Wednesday, December 21, 2011

You will get Pew’d ...

I have the reputation within PRIUM, customers, business partners and even family as someone who likes to talk.  But it’s not idle chatter (I am not a big fan of small talk).  Instead, it is a passionate and detail-filled screed, like drinking from a firehose.  I try to always ensure my dialogue is fact based, although I’m not hesitant to throw in my opinion as I feel appropriate.  I try to be well informed, whether it’s about business or sports or politics.  I am an IT (aka “geek”) guy by training, so my personal logic and analysis and objectivity are as important to me when assessing a circumstance as any external inputs.  I am a strange combination – a logical analyst who actually can relate and relay ideas to people on a personal level – almost a combination of Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk (or maybe just Mr. Spock when his human side takes precedence).
So when I get going, my colleagues have turned my name into a verb … getting Pew’d … where my opinion formed by analysis comes at a passionate pace.  They say it’s a compliment.
And that’s what I look forward to doing along with Michael on this blog.  If you read my bio on our website it might look like I’ve been working for 50 years instead of just being that old.  I have been engaged with PRIUM since 1989 but the first decade was as a consultant concurrent with my IT management role at Equifax and then ChoicePoint.  In the past 20 years I have been involved with every PRIUM product and outcomes report and marketing document and software development initiative.  And during that time I’ve visited with hundreds, nay thousands, of healthcare and insurance professionals about their approaches to issues.  I covet data, which yields analysis, which yields options, which yields trial-and-error, which ultimately yields a solution.  Whether it’s creating a software application from scribbles on a whiteboard, or creating a product on-the-fly after hearing a customer’s concern, or managing the startup of an offshore operation in India and Panama, I thrive on taking the germ of an idea and nurturing it until a mature solution is produced.
My goal in this blog is to connect the dots from my perspective, and for my connected dots to spark interest and dialogue about the subject so that we can collectively find solutions that might not have been understood before.  So put on your seatbelts … You are about to be Pew’d!
In this together –Mark Pew

On Twitter @PRIUM1

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Work Comp, from the Outside Looking In

I’m a “health care” guy.  When I graduated from college, I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I had a feeling something in the business arena would suit me.  By sheer luck (seriously), I got a job at a world class management consulting firm where I would provide strategic advice to Fortune 100 companies in the financial services, consumer packaged goods and other sectors.  I could sample lots of industries and then settle in to one I liked. 
Every major project I worked on, again by sheer luck, was in the health care space.  A little pharma, some medical device, lots of group health, a bit of health IT, a brief stop to get an MBA, a stint on the hospital provider side, and a little private equity sprinkled in… and I was hooked.  Health care was a huge, sticky, complicated mess and I became committed to trying to “figure it out” – one piece at a time.  
As the newly named Chief Marketing Officer of PRIUM, a workers’ compensation utilization review company, I am becoming increasingly aware that work comp is a complicated and fascinating niche within the health care space.  (Full disclosure:  I’ve been on the operations side here at PRIUM for a year and a half, so I’m not brand new to the space – but I’ve only recently found myself out in the marketplace having candid conversations with customers.  And isn’t that where the real learning happens?)
I’m excited about this new opportunity.  PRIUM isn’t like any other UR company in the space today.  While we do traditional UR better, faster, and more reliably than anyone, I’m most excited about our growth in the area of prescription narcotics control.  We’ve grown from our historical focus on peer-to-peer discussion in the UR process and assembled an integrated program to ensure the appropriate use of prescription narcotics.  We’ve linked physician-led peer review, nurse oversight, pharmacy formularies, and a genuine cultural commitment to stopping the inappropriate use of these drugs.   Together, we call this our Qualified Medical Intervention Program and it’s giving our customers $6 back for every $1 they spend on our interventions.  Read that last sentence again.  That’s right, 6 to 1 return on investment. 
So my colleague Mark Pew and I will be chiming in here from time to time regarding our thoughts, experiences, and our perspectives on the industry.  We’re doing this as much for ourselves as for any potential readers, so if it helps enlighten or clarify in any way, that’s a bonus. 
Looking forward to 2012…  MG

On Twitter @PRIUM1