Alex Sun took the helm as CEO of San Diego-based Enlyte LLC in 2021, when it was formed through the merger of three companies in the workers’ compensation sector: Coventry Workers Comp Services, Genex Services LLC and Mitchell International Inc. Mr. Sun was previously CEO of Mitchell, which he joined in 2001. Prior to that, he spent a decade in the banking and finance industry. He spoke with Associate Editor Louise Esola about the benefits of combining the business and the challenges in the workers’ compensation arena. Edited excerpts follow.
Q: Enlyte is a company formed by three companies. What is the vision now?
A: Our main mission is to help our clients and help them restore the lives of their clients after a challenging event. We have defined it as trying to have the greatest impact on injury outcomes. So part of that was making sure we had leading capabilities in all the solutions that help manage the cost side of medical claims, as well as services that focus on the injured worker and getting them back to work. We are about getting maximum medical improvement. So really the vision for the parent company of Mitchell, Genex and Coventry was to bring the leading providers of technology, clinical and network solutions together in one organization where if we do our job we will leverage the intersections to create better outcomes for our clients.
Q: How do mergers like this best help customers?
A: As we look to the future, it is important to be a skilled supplier. So it̵7;s making sure you have all the right infrastructure, investments in information security and product and service quality. A deep focus on the customer and a strong analytics platform are part of being an excellent supplier. What we also tried to do beyond that is to identify where there are connections between software solutions, clinical solutions and network solutions, and take advantage of those connections to try to deliver better outcomes for our customers, whether it’s greater efficiency or claims handling. We want a better ability to serve the injured worker efficiently with high quality communication, and also to optimize the process.
Q: What are some of the challenges facing the industry?
A: Probably one that seems to be almost universally discussed over the past year has been the challenging work environment. P&C has always had some challenges in terms of making sure we have a vibrant workforce, but I think given the pandemic and the large turnover, that challenges have increased, whether it’s clinical staff, claims adjustment teams, or certainly anything that involves technology . I think there are many ways that we have all learned to deal with the challenges. First, we learned during the initial period of the covid pandemic, when everyone was moving into remote work environments, that transitioning to a remote workforce eventually became a capability that we all became quite comfortable with. And as we all continue to strive to be the employer of choice, I believe we are now adjusting our workplace strategies to be more aligned with employee needs so we can remain the employer of choice. So many of us are trying to be more flexible just to save on commutes or to improve work-life balance, because this is an industry that demands a lot from people.
Q: What’s great trends to watch?
A: A dynamic legislative and regulatory environment. Inflation is also something we have to contend with – medical inflation or the inflation associated with repairing a vehicle. Finally, there continues to be a challenging liability environment and nuclear power judgments.
Q: One trend we have followed is the advocacy model for treating injured workers. How has this developed in recent years?
A: We are focused on trying to help an injured party navigate this system by focusing on the whole person. I think that’s what we’ve seen. Especially in the last year there has been a focus on mental health and other things that may not be directly related to the physical expression of an injury but something that may lie in the background. It can be anything, including diet and medical conditions related to where you live, and whether you have easy access to basic medical services. All of this becomes part of helping someone navigate their treatments and get back to work as quickly as possible.
Q: How does the company best balance its goals and caring for injured workers?
A: Caring for injured workers is central to our mission. We focus both on the injured worker through clinical services and seek to drive greater efficiency and accuracy in the claims handling process, so that the focus is on the total cost of claims. Obviously there is a very deep focus on the injured worker and getting them back to work because that is an important aspect of controlling injury costs, including the cost side of medical claims.
Q: What do you like about what you do?
A: I’ve always wanted to be part of something special — a community of people with a common purpose. And I wanted the purpose to be meaningful. And that’s why we take our mission very seriously, which is to provide support to our clients as they try to restore their clients’ lives after a challenging event. For me, it is very, very important work. Insurance is woven deep into the fabric of society, and so in our small way we can help fulfill the promise of the insurance industry. It is a very personal matter for myself and the nearly 6,000 employees that we have here at Enlyte. And I think that’s a very important part of our culture.