During our time at NWCDC 2015, we had Workers’ Comp industry stakeholders participate in WorkCompWire’s “3 For NWCDC” series, focused on this year’s developments and on improving the system! Here’s what Pat Chavanu, Senior Vice President, National Accounts at Genex Services had to say:
1. Looking back on 2015, what do you believe was the most significant development for the Workers’ Comp industry? (If you did RIMS Review, how did your prediction pan out?)
Last year there was a lot of discussion about ongoing industry consolidation implications and what the ACA would mean for comp. At this point, the ACA impact on workers’ comp has been subtle, and what change it has brought has been readily addressed. Business consolidation, on the other hand, has occurred at a steady pace as companies look to gain synergies, streamline processes and strengthen core competencies. It’s not just workers’ compensation service providers that have consolidated, but we have also witnessed numerous high-profile Fortune 500 acquisitions and mergers in the past few years. This has had an impact on workers’ comp as major corporations merge their risk management programs. While this may seem daunting, there are numerous benefits that can be realized. By analyzing data, addressing challenges and applying a customized approach to RTW and cost-containment, a more efficient and effective program can be developed.
2. What do you think Workers’ Compensation as a concept/industry really needs now, and into the future?
We hear a lot about data and technology, and I think it’s more important than ever to bring innovative solutions and options to our customers. For example, the use of claims productivity and clinical decision technology can help improve adjuster productivity and financial outcomes. This type of technology can identify claims that need clinical intervention, automate treatment decisions using evidence-based guidelines and auto route referrals to specialty networks to take advantage of utilization management and cost-containment measures. Adjusters today are often overwhelmed, they need support and help. Technology can give them tools to provide the optimal entry point for clinical interventions, improving claim outcomes.
3. What is one thing you’d like to promote?
I speak with many carriers and employers who seem more comfortable having their managed care program spread across various providers. However, I believe integrated managed care programs offer a distinct benefit which leads to seamless coordination of the workers’ comp care continuum, ultimately yielding the most value. Payers who make that commitment receive impressive results. For example, our customers with integrated managed care programs experience additional savings of 5-10 percent on medical and indemnity expenses – that represents millions of dollars for a large business. The risk in having a managed care program spread across many vendors is that too much time and efficiency is lost when there are walls separating systems. Those walls delay treatment, coordination, and guideline implementation, resulting in increased costs and decreased performance. Some payers are concerned that using just a few vendors might mean poor service.
My advice is not to look for vendors, but focus on finding partners with a proven track record who will work with you to achieve your goals. Hold those companies to their promises and reap the rewards of time and cost efficiency driven by an integrated managed care program.
Genex is a WorkCompWire Ad Partner.
This is not a paid placement.