I had a chance some time back to speak at length with John Watts, CEO of Paradigm Outcomes, about the growth his company was undergoing as well as some of the changes we are seeing in the workers' compensation sector. Paradigm, founded in 1991, is the nation's leading provider of catastrophic and complex care management. They are based in Walnut Creek, California, and have provided services for more than 15,000 catastrophic cases, specifically spinal cord injuries, acute brain injuries and severe burns. They boast an impressive success rate of more than 99.7% in achieving or exceeding targeted outcomes, thereby improving lives of injured workers and providing value to clients.
And it appears they were just warming up. In the past year, the folks at Paradigm have been on a bit of a buying spree, having acquired Encore Unlimited, Foresight Medical, The Alaris Group, Adva-Net and the workers' compensation assets of Best Doctors', Inc. These acquisitions are seen as directly aligning with Paradigm's overall goals, which according to Watts, is deepening Paradigm's “expertise across the care continuum and extend access to a network of experts to better serve catastrophic cases, complex medical issues on long term cases, pain, and early and effective back injury treatment.”
Indeed, the addition of Encore and Alaris' case management services combined with Paradigm's expertise in managing catastrophic injuries and complex pain form a comprehensive range of solutions for the workers' compensation industry. The acquisitions of Foresight, which offers a suite of orthopedic surgical management solutions, and Adva-Net, an ancillary network providing services for comprehensive pain management, post-acute care management and addiction recovery, will expand and strengthen Paradigm's specialty network footprint and capabilities, and, according to Watts, “complement our core catastrophic and complex care management offerings.”
All in all, it is not too dissimilar a strategy from that of a major airline who acquires regional or “feeder” commuter lines. They can streamline efficiencies while providing convenient end to end service for their customers. As Watts says, “it's really about getting the injured worker better.” Expanded medical services integrated within a multi-layered network that can adapt to a patient's specific needs and accomplish that at a much better level.
And that integration continues this week with a major re-branding announcement, available here.
But beyond all the business logic and core strategy, what drew me to the story was the impact this can all have on my favorite charitable cause, Kids' Chance. Paradigm has been an outstanding supporter and advocate for Kids' Chance, the national 501(c)3 organization that provides scholarships and educational opportunities for children of workers seriously or fatally injured on the job.
John Watts's predecessor, Jim Hudak, has proven a tireless champion of the Kids' Chance mission. Grown from a true grass roots level, he provided funding for the umbrella organization Kids' Chance of America when there wasn't even a formal business plan. That support earned him the 2018 Philanthropy Award at the Comp Laude Awards this past October. But the unique climate at Paradigm, one that incorporates Kids' Chance into its very fiber, is what really makes the company stand out amid Kids' Chance supporters. In fact, I would venture to say that no other company in the industry has successfully imbued Kids' Chance into their corporate culture like Paradigm has.
The challenge for Kids' Chance continues to be getting the “word” out to every cubicle in the industry, so that the scholarship opportunities available can be found by those who need them. There are a host of terrific companies that support the charity financially, yet many of the rank and file in these companies remain relatively oblivious to the program and what it offers. Not at Paradigm. All of their employees wear Kids' Chance pins when out and on the road. Ask any of them about Kids' Chance, and you are likely to learn a lot. Paradigm doesn't just partner with Kids' Chance, they have embraced it as part of their own, and that makes a huge difference when you are trying to reach the audience that Kids' Chance is wanting to serve. In many cases, they are also the people that Paradigm is serving.
As their organization and networks grow, so will the opportunities to further Kids' Chance. I am confident that the same cultural infusion that occurred with Paradigm Outcomes' core competencies will also find their way into the expanded services that the company now offers. It represents a much wider opportunity to raise awareness for potential scholarship recipients within our system.
So, Paradigm is healthy and growing, and that is good for Paradigm. Consistent and reliable care that can run the entire course of a claim is good for injured workers. And a growing organization that virtually lives a charitable mission is good for Kids' Chance.
If you ask me, it is a win, win and win.
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Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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