During our time at RIMS 2017, we had Workers’ Comp industry stakeholders participate in WorkCompWire’s “RIMS Review” series, focused on what to look for this year, and key takeaways from the conference! Here’s what Kimberly George, SVP, Corporate Development, M&A, and Healthcare at Sedgwick had to say:
What do you believe will be the most significant development in the Worker’s Comp industry for this year?
I believe health empowerment will be among the most significant developments impacting workers’ compensation during the coming year. When individuals are provided the proper tools, information and resources, they tend to make choices that improve their overall health and well-being. We have seen this on the group health side and it certainly has application to workers’ compensation. When injured employees are provided appropriate medical treatment by quality providers at the outset of a work-related injury or illness, they become more engaged in the recovery process. Proper resources and care can take many forms including understanding medical treatment options, being fully informed about pain management alternatives, or having access to mental and behavioral health specialists in response to the disruption in lifestyle and the psychosocial issues that can arise. Clearly, empowering the injured worker facilitates a faster recovery at the individual level and a higher level of productivity at the organization level. Recognizing that the ultimate objective is to create and provide a more positive experience for the injured employee, health empowerment is a positive development that we can all get behind.
What is the top challenge you and your organization are currently working on?
Our priority remains finding new and innovative ways to better care for our customers and their employees. Every year, Sedgwick takes care of the needs of more than 2.6 million people who had something unexpected happen. Whether they had a workplace injury, need time away for the birth of a child, experience a medical situation that will lead to time off, are in an auto accident, or suffer property damage, we are here to let them know that it’s going to be ok. One of the most recent examples of our commitment to innovative solutions is the introduction of our whole health model. We know that navigating all of the employee programs and health-related benefits can be complex. Our whole health solution simplifies the process by providing a trusted health assistant who helps employees and their families access the appropriate resources for healthcare, workers’ compensation, disability and leave of absence. We believe this model will have a significant impact on streamlining the administrative process and allow the individual focus on what is really important – health and wellness.
The RIMS Conference always has some great takeaways – what was one for you?
In looking at the RIMS session line-up, I was struck by the complexities of the industry and the number of issues risk management professionals must wrestle with each day. I saw topics addressing advanced risk strategies, business interruption, mental health, workplace violence, talent acquisition, emerging risks, and a myriad of other topics. In my conversations with conference attendees, I was also taken by their discussions about the rapid pace of change, increasing customer expectations, and continuous technology advancements. Each of these challenges brings with it many opportunities in the way we deliver services and respond to client needs. These observations reaffirmed the need and value for employee advocacy, administrative simplicity, and whole health.
I was also struck by the incredible opportunity our industry offers young people and others seeking a career change. Our industry is ripe for change and innovation. Technology is integral to service delivery and harnessing the value of data and information that is now available. And, it is an industry where individuals can truly make a difference in the lives of others during a critical time of need. What an excellent career opportunity!
4. What is one thing you’d like to promote?
I am very excited about the launch of our whole health solution. Sedgwick has partnered with Accolade, an on-demand healthcare concierge, to launch what we refer to as our new whole health solution. This proprietary program links Sedgwick’s experience and expertise in workers’ compensation, leave of absence and disability with a trusted health assistant to circumnavigate workers’ compensation, disability, leave of absence, job accommodations and health benefits.
The whole health model is designed to ensure the physical, emotional and financial health of clients’ employees and their family members, who may otherwise struggle to access the resources they need in cases of injury, illness or the birth or adoption of a child. With the whole health solution, each member of an employer’s health plan is assigned a dedicated health assistant, who works with Sedgwick’s claims management and clinical experts to guide the employee through the entire process. The health assistant not only supports an employee and their family towards receiving high-quality care, but also prepares them for returning to work following an absence.
The integration of health and productivity solutions in our whole health model gives our clients’ employees a streamlined and consistent way to access the assistance and care afforded by their benefits. Using the whole health approach can increase employee satisfaction and engagement, reduce claim durations and lost workdays, and decrease claim costs. Sedgwick is proud to be among the first in our industry to offer employers fully integrated data on their health, workers’ compensation.