January 15, 2018

Mitchell Survey: Over 45% of Industry Pros Believe Telemedicine Will Have Biggest Impact on Workers’ Comp in the Future

San Diego, CA – Mitchell recently coordinated with Risk & Insurance magazine to survey U.S. professionals in the workers’ compensation industry to gauge their views on which technologies they believe will have the greatest impact on the workers’ compensation industry in the future, and which operational areas will improve the most as a result of those technologies.

Notably, 45 percent of respondents believe telemedicine will have the biggest impact on the industry, followed by artificial intelligence (19 percent) mobile technologies (14 percent), wearable devices (10 percent), and chatbots (one percent). About 10 percent of respondents believe that none of these will significantly impact workers’ compensation.

“As the workers’ compensation industry continues to navigate the ongoing challenges of rising health care costs and the need to create operational efficiencies, it’s clear that stakeholders are eager to explore the potential benefits of adopting advanced technologies,” said Shahin Hatamian, senior vice president of product management and strategy for Mitchell’s Casualty Solutions division. “The industry has generally been conservative about adopting new technologies. As we witness the effect of telepresence companies on other industries, and the global investment in artificial intelligence, it’s our view that these areas have a lot to offer workers’ compensation.”

More than 24 percent of the survey respondents said they are very likely to adopt such technologies in the next five years. According to an Orbis Research Market Research Report, the U.S. telemedicine market is projected to grow at an annualized rate of six percent over the next two years to reach nearly $7 billion in value by 2020. Mitchell recently invested in Consumer Health Connections, a telemedicine company a telehealth and telepresence company that serves the Workers’ Compensation industry.

By far, the key factor influencing the adoption of advanced technologies according to the survey results is their potential to increase the effectiveness of cost containment efforts (54 percent). Over the last decade, the workers’ compensation industry has faced rising costs while seeking ways to improve service to both injured workers and their employers. In 2016, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) reported that medical benefits on lost time per claim had risen from $9,000 in 2003 to $28,500 in 2015.

Companies are also looking to advanced technologies to help improve claims processes and medical care for injured employees, while also improving automation efficiency. Eighty-six percent of respondents believe that advanced technologies will most affect medical management and claims management (43 percent each). Similarly, nearly 30 percent of respondents believe advanced technologies will influence improved medical outcomes the most, as well as the direction of care (16 percent), risk mitigation (16 percent), fraud management (17 percent) and claims triage (18 percent).

“Mitchell is committed to investing in and developing technologies that assist our customers in improved decision-making and operations,” said Hatamian.

Mitchell surveyed more than 275 Risk & Insurance magazine readers who are workers compensation professionals at a range of companies, including insurance carriers, third-party administrators, public entities, brokers, and managed care and risk management companies.

For additional information or to see the full survey results, please email Jeff Monford at jmonford@ppmgcorp.com.

Source: Mitchell

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