As a young home health nurse, Korean-born Eunhee Kim’s approach to patient care and attention to the bottom line caught the eye of her boss. Customers, including insurance carriers in Southern California noticed, too, as she was promoted through the ranks.
Today, a decade after leaving her home health job and starting her own company – EK Health Services Inc., Kim and her colleagues are celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Based in San Jose, Calif., the business is now a $30 million workers’ compensation medical and disability management company serving more than 15 states.
EK Health Services is an independent case management and physician review services business. It has 100 employees, 200 contract nurses and doctors, and has completed over 335,000 utilization and peer review cases. The company prides itself on comprehensive and timely case reviews. This skill, combined with a program pioneered by Kim to recruit and train minority bilingual nurses, placed EK Health in line to capture a specialty market created by California’s SB 899 bill reforming the state’s workers’ compensation program.
The 2004 law, mandating utilization review of workers’ compensation cases, opened the door for EK Health to build on its track record for sound, defensible utilization and peer reviews that help injured workers receive appropriate care needed to return to work. In the same year, the company was tapped by California’s State Compensation Insurance Fund to handle its physician review services, helping the Fund comply with the state’s workers’ compensation reform bill.
“I never had a grandiose plan. I just did a job and performed it well,” said Kim, president and CEO of EK Health Services Inc., whose business has grown as risk managers moving from one insurance company to another have continued to hire her firm.
The repeat business and loyalty of her clients provided the fuel that placed EK Health’s name on the radar screen of California’s insurance carriers, self-insured employers and third party administrators. By embracing diversity and hiring bilingual nurses, EK Health brings value and cost efficiencies to an industry serving a work force comprised of diverse languages and cultural backgrounds.
Kim attributes much of EK Health’s success to its team approach to communication. Kim’s team of nurses and their medical director have devised a process that allows them to quickly identify and resolve issues that may impede an injured worker’s path to timely recovery. This approach results in huge savings to insurance companies and employers.
Source: EK Health
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