Victoria Manes, President, Triad GroupVictoria Manes, President
Workers’ compensation provides for an injured worker’s medical treatment and any wages lost resulting from a compensable injury or disease. State law demands that employers maintain insurance coverage or self-insure for workplace injuries and occupational illnesses. However, many public and private entities struggle to control risk and reduce claim costs while delivering compensation benefits. Triad Group offers a full-service and holistic workers’ compensation risk management program that focuses on cost containment and risk control. The company consolidates the compensation program and its related administrative needs into one integrated solution. In addition to providing efficiency and ease through a single provider, the Triad Group’s coordinated approach produces more value for both employers and employees. In an interview with CEO, Victoria Manes, President of Triad Group, talks about the company’s services and how they address the risks and challenges associated with workers’ compensation and reduce claim costs.

What is your company’s philosophy?

As an organization that offers a holistic worker’s compensation risk management solution, we focus on our clients’ needs. Historically, insurance claims management was a very complicated process. Insurance companies find ways to reject or deny claim until the were forced to pay. Our approach to workers' compensation was revolutionary when we began in the mid 1980s and now most providers embrace the so-called Claimant advocacy model-at least ostensibly. Most workers who suffer a work related injury just want to recover and return to their workplace as soon as possible. frequently, they are frustrated by an arcane system of workers’ compensation forms and rules and this creates an adversarial situation, which is unnecessary and detrimental to the injured worker and the employer

While many entities in the workers’ compensation realm talk about the claimant advocacy model, we have been using the same concept ever since we started the company in 1984. We deliver appropriate benefit to an injured worker in a prompt and courteous manner. We found that it is actually a cost-effective way of addressing workers’ compensation claims.

What were some of the founding factors that led to the conception of the Triad Group?

Triad Group is a family-owned business established by my father, brother, and me in the 1980s with one client, a self-insured municipality. Instead of denying and delaying the delivery of insurance claims, we focused on the revolutionary philosophy of serving our clients better. We understand that if we help an employee return to his workplace after the treatment, it positively impacts an organization from an HR standpoint. When we started the Triad Group, the entire workers’ compensation realm was primitive. Even today, many convoluted laws have developed over time in response to a range of unusual circumstances.

We don’t think that it's the industry’s fault that the rules are arcane. New York was the first state to adopt a no-fault system in what was referred to as the Grand Bargain. We stepped into this market with our revolutionary philosophy, and it turned out to be extremely cost-effective. Over the years, we grew the business, but unfortunately, I lost both my father and brother in close proximity in 2000 and 2001 We are Certified as a woman-owned business Our growth has been organic, and we have around 100 employees in multiple offices throughout New York.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working remotely. Even with our remote workforce, we have the staff answering calls and on-duty, ready to go. We have many testimonials from injured workers from the medical providers attesting to our expertise and responsiveness. We act as the conveyor of the benefits for our customers, as per the benefits defined by statute and regulation.

What are some of the challenges your clients face?

The pandemic has hit business badly, regardless of the industry sector. During these times, frontline workers—including police officers, emergency personnel, hospital workers, and medical professionals—are severely affected. A majority of the incidents related to the coronavirus are not catastrophic in any way. Many workers who have contracted the virus or tested positive can recover by self-quarantining for a couple weeks. These workers require a few weeks of pay and a couple of medical bills paid. That’s the end of the insurance claim. However, the industry misunderstood the situation and created an adversarial situation. Many entities thought that COVID-19 would cost them billions of dollars. Later, it turned out that COVID-19 claims are minimal; a couple of medical bills settled, and a couple of weeks out of work would suffice. Under these circumstances, we communicated effectively with our clients and told them that some of their employees will contract the disease, but will recover and return to work.

How do you deliver your services?

Our clients are self-insured employers, and our staff consists of attorneys and nurses who work side by side with our licensed claim adjusters to manage the claims. New York has many rules and protocols in connection with medical treatment for an occupational injury or disease. Our staff is equipped to handle claims quickly and effectively. Typically, in the workers' compensation claims administration, the medical part is bifurcated from the claim administration. In this system, the medical bills are mediated by a different team. That creates a huge communication gap and takes up more time when compared to the Triad Group system. In terms of educating our clients, we have in-depth knowledge of the laws, practices, and regulations.

What differentiates Triad Group from the lot?

The expertise of our team in handling workers’ compensation makes us different. Having nurses and legal staff working side by side with adjusters saves time and time is money. Our employee retention rate is just as good as our client retention rate. We typically hire entry level employees and train them for advancement. This engenders loyalty and ensures the quality of our services. We are very responsive. We can tailor the program to the specific needs of the client. We understand that a city with a police department, a fire department, and emergency medical service has different needs than a library. For that reason, we tailor the program to the client's specific needs within the frameworks of the laws and regulations.