32 BUFFALO BUSINESS FIRST
Health care reform prompts more companies
Restaurateur Dennis DiPaolo used to manage human resources in-house. But not anymore. Two years ago, the owner and manager of Ilio DiPaolo’s Restaurant in Blasdell handed payroll and health insurance over to Bene-Care Agency LLC, a benefits and payroll outsourcing company that works with clients in Buffalo and Rochester.
The shift was in response to changes affected by national health care reform and the ensuing wave of new, often complex rules and regulations.
“We did a lot of it ourselves,” DiPaolo said. “But I’m in the restaurant business, not the health care business, and it got to the point where we needed to bring somebody on to help us out.” Companies such as Bene-Care hear lots of similar sentiments, so much so that several HR outsourcing companies say they are boosting their own staffing levels in order to accommodate a growing number of clients in need.
Bene-Care plans to hire several more Buffalo-based employees before year-end. The company recently moved from Williamsville into a larger office at the new 500 Seneca Building in Larkinville. Regional manager Jonelle Marchese said: “What I’ve seen in our market are companies that are saying, ‘Help! I don’t even know where to begin.” The second thing I’m finding is that folks are trying to ignore it. But here’s what I know will happen: Next year, after penalties are handed out, we’re going to get busy.”
The president of TripleTrack HR Partners in Williamsville expects a similar scenario. Lisa Stefanie said her clients are already concerned about meeting new compliance rules tied to the Affordable Care Act. The group has no plans to hire right away, but it does expect its consulting group to grow. “Some of our business comes when the employer is already in trouble because they didn’t know they weren’t in compliance,” Stefanie said. “But more and more, we get a lot of business from those who recognize the value in having an outsourced HR provider. I think for small businesses in particular, there’s a lot of media coverage, and they’re trying to figure out how the changes at both the state and federal levels are going to affect them.”
Work & Well, a third-party administrator based in Orchard Park, is especially busy right now, said June Brennan, business development manager. In fact, the company hired four employees this past year – two customer care representatives, a nurse case manager and a sales rep – all to handle more demand for outsourced services such as short-term disability, Family Medical Leave Act, medically managed workers’ compensation and special accommodations. “We anticipate continued growth because more and more companies, especially given the Affordable Care Act, have more responsibilities,” Brennan said. “So as a result, things like FMLA are going to be outsourced.”
DiPaolo said he did not lay off any employees when he outsourced payroll and health insurance to Bene-Care. Instead, those workers are now able to concentrate on other areas of the restaurant.
“Our employees have a much better understanding of what’s going on,” he said. “Morale has been great.”
Work & Well, a growing Medical Leave Management Company, has named June Brennan to the newly created position of Business Development Manager. In this new position, June will lead the sales and marketing efforts to expand our existing business and to guide us into new markets.
“June has over 25 years experience in business-to-business relations, most recently as a Senior Product Manager for a medical device manufacturer. With continued changes in state and federal regulations, we recognize that the need for our services is growing and we need someone like June to foster our growth. Her healthcare, marketing and leadership experience will serve us well,” explained Linda Southard, President of Work & Well.
“I am thrilled to be joining Work & Well,” said Brennan. I am committed to their mission of providing managed medical leave completely, accurately and efficiently. In today’s litigious environment, already strained human resource personnel are seeking objective assistance in navigating the complexities of medical leave. Work & Well offers a cost-effective solution to ensure employees are getting the medical leave benefits they are entitled to while ensuring the business is 100% compliant with the regulations.”
About Work & Well
Founded in 1991, Work & Well provides complete management of medical leave, including family/medical leave, state and federal disability, workers’ compensation, and return-to-work coordination. Partnering with customers in multiple industries, Work & Well offers expert solutions that significantly reduce costs, save time and mitigate risk. With nationwide service, Work & Well has offices in Somerville, NJ, and Orchard Park, NY. For more information on Work & Well, call us at 908-429-5500.