing that they have to get actively involved – they can’t be passive about any of their programs or the services their vendors bring. They are going to be demanding more accountability; greater cost savings and more results.
4. What is one thing you’d like to promote?
We released at RIMS findings from a data analysis project we undertook earlier this year. Through our analysis of 47,000 claims representing large employers, carriers and TPAs, we found that only 18% of workers’ compensation claims incorporate comprehensively managed solutions for PT. We want to communicate that for those organizations seeking to target critical costs drivers, strategies like channeling to quality PT providers, employing treatment plans that are evidence based, and fostering collaboration with all stakeholders throughout the entire course of therapy are the best ways to improve outcomes and manage costs.
About Pat Chavanu
As Network Synergy Group’s (NSG) President, Pat Chavanu is responsible for executing NSG’s strategic plan and ensuring the overall suggess of the organization. Prior to joining NSG, Chavanu served as the Chief Sales Officer at PMSI, Vice President of Sales and Account Management at Intracorp and Regional Vice President at GENEX Services, Inc.
He has an M.A. in Organizational Leadership from the University of Denver and a B.S. in Finance from the Univesity of Nebraska.