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Artemis Emslie, Tampa, Florida-based CEO of pharmacy benefit manager Matrix Healthcare Services Inc., which does business as MyMatrixx, recently announced she will leave the firm in May 2018, nearly a year after it was acquired by Express Scripts Holding Co. Ms. Emslie has been at MyMatrixx since 2012 and has nearly 25 years of experience in both the workers compensation and group health industries. Named a Business Insurance Woman to Watch in 2015, she spoke Tuesday with BI Reporter Louise Esola about her intentions to continue working in the field. Edited excerpts follow.
Q: What’s next for your career?
A: That’s to be determined. I do know this: MyMatrixx isn’t the last turn that I will have. I will do another stint somewhere. I have some opportunities that I am going to explore in the next six months or so … I get really excited when I think of the workers compensation industry as a whole and the new technologies in our industry. I am really passionate about the industry and getting into another leadership role to help with change that’s coming.
Q: Prior to your post at MyMatrixx you started your own firm. Any plans to venture out on your own again?
A: I may. I am keeping it low key about what I may do in the interest of getting through the transition out of MyMatrixx. The leadership here will absolutely take this company to the next level, and that will be exciting to watch.
Q: What issues should the workers compensation industry pay attention to in 2018?
A: What shouldn’t the industry pay attention to? They should pay attention to innovation and disruption. Pay attention to the millennials and legislation and statutory challenges. They should pay attention to value-based health care and how workers compensation will get there. Digital health care and telemedicine are all items to watch. How we approach the patient with an advocacy approach is definitely something to watch. Education on opioids and how marijuana will impact (the system) is another. I could go on and on. I think (the) workers compensation (industry) is an exciting place to continue to be.
Q: Any key regulatory developments come to mind?
A: What I find fascinating is the different states and how they are approaching a drug formulary in workers compensation. That’s core to what a pharmacy benefits manager does. The way states are approaching a formulary to solve concerns such as physician dispensing problems, the opioid problem, the overpricing of compounds — that’s something to watch. I think about the administrative challenges of implementing (a formulary) for various stakeholders and ensuring that it’s a thoughtful process from A to Z. Pharma is complex.
Q: Which factors will have the biggest impact on workers compensation rates?
A: The way that they set rates and the regulatory environment and inflation. Also the gig economy — what that means as far as encouraging independent contractors. What I find fascinating is how the tax plan will encourage a gig economy and what that will do to workers compensation and rates.
Q: Anything next in analytics for comp stakeholders?
A: Most companies are doing a good job at analyzing their data, and I think what’s a challenge in the industry is sharing that data and breaking down those silos. Data can be perceived as information, power and dollars. But, really, the collaborative sharing of data is where the power is.
Q: What about changes when it comes to caring for injured workers?
A: You are going to see more digital health coming, more mobile apps. This will have a positive impact for the injured worker, who will be able to navigate the system easier.