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Meet Ron E. Peck of The Phia Group in Braintree

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ron E. Peck.

CEO, Adam Russo, and CFO, Michael Branco, met as undergraduates at Suffolk University. Over the years, their friendship flourished. In the meantime, Adam spent time working for a local law firm, handling subrogation and coordination of benefits issues for self-funded employee health plans. During that time, he developed relationships with various members of the industry, and was emboldened to set out on his own. He convinced Mike during a camping trip that he’d developed an idea on how to provide this important service to benefit plans, in a new and innovative fashion. He was convinced that – with his experience and Mike’s mind for software development, finance, and sales – they could achieve greatness. So, the two partners scrounged together what little funds were available, cleared some space in Adam’s mother’s basement (in Quincy, MA), and The Phia Group began its operations in 1999. With only one client (who had dutifully followed Adam), Adam and Mike worked hard (here – and waiting tables at night) to achieve something great. Since then, The Phia Group has spent years developing and refining its techniques. From two friends in mom’s basement, to today, The Phia Group employs nearly 150 people, in half a dozen states, and is a recognized leader in cost containment within the health insurance industry. The Phia Group provides services to thousands of employers and millions of people nationwide. As law and the industry change, so too have The Phia Group’s service offerings; today, The Phia Group offers a variety of plan drafting, legal, and consulting solutions in addition to subrogation and recovery services. No other cost containment firm offers such a range of valuable and dynamic services.

Has it been a smooth road?
First and foremost, Adam and Mike agreed early on not to accept investors’ money. As a result, growth had to come from within. Profits were reinvested to help the company grow. Today, this is an advantage – but when the company first started, the money was tight. Fortunately, Adam and Mike had faith in their product, and their predictive modeling, and knew that – by producing better results than anyone else – growth was certain. They weathered the early years, produced results for the first few loyal clients, and once others in the industry saw the results – they wanted in as well. Soon, the “struggles” were less about funds, and more about recruiting talented staff to handle the growth. Fortunately, the Boston area is full of smart professionals. Between family, friends, local schools, and aggressive recruitment, a core team was formed. Additionally, by focusing on constantly evolving technology, The Phia Group identified ways to do more with fewer people. Other struggles came from external sources. For instance, decades ago – when the company was a baby – case law was released that seemingly made the practice of health plan subrogation and coordination of benefits “illegal.” It looked bleak. Many competitors boxed up their files, and sent the cases back to their clients. Adam and Mike were determined to find a loophole in the caselaw, however, and invited those plans – whose prior vendors had “given up” – to send their cases to The Phia Group. Lo and behold, Mike and Adam did identify a loophole – resulting in the services we offer being fully legal – but also seeing us flourish where our competition had surrendered.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Phia Group provides subrogation, consultation, and plan drafting services to hundreds of clients nationwide; including municipal health plans, multi-employer health plans, self-funded health plans, fully-insured entities, TPAs, ASOs, stop-loss carriers, reinsurance carriers, MGUs, and brokers. The Phia Group also works with government agencies, Medicare and Medicaid plans, Taft-Hartley entities, High Risk Pools (both state and federal), as well as other consortiums. Together, these entities represent thousands of employer-sponsored health plans covering almost 5 million lives nationwide. Our experience has allowed us to evolve from a simple recovery firm to one that caters to the specific needs and issues facing health plans on a daily basis. Both the number of subrogation cases identified by The Phia Group and the relative dollar amounts recovered in those cases are unmatched by anyone in the industry. Thanks to The Phia Group’s unique processes, it has proven time and time again that nobody can come close to its results. One of the main reasons for the substantial difference between The Phia Group’s recoveries and that of its competition is the fact that The Phia Group uncovers so many more cases with subrogation potential. Compared to the industry average of 1 activated case for every 500 employee lives, The Phia Group averages one case per 125 employee lives – four times the industry average. As law and the industry change, so too have The Phia Group’s service offerings; today, The Phia Group offers a variety of plan drafting, legal, and consulting solutions in addition to subrogation and recovery services. No other cost containment firm offers such a range of valuable and dynamic services. We handle files involving laws in every State and Federal jurisdiction in the United States, as well as the laws of Canada. Unlike other vendors that shy away from anti-subrogation states and Circuits based on their negative subrogation rulings, we actively pursue subrogation in those parts of the country and help lobby to change the recovery laws in those states through our various partnerships and association with the leading industry associations in the industry, such as the Self-Insurance Institute of America (SIIA), the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP), the Society of Professional Benefits Association (SPBA), the Texas Association of Benefits Administrators (TABA), and several others. We never want to present ourselves as merely a faceless vendor; rather, we strive to form cooperative partnerships with our clients and others within the industry who share our vision for the future of health care.

Each new partner joins in the creation of a unified brand with a focused vision of long-term, affordable health care coverage for their members. The Phia Group emphasizes learning and education for its employees and clients, and within the industry as a whole.

Various members of The Phia Group’s executive staff are frequently invited to give presentations at major industry events across the country. Those same staff members are more than happy to visit The Fund to help educate The Fund’s staff or members about subrogation and other valuable cost containment techniques. The Phia Group encourages its own staff members to broaden their skill sets through in-house training on subrogation issues through its “Phia University” program, as well as supporting efforts to obtain paralegal certificates and Certified Subrogation Recovery Professional designations. The Phia Group is committed to serving its community. Currently, The Phia Group is partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Brockton, Massachusetts. As part of that partnership, The Phia Group’s staff routinely participates in fund raising events and events involving activities with the children and their families, as well as a summer event – during which staff of The Phia Group manage various outdoor activities for the kids. The “dunk tank,” is particularly enjoyable for all! Thanks to its vast and varied clientele, The Phia Group has witnessed firsthand more issues, problems, successes, and opportunities faced by members of the employer-sponsored health insurance industry than any other firm in existence. Because The Phia Group refused to cloister itself strictly to subrogation, plan drafting, compliance, or any other single item addressed by members of the industry, it has gained exposure to, and developed expertise in, all such matters. More importantly, The Phia Group gained a unique appreciation for how these topics all relate to and impact each other, which allows The Phia Group to provide the guidance, support, and know-how that will help The Fund provide unprecedented value to its members. No wonder, then, that the industry deems The Phia Group to be its “brain trust.” At The Phia Group, a vast array of issues and solutions come together. Each client of The Phia Group benefits from the experiences, solutions, and expertise unique to The Phia Group, but developed through years of helping its clients achieve their desired results in any given matter. This represents not only The Phia Group itself, but also the enormous body of work and number of clients that it has witnessed while providing services to nearly every third party plan administrator and hundreds of independent health plans across the country in some capacity.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
The Phia Group’s success has been built upon certain core values. Legal knowhow. Technology. A focus on all aspects of healthcare – providers, payers, and patients. The Boston-metro area is a leader in all of these areas, and beyond. When it came to founding the company, Adam and Mike had the education and experience they needed, thanks to their upbringing here… in Boston. When it came to finding talented staff to handle a growing workload, they need look no further than this hub of advanced education. When they needed technology experts to invent new innovative programs, to leverage health claims data, and identify ways to save money for employer health plans, patients, and providers – this city is second to none. With clients located all over the nation, being able to take cars, trains, and planes here and there – quickly and without hassle – is important. This is another feather in Boston’s cap. Some may point to the fact that real estate and the cost of living is higher here than many other places. There is a reason for this. Supply and demand apply here, and people want to be here. The reasons shared above, and others, are the cause. If someone can afford to be here, the benefits quickly outweigh the costs.

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Property of The Phia Group, LLC

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