PODCAST

The Comp Effect

Todd Thams

The Comp Effect podcast brings you real-world stories, actionable tips, business-friendly advise, and information to help businesses. We'll show you how focusing on your workers' compensation line of business leads to a safer work environment, more productive staff, lower expenses, and crushes your competition.

Managing Work Comp Claims at Chick-fil-A
Jul 12 2021
Managing Work Comp Claims at Chick-fil-A
In this episode of The Comp Effect podcast, host Todd Thams interviews Steve Figliuolo aka "Figs" who is the Senior Risk Manager and in charge of work comp claims at Chick-fil-A Corporate Support Center. He shares his industry experience, his thoughts on managing claims, and how to pay what is owed and defend what isn't. Episode Highlights: Steve shares his background. (3:06) Steve mentions one of the first things that attracted him to Chick-fil-A. (7:35) Steve mentions his career in sales and marketing with an investigative company. (13:40) Steve shares his experience working in insurance fraud. (18:51) Steve mentions what’s most interesting about his job at Chick-fil-A. (28:06) Steve mentions how he views their nurse triage line. (33:40) Steve shares what the results have been in the last four years by changing their model from the bureaucratic system to nurse triage. (36:14) How has Steve been able to influence work comp claims? (40:12) Steve explains their onboarding process for new employees. (49:34) Key Quotes: “It's an interesting industry, because I don't know many people that really have ever directly said, I want to be involved in workers comp. And so, I think I'm one of the majority that sort of fell into this career path.” “Advocacy is probably the big buzzword in the industry right now...claim advocacy. But, we just view it as defending our reputation, and if we owe something, then we want to step up, and we want to pay for it. We want our team members to have a pleasant experience.” “I would encourage anyone out there...talk to your peers, talk to other people in the industry and see what works for them and see what doesn't work for them, and why. You never know what could be successful in your program.” Resources Mentioned: Steve Figliuolo LinkedIn Chick-fil-A Corporate Support Center Reach out to Todd Thams Direct Work Comp Thams Agency
The Bermuda Triangle of Insurance Explained
Jun 28 2021
The Bermuda Triangle of Insurance Explained
In this episode of The Comp Effect podcast, host Todd Thams interviews Don Phin, Certified eSpeaker, Strategist, and Coach. Don stops by to explain how work comp, FMLA, and ADA interact. He also explains how focusing on work comp claims actually increases revenue. Episode Highlights: Don shares his professional background. (1:49) Don explains what most business owners and brokers don’t really know. (5:31) Don chats about margin replacement revenue ratio. (12:45) Don gives examples of customer experience and customer value. (18:44) Don explains why one of the biggest mistakes that people make is not starting the clock on the FMLA. (21:23) Don talks more in depth about ADA. (27:42) Don mentions the website, Job Accommodation Network. (30:45) Don shares one of the mistakes that people don’t often talk about. (41:04) Don mentions he’s currently reading the book entitled, BE 2.0 by Jim Collins. (48:39) Don mentions that he’s been spending more money on liquor. (49:55) Key Quotes: “What I learned dealing with those CEOs is they get the logical aspect of cost, but, they're not emotionally engaged by cost. They’re emotionally engaged by revenue. I do not want to work for a CEO who is more emotionally engaged about costs, than they are about revenue… That's the wrong CEO to work for.” - Don Phin “So many people come in and really try to magnify the pain of that modifier, and I get all that. But, after a while, people are tired of that drumbeat. Everybody tries to put them into pain.” - Don Phin “The first thing you want to make sure is that we have a good process in place for people to ask for leave… any kind of leave. So, the handbooks will have FMLA, ADA, workers comp, pregnancy, whatever else it is. But, there should be an umbrella policy that says no matter what the leave is, here's how you begin this process.” - Don Phin Resources Mentioned: Don Phin LinkedIn Don Phin Website Reach out to Todd Thams Direct Work Comp Thams Agency
Employment Law Advice - Post COVID-19
Jun 21 2021
Employment Law Advice - Post COVID-19
In this episode of The Comp Effect podcast, host Todd Thams interviews Melissa Schilling, shareholder at Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, P.C. Melissa stops by to educate us on what businesses can legally do when bringing employees back to the office. Can you require vaccines? Can you require facemasks? Can you terminate an employee who doesn't get vaccinated? She answers all these questions and more! Episode Highlights: Melissa shares her background. (1:50) What’s Melissa’s favorite area of practice? (3:36) Melissa explains what happens if an employee doesn’t want to get vaccinated. (5:40) Melissa mentions what the Americans with Disabilities Act is all about. (11:53) What approach should employers take when it comes to anxiety? (16:18) Melissa explains why the CDC guidelines can be difficult to enforce. (38:32) Melissa mentions that she likes to read the news. (40:55) Melissa mentions that she’s been spending more money on baby gear. (41:15) Key Quotes: “For the most part, I focus on representing employers, making sure they do the right thing, and if they mess up, or alleged to mess up, then I help defend them in any sort of lawsuit.” - Melissa Schilling “Employers can do little things to incentivize their employees to get vaccinated and come up with a creative idea. Call your attorney, as to what you may be able to do in order to incentivize employees.” - Melissa Schilling “When it comes to business operations and protecting employees, the most conservative approach has always been to follow CDC guidelines.” - Melissa Schilling Resources Mentioned: Melissa Schilling LinkedIn Dickinson, Mackaman, Tyler & Hagen, P.C. Reach out to Todd Thams Direct Work Comp Thams Agency
Provider Fraud Is a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
Jun 14 2021
Provider Fraud Is a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry
In this episode of The Comp Effect podcast, host Todd Thams interviews Sam King, Vice President at EMPLOYERS. Sam is no stranger to working in comp fraud. His entire career has been focused on identifying and preventing all types of work comp fraud. Learn what the MILK acronym means, how fraud occurs, and what to look for. Episode Highlights: Sam shares his background. (1:59) Sam explains why California is not a very conservative state when it comes to workers comp benefits. (10:41) Sam shares one of the schemes they’ve dealt with for years. (19:18) Sam mentions the three types of fraud in workers comp. (22:36) Sam explains what the MILK term is all about. (31:02) How does Sam’s company work to help reduce provider fraud? (39:57) Sam shares one of the biggest fraud cases he’s uncovered. (52:31) Sam mentions he’s currently reading the book entitled, Steel My Soldiers' Hearts by Col. David H. Hackworth. (1:02:04) Sam mentions that he’s been spending more money on food. (1:03:24) Sam gives a piece of advice to the listeners. (1:04:06) Key Quotes: “I think one of the things you can do as an employer is making sure you have good people that are good managers, and they're treating people right. And so, you don't have those retaliation issues.” - Sam King “So, if you got MILK, if you can prove all four elements of MILK, you can prove fraud. And, I'm talking about criminal fraud for insurance.” - Sam King “If you’re a supervisor or manager, think about that. Be a good manager and treat your employees well. Do the right thing. Don't be the jerk that people talk about.” - Sam King Resources Mentioned: Sam King LinkedIn EMPLOYERS Reach out to Todd Thams Direct Work Comp Thams Agency
Mental Health Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Jun 7 2021
Mental Health Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic
In this episode of The Comp Effect podcast, host Todd Thams interviews Ruban Roberts, MBA, MSW, CEO of RER Consulting, LLC. Ruban founded a COVID-19 mental health program for the 2.8 million residents of Miami Dade County, with a focus on helping marginalized communities. His experience is helpful in recognizing the effects of the pandemic on various populations and how businesses should approach these groups as they prepare their workforce reintegration plan. Episode Highlights: Ruban shares his background. (2:35) Ruban shares where his idea came from to create a program for Miami Dade County when the pandemic hit. (4:29) Ruban outlines the objectives of their program. (9:47) Ruban shares how their educational modules have been helpful during the pandemic. (13:13) Ruban mentions the website called COVID-19 Mental Health & Wellness Program. (14:29) Ruban shares how their program has made an impact. (18:45) Ruban shares how the pandemic affected the white, Hispanic, and black populations differently. (33:15) Ruban mentions he’s currently reading the book entitled, How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi. (49:35) Ruban mentions that he’s spending more money on his house. (50:13) Ruban gives a piece of advice to the listeners. (51:05) Key Quotes: “The element of mental health was not front and center, during the time. I think it's becoming more and more apparent that that's something we need to be considering. And, I see more of an initiative to address mental health right now.” - Ruban Roberts, MBA, MSW “We wanted to make sure that everyone had access. The key for us was about having access, and we wanted to make sure that everyone had access to those services.” - Ruban Roberts, MBA, MSW “I feel that the key to me is to work on engaging people, normalizing the sense of mental health... issues like stressors and depression are not uncommon among folks during difficult times, like a pandemic. And, then really making sure that we get people services that they need.” - Ruban Roberts, MBA, MSW Resources Mentioned: Ruban Roberts, MBA, MSW LinkedIn RER Consulting, LLC Reach out to Todd Thams Direct Work Comp Thams Agency
Using Education and Processes to Win
May 24 2021
Using Education and Processes to Win
In this episode of The Comp Effect podcast, host Todd Thams interviews Kevin Ring, CWCA, MWCA, lead analyst with the Institute of WorkComp Professionals. Kevin shares his experience with education and processes that agents can use to help their clients. This episode talks about all things workers' compensation, from sales, to claim management, to employee termination/resignation. Episode Highlights: Kevin shares the history of workers’ compensation. (5:08) As an agent, what’s one of the greatest things you can do? (17:00) Kevin explains the only reason why anyone buys insurance. (21:42) Kevin shares why they always talk about the experience mod and managing the valuation date. (25:54) Kevin mentions how they train their agents. (28:08) Kevin shares one of the huge issues they have in the industry with agents. (36:43) Kevin mentions that he’s reading Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy, by Jane Leavy. (1:02:35) Kevin mentions that he’s about to spend a lot of money on college. (1:03:13) Kevin gives a piece of advice to the listeners. (1:03:58)   Key Quotes: “You could start with the clients you feel like trust you the most. Clients that trust you are a great place to try new things...Because, if you drop the ball, then you're probably not going to ruin the relationship the first time you drop the ball.” - Kevin Ring “If you don't know that you are in control of your workers’ compensation costs, then you're almost certainly not. And, we would encourage you to work with someone who can help you feel in control.” - Kevin Ring “For insurance agents, you'll find a way, whether it's in workers compensation or something else... find a way where you can put your clients in control of their insurance programs. Because, control is something that we feel very innately, and people don't like to feel out of control.” - Kevin Ring Resources Mentioned: Kevin Ring, CWCA, MWCA LinkedIn Institute of WorkComp Professionals Reach out to Todd Thams Direct Work Comp Thams Agency
Listen to Me and Treat Me like a Human
May 17 2021
Listen to Me and Treat Me like a Human
In this episode of The Comp Effect podcast, host Todd Thams interviews Lisa Fitzpatrick, DrOT, CHT, CAE, CEAS, Owner of XcelABLE. Lisa talks about her company and passion for helping injured workers with pain management. As someone who has struggled with managing her physical pain, she knows what claimants go through and has ideas to help. Listen to how her company helps with health and wellness. Episode Highlights: Lisa mentions what they do inside the company. (3:39) Lisa shares her background. (5:30) Lisa shares other people’s thoughts about chronic pain management. (9:25) How does Lisa address the issues when tests do not show pain, but the injured worker says he’s in pain? (22:31) Why doesn’t Lisa recommend the regular use of drugs to manage chronic pain? (28:14) Lisa explains why she brought yoga into the company. (40:34) Lisa shares how their app works. (48:03) Lisa mentions that she’s currently reading the book entitled Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg. (1:00:37) Lisa mentions that she’s spending more money on her children. (1:03:01) Lisa gives a piece of advice to the listeners. (1:05:48) Key Quotes: “I find from the workers’ comp perspective, it's a lot of education and having other professionals know of the different companies that are out there and our own personal experiences, and why we work with companies, and the things that we can collectively do together.” - Lisa Fitzpatrick, DrOT, CHT, CAE, CEAS “Our program is designed to number one, yes, work with employers and help with injury prevention and injury reduction. But, really working with employees and providing more of this comprehensive service to help you with your mindset... your ability to take care of your body. Anywhere from stretching to nutrition to strengthening.” - Lisa Fitzpatrick, DrOT, CHT, CAE, CEAS “If you have high injury rates, then it is so important to get us in there, so we can look at your premiums, look at how we can really work collectively together to bring down your insurance premiums and then implement a wellness culture.” - Lisa Fitzpatrick, DrOT, CHT, CAE, CEAS Resources Mentioned: Lisa Fitzpatrick, DrOT, CHT, CAE, CEAS LinkedIn XcelABLE Reach out to Todd Thams Direct Work Comp Thams Agency
Why Mod Reviews Are Important
May 10 2021
Why Mod Reviews Are Important
In this episode of The Comp Effect podcast, host Todd Thams interviews Andrew Clark, co-owner of CCG Premium Recovery Group. Andrew talks about what his company does and common errors they see. Just last year they returned $4.3 million dollars back to clients and their data suggests almost 70% of all mods are wrong. Episode Highlights: Andrew shares when he joined the family business. (3:56) Andrew explains why workers’ compensation is a convoluted system. (5:54) Andrew mentions the biggest kickback that he gets from clients and brokers. (10:18) Andrew shares why claim reserves are incorrect with mods. (17:46) What advice would Andrew give to businesses to make sure that claims, audits, and payroll are being reported correctly? (23:31) What does CCG stand for? (31:31) Andrew mentions that he’s currently reading Sports Illustrated magazines. (39:33) Andrew mentions that he’s spending more money on his boating hobby.. (40:11) Andrew shares a piece of advice for the listeners. (41:01) Key Quotes: “It's important to understand that there are three components to our review. And, it's all done on contingency. What I mean by contingency is, nobody's writing me a check...Not paying me a dime, a nickel, a penny, anything... unless I'm successful.” - Andrew Clark “Whatever you want us to do, we’re there to help. It's all done in my office. simple process. Money goes back to the client, you get the refund, your pay is half of what comes back. No refund in hand, no fee, but peace of mind to know everything is good.” - Andrew Clark “We are a business that has built strong relationships with rating bureaus and carriers, and carriers want to be solvent. They don't hate us, they want to be solvent. They want things off their books. If there are errors, they want them corrected. And, they want those premiums regenerated, readjusted, and have things corrected for the client.” - Andrew Clark Resources Mentioned: Andrew Clark LinkedIn Andrew Clark Email CCG Premium Recovery Group CCG Premium Recovery Group Workers’ Compensation Specialists Reach out to Todd Thams Direct Work Comp Thams Agency
Tailoring Employee Engagement to Drive Company Growth
May 3 2021
Tailoring Employee Engagement to Drive Company Growth
In this episode of The Comp Effect podcast, host Todd Thams interviews John Spanczak, Director of Employee Engagement Services at Leverage. John has helped put Clickstop Inc. on the map as a top workplace in Iowa. John shares his unique perspective and strategies to help businesses create an amazing workplace culture. Episode Highlights: John shares how he made Clickstop a top workplace in Iowa and one of the fastest-growing companies. (3:31) John shares the number of employees they’ve had at Clickstop from 2018 to 2021. (8:24) John mentions the culture they have at Leverage. (13:56) John shares why their recruitment strategy plays a huge role at Clickstop. (16:50) How does John’s fact-finding process work? (18:23) John explains what a culture calibration program is. (22:07) How does John communicate amongst all the channels and bring everybody back to the center for their unified purpose? (29:42) John shares how to cultivate change in an organization. (41:43) Key Quotes: “We talk about how people come to Clickstop not just to become great employees, but to just become better human beings. We're not just growing for the sake of profitability. We're growing to build stronger families, better communities, better businesses around us.” - John Spanczak “It's pretty simple: Leverage exists to help you achieve those goals. And, whether your goals are to grow your workforce, to grow by location, by revenue, by just quality, and efficiency... Whatever your goals are, my job is to figure out the strategies to help make that happen.” - John Spanczak “It's okay to feel bad about something, It's okay to feel negative. What's not okay is to not do anything about it. have to be employee-owners, we have to be owning our experience, and if you're waiting for somebody to tell you what that is, most likely, it's going to turn out in a way that you're not pleased with. But, if we can pioneer that for ourselves, seek opportunities, and own what comes next, then it becomes really clear that you can be a part of the solution and not the problem.” - John Spanczak Resources Mentioned: John Spanczak LinkedIn Clickstop, Inc. Leverage Reach out to Todd Thams Direct Work Comp Thams Agency