Author Archives: Helen Knight

United We Drag?

Twenty-four hours after a video of United Airlines staff dragging a passenger off a plane (because it wanted the seat for a United employee) went viral, the CEO offered a poor apology. Everyone makes mistakes–all companies make mistakes.  How you apologize and fix the problem can mitigate the harm and sometimes strengthen relationships with customers.  This is a great article analyzing the CEO's response. 

HomeCare Connect – trendsetter in telehealth

HomeCare Connect Incorporates Telehealth into its Workers’ Compensation Home Healthcare Services

Live video interactions among injured employees, their home health caregivers and their clinicians are expected to speed the delivery of care, improve communication and increase patient satisfaction.


WINTER PARK, FLA. (February 28, 2017) – HomeCare Connect, which manages the quality and cost of workers’ compensation home healthcare, is integrating telehealth capabilities into its services.

Accessible via mobile telephones, computers and tablets, HomeCare Connect’s Tele-Connect is a cloud-based application that enables injured employees and their home health caregivers to meet virtually with HomeCare Connect’s clinical care coordinators to discuss treatment.

“Live video interactions are more personal than telephone conversations and help clinicians see what’s going on,” said Chief Marketing Officer Vonesa Wenzel. “If a wound is not healing properly, a treating physician can watch wound care being administered and recommend changes in real time. This accelerates the delivery of appropriate care, speeds recovery and may eliminate the need for a doctor’s office visit.”

Providing telehealth services at no additional charge to customers, HomeCare Connect will use the application to clarify treatment, educate injured employees, monitor the use of durable medical equipment, and help amputees adjust to prosthetics. Tele-Connect will also be used to take adjusters on virtual walk-throughs before, during and after home modifications.

“We’re the first home healthcare network in workers’ compensation to adopt telehealth technology,” Wenzel said, noting that some companies use it for case management and triage.  “I’m sure we’ll discover other benefits as we integrate the technology.”

About HomeCare Connect

Specializing in catastrophic cases, HomeCare Connect focuses exclusively on managing the quality and cost of home health, durable medical equipment and supplies for workers’ compensation payers. With more than 17,000 contracted network providers, its services include nursing, home infusion, respiratory therapy, speech and occupational therapy, prosthetics and orthotics, and the coordination of DME and supplies along with home modifications. HomeCare Connect’s partners consolidated their 20-plus years of workers’ compensation experience into offerings and service standards that ensure that injured workers receive excellent care in the fastest time frames at the most affordable prices. HomeCare Connect guarantees response to referrals within two hours and the delivery of an initial medical summary within two days. Based near Orlando, the privately held company serves clients nationally and can be reached at or 855-223-2228. 


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Media Contact:  Helen Patterson, King Knight Communications, 813-690-4787


Becoming a Subject Matter Expert

If you’re interested in becoming known as a subject matter expert, take some lessons from Mark Pew, Senior Vice President of PRIUM, who is profiled in this Thursday ThoughtLeader piece. Mark is a prolific speaker (392 presentations between March 2012 and January 2017) and regular media source on issues involving workers’ compensation, pharmacy management and chronic pain. He was interviewed for more than 35 articles in 2016 alone, he also writes articles for industry publications and he regularly posts original content on LinkedIn and Twitter @RxProfessor. 

I’ve worked with PRIUM since early 2012 and been in a great position to watch Mark grow in his role as “Chief Educator.” The profile lays out his journey; I’ll just note a few of Mark’s characteristics that contribute to his success as a subject matter expert for conferences and journalists. (Obviously, the first and most important step is the expert part. Mark studied the workers’ compensation industry’s pharmacy issues and developed PRIUM’s services long before hitting the speaking circuit.)

  • Makes media relations a priority.  Mark will jump through hoops to research material to prepare for an interview and meet reporters’ (often short) deadlines. After interviews, he often sends the reporters links to relevant studies, reports and other articles.
  • Dedication. I can’t count the number of times he’s spoken in California one day and on the East Coast the next.
  • Accurate and Thorough. Mark explains complicated concepts clearly and thoroughly, gaining him appreciation from journalists and high ratings from conference attendees.
  • Constantly Learning. He is always reading, talking with clinicians, state regulators and legislators and other experts.
  • Open to feedback. Mark soaks up every drop of advice on working with the media and article writing – and follows it.
  • Disciplined message. Mark came up with the concept of the RxProfessor and his original posts and presentations focus on the intersection of chronic pain and appropriate treatment. He does not deviate from the core message so when people see his name they know what to expect.
  • Driven to do the right thing.  Mark definitely wants to do the right thing for PRIUM’s clients and while pursuing that goal, he has developed empathy for injured employees who struggle with the workers’ comp system, people who suffer from chronic pain, and people who have become dependent on or addicted to opioids and other drugs. While working to correct inappropriate drug regimens, he became passionate about facilitating lifelong recovery.

Another thing that made Mark’s a subject matter expertise possible is the support of his company.  PRIUM’s president Michael Gavin is a big believer in the power of education and public relations. When Mark started speaking and writing, he was still in charge of the company’s sales and marketing. Michael absorbed these responsibilities so that Mark could focus totally on education and advocacy. 

Take a few minutes and read this article and check out Mark’s posts on LinkedIn and Twitter.  Do you have what it takes to be a subject matter expert? Let me know if I can help.  

MedRisk Launches NexGen Advantage at NWCDC

New work comp medical cost containment program delivers savings, clinical intervention and transparency.

New Orleans, La. (November 30, 2016) – MedRisk announced a new workers’ compensation cost containment service model, NexGen Advantage, at the National Workers’ Compensation & Disability Conference & Expo.

“Traditional medical cost containment program results are plateauing, yet payers are still losing between three to five million dollars in savings for every $100 million spent on medical services,” said Mary O’Donoghue, MedRisk’s Chief Product Development Officer. She noted that approximately seven percent of medical payments are improperly paid. 

NexGen Advantage is the industry’s first single solution that uses analytics and technology to identify and deliver the best combination of strategies to ensure accurate and fair medical payment of individual bills. “NexGen leverages the buying power of a mega network with more than 900,000 providers, an incredibly powerful data analytics system, and expert clinical intervention to capture additional savings after bill review, make payers’ lives easier, and improve provider partnerships,” O’Donoghue added.

NexGen Advantage runs a payer’s bill data through a sophisticated analytic that examines a number of factors, including jurisdiction, bill type, facility, and provider type. There is a single, flat access fee. Taking each payer’s business objectives into account, the program determines where a preferred provider organization is most effective and where other cost containment strategies are best for all parties.

Online access to data and peer-to-peer conversations with providers about benchmarking, coding and payments help to reduce provider confusion.

“NexGen Advantage supports a partnership between payers and providers by delivering full transparency for fair and appropriate payment, “O’Donoghue said. “This is particularly important as the industry looks toward building stronger, outcomes-oriented networks.”

About MedRisk
MedRisk is the leader in physical rehabilitation and diagnostic imaging solutions for the workers’ compensation industry. Founded in 1994 and based in King of Prussia, Pa., MedRisk is accredited under URAC for utilization management and has successfully completed a SSAE 16 Type II examination. MedRisk’s programs deliver savings and operational efficiencies that are significantly greater than traditional programs. Customers include insurance carriers, self-insured employers, third-party administrators, state funds, and case management companies.

To make a referral or obtain more information, visit or call 800-225-9675.


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Media Contacts: 
Helen Patterson, King Knight Communications,, 813-690-4787

Rommy Blum, MedRisk, Inc., 800-225-9675 ext. 1150;



Dan Anders Joins Tower MSA Partners as Chief Compliance Officer

Delray Beach, Fla. (November 30, 2016) — Tower MSA Partners, which provides Medicare Secondary Compliance services and Medicare Set-Asides in workers’ compensation and liability, has selected Dan Anders as Chief Compliance Officer.  This is a new, senior management position that oversees all aspects of regulatory compliance associated with the Medicare Secondary Payer Statute and local, state and federal laws.

“Dan’s vast experience in MSP compliance and his ability to navigate the complex legal issues associated with MSAs and conditional payments make him a perfect candidate to lead Tower’s legal and compliance team.   We are delighted to have someone of his expertise to drive future growth,” said CEO Rita Wilson.

An attorney and a certified Medicare Set-Aside Consultant, Anders brings more than 13 years’ experience in MSP compliance and MSAs to this role. Most recently, he was the senior vice president of MSP Compliance for ExamWorks Clinical Solutions, and previously he served for five years as compliance director for MedAllocators, which was acquired by ExamWorks in 2014.

Anders started his career as an attorney with Wiedner & McAuliffe in Chicago, Illinois, where his responsibilities included developing policies for handling Medicare requirements in workers’ compensation cases and preparing and submitting MSAs to CMS. He has presented at industry conferences and written a number of articles and blog posts on compliance issues.

Anders earned his Juris Doctor degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago and his bachelor’s degree from Loyola University also in Chicago.  He is a member of the National Alliance of Medicare Set-Aside Professionals and the Illinois State Bar Association. 

About Tower MSA Partners

Headquartered in Delray Beach, Fla., Tower MSA Partners’ services include pre-MSA Triage, MSAs, physician peer reviews, CMS submissions, MSA administration, medical cost projections, life care plans, conditional payments, and Section 111 reporting. With more than 50 years combined experience in pharmacy, legal oversight and medical care, Tower proactively stages claims, working collaboratively with clients to identify issues and intervene to modify outcomes.  Tower remains involved in the claims, through final resolution, MSA and/or other settlement. This model enables Tower’s clients to provide better care to injured workers, reduce claim and MSA costs, and obtain CMS acceptance of the MSA. For more information, visit and

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Business Wire version w/photo: Dan Anders Joins Tower MSA Partners as Chief Compliance Officer

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Media Contact:  Helen Patterson, King Knight Communications, 813-690-4787;


Workers’ Comp Drug Spend is Down, according to CompPharma’s 13th Annual Survey of Prescription Drug Management

Survey shows 8.7 percent reduction in worker’s compensation payers’ drug spend

Maggie Valley, North Carolina (November 1, 2016) – CompPharma’s 13th Annual Survey of Prescription Drug Management in Workers’ Compensation showed an 8.7 percent reduction in payers’ pharmacy spend. The survey analyzed the 2015 pharmacy cost data of 30 workers’ compensation insurance carriers, third-party administrators, self-insured employers, and state funds. 

Payers credited tighter clinical management, better integration with their pharmacy benefit managers, and prescriber interventions for the decrease.  All have opioid management programs to limit the number of initial opioid prescriptions and/or decrease morphine equivalents across as many claims as medically appropriate.  

“Twenty percent of the respondents also had assertive settlement initiatives and have been closing older claims,” said Joseph Paduda, president of CompPharma, LLC.  “Overall, payers have seen drug costs go down by 11 percent in the past six years despite the 2014 increase.”

Opioids remained the number-one payer concern with compounds ranking as the main emerging issue. 

PBM consolidations received mixed reactions from the payer community.  Some respondents hoped mergers would bring better pricing and more clinical capabilities while others expressed concern that the lack of competition would breed complacency. 

“There is a sense of acceptance along with a little wariness about potential customer service issues,” Paduda said.  “Consolidation in other segments of the industry has spawned customer service problems when people-based operating models were replaced with offshored or tech-enabled models.”

A complimentary copy of the 2016 survey can be downloaded from

About CompPharma

Established by industry consultants Joseph Paduda and Helen King Patterson, CompPharma, LLC is a consortium of workers’ compensation PBMs active in workers compensation.  More information is available at or by contacting Patterson at 813-690-4787 or

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Media Contact:  Helen Patterson, 813-690-4787;

Restore Rehabilitation Announces More Growth

Workers’ compensation nurse case management company now provides services in Mississippi

Owings Mills, Md. (October 11, 2016) — Restore Rehabilitation, a medical and vocational case management company focused on reducing the cost of workers’ compensation claims through high quality medical treatment, recently introduced field case management services into the state of Mississippi.

Restore’s field case managers maintain advanced credentials and have at least three years of experience in workers’ compensation. Most often used on complex cases involving multiple body parts, amputations, severe burns, spinal cord damage, and comorbidities, field case managers are also helpful with unwitnessed or questionable injuries.

“Mississippi represents an ideal territory for expansion based on our market penetration in the bordering states,” said Restore Rehabilitation President and CEO Pam Anthony.  “There are approximately three million people residing in Mississippi, and Restore is confident in our ability to have a positive impact on the state’s workers’ compensation needs.”

Field case managers evaluate injured employees’ treatment plans to assist them in navigating the complicated workers’ compensation maze. They help identify high quality medical providers and potential return to work hurdles, while helping injured employees achieve maximum medical improvement and full return-to-work status.

“In response to the market’s need for a national boutique case management firm, Restore welcomes the opportunity to expand our geographic footprint,” Anthony added. “Restore continues to hire high caliber talent and is currently seeking experienced case managers in Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.”

About Restore Rehabilitation

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Restore Rehabilitation offers an early intervention program, bilingual services, catastrophic case management, life care planning, file reviews, and medical cost allocations. In addition to providing telephonic case management in all 50 states, Restore now delivers field case management services in: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Based in Owings Mills, Maryland, Restore Rehabilitation can be reached at 866-581-8771 or


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Link to release on Business Wire Restore Rehabilitation Announces More Growth

Contact:  Helen Patterson, King Knight Communications, 813-690-4787;

Windham Group Selects David D. Heffner as Chief Sales Officer

Heffner brings 20 years of workers’ compensation managed care experience to the position

Manchester, NH (November 15, 2016) — Windham Group, a leading case management company focused on the return-to-work continuum, has named David D. Heffner Chief Sales Officer.  Heffner is responsible for national sales, growing and mentoring the company’s salesforce and expanding strategic workers’ compensation carrier and third-party administrator relationships.

“We are excited about having Dave on board,” said Sebastian Grasso, president and CEO of Windham Group. “His background in work comp managed care and his energetic approach make him an asset to our management team.”

Heffner brought 20 years’ of sales and marketing experience for workers’ compensation managed care companies to the position.  Most recently he served as senior vice president of One Call Care Management’s Specialty Network Division. Prior to One Call, he was the executive vice president of sales and marketing for Express Dental Services and played a strategic role in Express’ acquisition by One Call. Heffner is also the former eastern region vice president of sales for MSC (Medical Services Company).

About Windham Group

Founded in 1989 and based in Manchester, New Hampshire, Windham Group provides case management services designed to facilitate return to work. Specialists analyze the injured worker’s workplace and recommend low cost, no cost changes to the work environment, enabling employees to return to work for their original employers in their pre-injury positions. The company also provides telephonic, field and vocational case management services.  For more information, please see or call 800-898-0386.

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Media Contact:  Helen King Patterson, APR, King Knight Communications, 813-690-4787;

Link to release & photo on Business Wire: Windham Group Selects David D. Heffner as Chief Sales Officer

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