We are absolutely delighted to welcome Brendan Swift into the ATF Medical family. With more than 22 years’ experience in workers’ compensation, mobility and accessibility services along with payer and provider operations, he’ll be hitting the ground running starting February 13th. Many of you already know him and can reconnect with him at the Property & Casualty Complex Claims & Litigation Forum later this month in Las Vegas (Feb. 27-March 1). He and our Executive Director of Business Development, Rick Wyche, will be there so visit our Booth #303 and find out how we can help you and your injured workers. Meanwhile, here is an introduction to Brendan and some of his ideas on our industry and company.
What drew you into the workers’ comp industry, and then eventually into rehab technology?
I started my career in group health operations, working for Oxford Health Plans and then UnitedHealthcare after the acquisition. After that, I went to work for Coventry and became interested in the workers’ comp side of the business. In 2011, I moved over to Coventry DMEplus, leading their national provider relations team. Later, I served as National Vice President of Payer Relations and Strategic/Key Account Management for a national complex rehab technology (CRT) company and led the implementation of its national workers’ compensation service program.
What do you enjoy about the workers’ compensation industry?
I’m consistently amazed by the passion and heart that the entire workers’ compensation community has for the injured workers they serve – especially those with complex injuries. It’s a very special space. It’s meaningful and people feel fulfilled when they help a seriously injured worker regain their independence.
What appeals to you about the accessibility/mobility aspects?
I truly love the superior levels of collaboration across all partners to ultimately get injured workers what they need for the highest levels of independence possible. Payers, clinicians, technicians, manufacturers, ancillary providers, contractors–all these special people–wrap themselves around the injured worker to do the right thing. I have a deep passion for partnering to ensure that our injured workers receive the most clinically appropriate mobility devices, accessibility technologies, and home modifications–all these critical and required services.
What attracted you to ATF Medical?
The company is laser-focused on workers’ compensation and on delivering a high-quality clinical solution to injured workers and partners. I’ve always heard how great ATF Medical is, about the level of dedication and heart its people bring to injured workers and their caretakers. In addition, ATF Medical promotes a people-first culture, which is directly in line with my leadership style. Our people and our injured workers should always come first. Excited to get started working with and for a true people-focused organization.
Why is having a close focus on workers’ comp so important?
Most rehab technology providers don’t focus solely on work comp; they’re used to the group health and the CMS space. Our injured workers and our work comp payer partners require a more detailed level of proactive service. There’s also more need for speed and continual, clear communication among numerous stakeholders. ATF Medical built its service model around injured workers and the work comp payer requirements and has honed this concept over 20+ years. Our team of clinical specialists and dedicated care coordinators understand the communication standards along with the wide variety and ever-growing market of mobility and accessibility products and services. We know how all the pieces work together so our recommendations are clinically sound and cost effective. ATF Medical gives partners the ability to work with a single-source provider that helps manage an integrated approach to mobility and accessibility. The company works hard to remove the fragmentation and eliminate re-work.
What do you feel are the main challenges when it comes to mobility and accessibility in workers’ comp?
Cost, quality, communication, and unnecessary delays on these very complex cases. For the most part, as I mentioned, the CRT and accessibility industry is fragmented. For example, on a large file, one company generally handles the mobility, another may handle other rehab technologies, another may handle the home mod/construction or ramping, and possibly another provider is brought in for DME or vehicle needs. Throughout the life of the file, these vendors don’t necessarily know each other, they don’t communicate with each other, and do not have channels set up for collaboration. As a result, many times the equipment doesn’t fit or work right for the injured worker, the powerchairs are too heavy for the lift, etc. This causes re-work and quality issues which ultimately delay the injured worker’s discharge and the number one goal of getting them home and on quick path to independence. Now, there’s expensive re-work and the injured worker may have to spend extra days in a hospital or post-acute care center because the home isn’t ready. The family and injured workers are frustrated and unnecessary costs are added to the claim. The best way to control costs is doing things right the first time and doing them quickly. You need an integrated, clinically driven approach where everyone is collaborating on an integrated solution that will help the injured worker recover and achieve as much independence as possible.
What are your goals as you begin your new position?
My first priority will be to increase the awareness of ATF Medical as a one-stop-shop, single-source partner for all things mobility and accessibility and articulate the deep value and partnership that we can bring to our payer partners, nationally. That is, providing fully integrated, cost-effective mobility and accessibility solutions. Our clinical specialists collaborate, and we communicate file updates proactively and consistently with the goal of delivering rehab equipment and home mods with appropriate speed allowing our injured workers to get home without delays. From there, it’s about securing long-lasting trusted relationships with our payer partners, nationally.
Tell us a little about your personal life.
Well, I’ve been married for 22 years to Katie, my high school sweetheart. And this was the smartest decision I have ever made in my life. Katie and I were both born and raised on Long Island, NY and recently moved to Tampa, FL from Franklin, TN. We have three amazing kids, two girls who are 21 and 16, and an 11-year-old boy. We’re very involved in our son’s travel soccer team and our middle daughter’s competitive cheer. Our oldest daughter is very focused on finishing up her Physician’s Assistant degree and graduating this May up in New York. My kids inspire me and motivate me daily. As a family, we love anything outdoorsy, especially hiking, spending time at the beach and traveling.
What’s your favorite TV series and what is the last one you binged?
I am a huge Sopranos fan. In my opinion, it really was the dramatic series that helped pave the way for such an enormous takeover of powerful new series and shows coming out over the last 25 years. How did that first air 25 years ago?! I also have to mention Breaking Bad, as it was an incredibly well-done show. Also love good documentaries … recently watched a few on climbing, Free Solo and The Dawn Wall. If you want to sit on the edge of your seat, give those a watch. I had to pause them and walk out of the room several times.
What was the most influential business book you’ve read?
I love a meaningful leadership book. One I always recommend and have read probably 20x over is titled “The Feiner Points of Leadership” by Michael Feiner. I have had the privilege of working with Mike one on one as an executive coach and have applied real-life situations I have gone through to the laws he writes about in his book. One of my favorites is THE LAW OF THE ONION. High performance leaders look beneath the surface and never assume anything. Peel back the layers … GET TO KNOW YOUR PEOPLE AND GET INTO THE DETAILS. It’s been very rewarding putting these laws into practice over the years. They have become “core principles” for me to apply every single day.
Did you have a mentor?
I’ve been very lucky to have a few, two specifically in the workers’ comp space. They all exposed me to the meaning of true leadership and to leading with purpose. Leading with your heart and caring about the people you serve is what counts. As a leader, I’m here to serve them by putting their needs first. This also rings true in building relationships internally and externally with our partners.
If you’d like to connect (or reconnect) with Brendan, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.