From the Desk of Matt Condon: My Challenge for the Year Ahead

Another year, another letter. For those of you who do not know, I start each year with a letter to help coalesce both our ARC Physical Therapy+ family and our partners in the marketplace around some central issues for the coming year.

Last year, I focused on three specific topics: the danger and predicted exposure of commoditized networks, inadequacy of providers who only focus on reactive care and the importance of real outcomes in workers’ compensation. In the end, I am proud to say that I was pretty accurate with my predictions.

  • Commoditized networks have become unquestionably disdained within the provider community and increasingly concerning, both culturally and financially, to the employers who access them. The days of commoditized networks continue to grow shorter.
  • Similarly, our provider community is continuing to embrace the reality that they must both be a cost component (as a provider) as well as a cost avoider (as a consultant). Like the evolution from the networks above, the market will force this issue.
  • Actual outcomes did and will continue to rule workers’ compensation. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the private equity and venture capital interests in this very space. Why? Two reasons: First, the HIPAA waiver in workers’ compensation makes the ability to track meaningful data exponentially easier than other segments. Second, because the employer is mandated to provide care and benefits most from an employee that returns to Full Duty Work status and maximized function at MMI. Therefore, quality precipitates value.

Like most of you, I usually end the year sitting on the couch, recapping meaningful moments with friends and family. Some are from my personal life, but others are more professional. For me, the professional moments often strike me as personal because I see such a profound link between the work we do now and the world our children will one day be offered. I choose to work in healthcare because I want to impact peoples’ lives. I choose to focus many of my efforts on workers’ compensation because I believe it provides an opportunity to fix much of what is wrong with the healthcare system. More than that, I choose to work for ARC Physical Therapy+ because it allows me to work alongside others who share similar beliefs and a drive to make them a reality.

As CEO, I don’t lead ARC Physical Therapy+. Rather, its mission “to be a catalyst of change in the marketplace by redefining ‘Excellence’ in healthcare” leads me. In fact, it’s what leads all of us—us, meaning anyone who is reading this letter. When we look at our country and the crisis it is in, it’s clear that we are in need of change. As a result, I ask that you take whatever step you need to truly engage the marketplace as a leader in 2015. To do that, those of us with shared beliefs need to work together to identify and eliminate distractions to clear communication, objective evidence, collaborative cultures and aligned incentives.

I am proud to say that at ARC Physical Therapy+ we are leading and our mission is gaining momentum. We are making real changes in the processes and cultures of hundreds of companies throughout the United States and we plan to continue to grow to reach more patients through more providers in more clinics throughout the country in 2015, just as we did in 2014.

So, rather than offering a predictive statement for the New Year, I present you with a request: lead. Help focus our industry on the core of where “value” is really achieved. Don’t allow this marketplace–our marketplace– to be distracted by old processes and turn into one of apathy and lethargy. Instead, support innovation; support change. It is not only the approach that will leave you feeling most fulfilled, but it is also the future of our profession. Those who get there first will succeed. Those entrenched in the old ways will be destined for extinction.

As Adam Braun once said, “For any movement to gain momentum, it must start with small actions. Those actions become multiplied by the masses and are made tangible when leadership changes course due to the weight of the movement’s voice.” Based on the countless number of conversations I have had with company executives, thought leaders and providers in the industry, we are nearing the day when the weight of our movement’s voice takes over. ARC Physical Therapy+ wasn’t the first company to jump on the innovation bandwagon, nor will we be the last, but we are the one that will make room for you. So, join us–not necessarily at our company but in our movement “to be a catalyst of change in the marketplace by redefining ‘Excellence’ in healthcare.”

I wish all of you a 2015 that is focused on innovation, change, positive disruption and an opportunity to lead.

-Matt Condon, JD/MBA

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