During our time at RIMS 2015, we had Workers’ Comp industry stakeholders participate in WorkCompWire’s “RIMS Review” series, focused on what to look for this year and in the future! Here’s what Dave North, President & CEO of Sedgwick had to say:
What do you believe will be the most significant development in the Worker’s Comp industry in 2015?
I believe 2015 is the year to challenge precepts. There are trends that will be fads or foundations for the future, and developments that will yield results or be shelved. Topics of conversation will revolve around such issues as alternatives to workers’ compensation, including opt out solutions; managed care as a key cost strategy for workers’ compensation; and the benefits of predictive modeling and pharmacy interventions. Some of these will be determined to be critical to our future, and some will be exposed as too much hype for the value.
What is the top challenge you and your organization are currently working on this year?
Our top priority always starts with the people. We have an industry filled with a diverse, caring group of professionals who deal with the American worker at the moment when his or her livelihood is challenged by a workplace injury. We have to continue to attract people into our industry from a diverse background, train them with modern customer service techniques and workers’ compensation skills; understand what motivates the various generations in today’s workforce, and provide an environment where diversity is embraced to ensure we continue to provide clients with awesome customer service.
Looking out 5 years, beyond obvious trends, what do you think one big change in the Workers’ Comp industry will be?
Workers’ compensation, health benefit plans, disability and leave programs and federal/state plans such as ADAAA and FMLA will be available on a fully integrated basis. Employees will access the plans seamlessly and healthcare will be outcomes-focused regardless of “coverage.” Such integrated plans will consider all health-related factors and in turn, result in a better employee experience and higher quality healthcare; and the employer benefits with a more productive workforce.
What is one thing you’d like to promote?
The role of claims management in the insurance industry – it is the single point where all the consulting, underwriting, brokering and insuring of risk comes together; and the work of all these talented professionals is focused on one objective – helping a human being who was injured on the job. How that claim is handled is a reflection of the work that came before. To this extent, the claims professional is an integral part, if not one of the most important parts, of the entire risk and insurance spectrum.
About Dave North
As CEO Dave is responsible for providing overall corporate leadership in strategic development and growth. He joined Sedgwick in 1995. Under his leadership Sedgwick has grown to become the largest TPA in the industry.
Dave has over thirty-two years of experience in risk management services and is a frequent speaker at national and regional industry conferences. He developed and taught the American Management Association course on Advanced Risk Management Strategies: Managing the Total Cost of Risk. In 2002, he was recognized by Business Insurance as one of the 35 “Rising Stars” in insurance worldwide. In 2003, he co-authored the book The Art of Self-Insurance. He has served on the board of the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute. He is past chairman of the board of the Integrated Benefits Institute.