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20 Work Comp Issues to Watch in 2020

2020 kicks off our sixth year of Out Front Ideas with Kimberly and Mark, and we begin the year with our 20 Issues to Watch. You will notice that many of these issues reach beyond our usual focus on workers’ comp and healthcare. We also included issues relating to risk management, workforce management and employee benefits as each affects employers. 

1. 2020 Election Impact

The coming election will undoubtedly have an impact on our industry. With 11 state governors, 35 Senate seats, the entire House of Representatives and the president of the U.S. up for grabs, there could be significant change. The impact on businesses could include changes in healthcare, tax law, leave of absence regulations, independent contractor classifications and more. 

Democratic control could lead to an increased federal focus on state workers’ compensation laws, including federally mandated workers’ compensation coverage for farm workers. 

Virginia will likely have significant workers’ compensation reforms, with 17 bills already introduced. California also has many workers’ compensation-related bills, although recently few have become law. 

2. Healthcare Watch

As healthcare continues to be the hot button issue of the 2020 elections, with it comes uncertainty about what our future coverage model may look like. Regardless of uncertainties, we know coverage is complicated, and any system-wide changes will require years of effort before implementation. Healthcare.gov saw its first rise in new enrollment since 2016, up 1.8%, while renewing enrollees were down 2.9%.

Expect to see the continued rise of employer-led solutions in 2020, with healthcare programs like Walmart’s reducing cost, decreasing disability duration and promoting the best of care for common conditions. Community and local care is also emerging, with the continuation of new entrants into the market. New benefit solutions are also expanding, including apps and platforms, such as:

  • Calm, an Apple award-winning meditation app.
  • SleepScore, the leading firm monitoring sleep and offering actionable advice.
  • Grand Rounds, a personal health assistant firm driving quality, timely care.
  • Livongo, a digital health management firm for chronic conditions.
  • One Medical, a membership-based primary care platform.

3. Government Affairs and Compliance

Workers’ compensation is one of the most regulated lines of insurance, and this bureaucracy adds to the system costs. Industry engagement with regulators and legislators is increasingly important to ensure we have a voice at the table when change is contemplated. To make the system more efficient and effective, it is critical that third party administrators (TPAs), carriers and employers engage with regulators and legislators at industry events, like those held by the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC), and the Southern Association of Workers’ Compensation Administrators (SAWCA).

4. Evolving Health Technology Models

Technology’s place in the evolution of health continues to expand, as seen at this year’s Digital Health Summit at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). With tools that track health metrics and protect personal health information and with artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain all being major topics, the future seems to hold limitless possibilities. A few remarkable devices introduced at CES were:

  • Sana Health designed a headset that uses neurowave stimulation from light and sound to reduce pain.
  • Valencell launched a blood pressure sensor system that can be integrated into hearables or wearables.
  • Mateo’s Smart Bathroom Mat helps individuals monitor their weight and posture using “medical-grade pressure-sensing technology.”

5. Social Inflation

You hear much about this term in the risk management marketplace, referring to the phenomena of significantly increased liability costs due to societal changes. The impact has be associated with:

  • Jury behavior prediction becoming more difficult.
  • Litigation financing becoming big business.
  • Statutes of limitations being extended for a variety of claims, including workers’ compensation presumptions, malicious prosecutions and sexual assault.
  • Courts allowing the pursuit of separate “bad faith” litigation for actions taken during the handling of a claim.
  • Increased risk management exposures. 

A continuing trend of social pressures could make it very difficult and expensive for companies to secure liability coverage, as carriers continue to increase rates and reduce capacity in the marketplace.

See also: Realistic Expectations for Insurance in 2020  

6. The Power of Influence

Influence can be affected by cultural competencies, personal beliefs and how we feel about ourselves. Personal beliefs play a key role in influencing the level of participation and compliance, trust and communication and outcome of a workers’ compensation case. While technology advancements, wellness programs and regulatory requirements are important, an unsupportive environment, where employees feel dismissed, will affect their engagement. Companies are evolving their advocacy models and improving how they engage with injured workers and patients to accommodate the impact that personal beliefs can have on these cases.

7. Marijuana Workplace Considerations

With 11 states and D.C. having legalized recreational marijuana, it seems only a matter of time before it becomes federally legal. The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which would federally legalize marijuana, has passed the House Judiciary Committee but will need to pass through the House and Senate for any further advancement.

State legalizations have created challenges for law enforcement and employers because there are no easy tests for impairment with the drug, and no agreed-upon standards of what level of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) would constitute impairment. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also restricts blanket post-injury drug testing policies. New THC breathalyzer tests are set to hit the market this year that could assist employers and law enforcement with setting an actionable standard.

8. Rethinking Industry Engagement

Industry engagement affects your marketing efforts, sales and client relations, customer service operations and governmental affairs. One critical area to take advantage of is educational conferences. They bring incredible value to stakeholders, but keep in mind that attendees want to see new sessions and topics presented without presenters selling their services. Additionally, using social media to not only promote your brand recognition and thought leadership but as a platform for real-time engagement with consumers advances your customer service model.

The easiest way to engage the industry and ensure relevancy is getting involved with organizations like the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS), Public Agency Risk Management Association (PARMA), the Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA), the American Society for Health Care Risk Management (ASHRM), Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) and the University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA). 

9. Safety and Loss Prevention

Emerging technologies are assisting in safety and risk management. We are seeing advancements in tech such as wearables that promote safer behaviors and drones that can view dangerous working conditions. 

For all the advances we’ve made with technology, there is little that has been done to decrease injuries related to workplace violence. This challenge has been especially prevalent in the healthcare, retail, hospitality and K-12 industries. 

10. Informed Pain Management

There is no ignoring the opioid epidemic in our country, but the fact remains: The pain is still very real with patients. In 2020, pay close attention to the evolution of pain management as the pressure increases greatly to limit the prescribing of opioids. Focusing on patient-centered care and taking an interdisciplinary and individualized approach to pain care are valuable options to advance patient needs.

11. Defining Value of Risk Management for C-Suite

Risk managers are facing rising insurance costs across multiple lines of coverage for the first time in a decade. This means they have to show their value to the C-Suite without the associated benefit of decreasing insurance costs. Additionally, there are many discussions taking place on the structure of risk management programs, including what duties they should perform and where they should reside within the corporate structure. 

12. Talent ‘Reskilling’

Often referred to as “upskilling,” talent “reskilling” could help with talent gaps as well as provide further internship opportunities and assist with the training of newer employees and older workers. Moreover, training in empathy and communication furthers engagement. Organizations that are taking advantage of these particular training areas, in addition to using new technology and on-demand environments, will have a decisive advantage.

13. Data Privacy and Cybersecurity

It is estimated that, by 2021, there will be $6 trillion worth of damages due to cyber security attacks. While it has become increasingly difficult for company IT departments to stay ahead of hackers, timely corrections like updating systems to install patches and correcting known flaws can help prevent major shutdowns. 

With the introduction of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the most extensive and restrictive data policy regulation in the U.S., the insurance community will need to make adjustments. Elements of this law contradict industry records retention regulations. 

14. Caregiving

An estimated one in six Americans is assisting with the care of a disabled family member, with more than half of these employees working full time. Although paid caregiver leave of absence programs are not widely adopted with employers, they are gaining traction with those that are more forward-thinking. 

When the responsibility of care for someone disrupts the life of an employee, the impact can weigh heavily on productivity and increase absence in the workplace. Companies like Wellthy, a digital communication hub focused on family care coordination, links families with a virtual care coordinator. Often a social worker, this individual advocates and schedules to take over many caregiving responsibilities, which can alleviate the strain on a caregiver, leading to less absenteeism.

15. Public Sector Pension and Workers’ Compensation Debt

The average public entity pension is less than 73%-funded, leaving over $1.6 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities nationwide. Many public entities also have millions in workers’ compensation liabilities without funds set aside for payment of the claims. While there are no easy solutions to these challenges, increasing taxes and reforming pensions may be necessary. Public entity insolvencies is also a threat, which has happened in the past. 

See also: Are You Ready to Fail in 2020?  

16. Does Our System Do Harm?

While we often debate varying state regulations and the resultant inadequacies, we do not ask ourselves enough whether our system does harm. Misaligned incentives, complex claims processes and procedures and a daunting system can all affect recovery for the injured worker. Emergent technologies and an abundance of data offer solutions to systemically improve our industry. These solutions need to be implemented to fulfill the industry’s obligations. 

17. Markets and Rates

For several years, there has been a downward trend in the rates for workers’ compensation guaranteed cost insurance. Claims costs have been steadily increasing, but a decline in accident frequency has offset these increasing costs. However, the focus of retention marketplace (self-insured and high-deductible) is on accident severity. The combination of increased accident survivability, longer life expectancies and new medical technologies mean that the industry is seeing more expensive individual workers’ compensation claims than ever before. 

Additionally, lower returns on investments in bonds, especially municipal and government bonds, could affect premium rates as the insurance industry invests heavily in these instruments. 

18. Mental Health

Access to proper care and a lack of providers continue to be major roadblocks for the mental health crisis in our country. As we continue to break down the stigma, promote wellbeing and assist in improving access to care, many workers’ compensation companies and health providers are offering unique and meaningful crisis management and behavioral health case management and will work to create a wellbeing program for your firm.

Organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) are collaborating with businesses and public entities to shed light on issues like suicide awareness and prevention to push a stronger culture of wellbeing. It is also imperative that our own workforces focus on their own mental health. We cannot be good advocates for others if we are not taking good care of ourselves. 

19. Data Validation

The reliance of data in our industry is more important than ever, but is our data accurate? There is no single source for accurate information on the entire workers’ compensation industry, as the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) and the independent bureau states all have only a piece of the puzzle. Data from self-insured employers is also missing from most analysis. 

The accuracy of data is very important for risk management decision making. Risk managers should be asking what stories their data is telling, including:

  • Is my data complete and accurate?
  • When my data conflicts with my expectations, what do I do?
  • Do I trust my data, follow my instincts or dig deeper?

20. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Leaves

Continuing changes to regulations, litigation and risks make this an ever-present challenge for employers. Conditions such as obesity, diabetes, pregnancy-related impairments, depression and stress-related mental health impairments continue to be addressed

Leave programs continue to evolve across the country, with California, Connecticut, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington and San Francisco and D.C. enacting paid leave. D.C. goes live in July, Connecticut in 2022 and Oregon in 2023. This makes it increasingly critical to understand how these policies run concurrent with a workers’ compensation claim. Alignment between leave programs must be outlined so claims teams are aware and properly engaging the necessary resources.

To listen to the archive of our complete Issues to Watch webinar, please visit https://www.outfrontideas.com/

Follow @outfrontideas on Twitter and “Out Front Ideas with Kimberly and Mark” on LinkedIn for more information about coming events and webinars.

Workers’ Comp Issues to Watch in 2019

We kick off 2019 by discussing 20 issues the workers’ compensation community should be monitoring. Our list includes both employee benefits and workers’ compensation issues, as these two areas inevitably overlap. Later in the year, several of these topics will be developed into individual “Out Front Ideas with Kimberly and Mark” webinars.

Just because an issue is not on our list does not mean it’s not important. Our goal is to highlight issues that we feel need more attention. Thus, while opioids are an important issue, we do not discuss them here because they are already receiving tremendous national attention.

Healthcare 2020

Two years into this administration, the Affordable Care Act remains the law, although lawmakers and the administration have reshaped parts of it through legislative, regulatory, budgetary and legal actions. Healthcare was a leading campaign conversation during the midterm elections in 2018, and expect it to top the list in the 2020 presidential election..

As of Jan. 4, all but 14 states have adopted Medicaid expansion. This is something we expect to continue into 2019.

Addressing the cost of prescription drugs will be a priority in 2019. While we are a long way from bipartisan consensus on how to address the pricing challenges, big pharma is bracing for smaller, but significant, regulatory changes.

Finally, physician-led accountable care organizations (ACOs), have continued to do well and are likely to increase in 2019. ACOs reward providers for desirable patient outcomes.

Legislative Watch

The 2018 elections may have a big impact on the workers’ compensation landscape in 2019.

There were eight states where the party of the governor changed in the November 2018 elections. Many do not fully appreciate the impact this can have on workers’ compensation, however, these governors appoint the workers’ compensation regulators and administrative law judges. These positions have a very significant influence on the practice of workers’ compensation in their respective states.

In 2018, there were over 100 national bills introduced to expand presumptions for first responders. Many of these bills pertained to post-traumatic stress disorder. We expect a similar trend this year. One newer area of emphasis that we expect to see is a push to continue death benefits for surviving spouses of first responders after remarriage.

In terms of specific states, we are closely monitoring the following for potential workers’ compensation legislative activity in 2019.

California

Bills to erode costs savings provisions in the workers’ compensation statutes pass the California legislature every year. The question is: Will incoming Governor Newsom veto those bills like the past two governors did? Governor Newsom is also very focused on creating universal healthcare for California residents, which could have a significant impact on workers’ compensation.

Illinois

The Democratic Illinois legislature and Republican Gov. Rauner battled for his entire term over workers’ compensation. What will happen when Democratic Gov. Pritzker takes office?

Alabama

In May 2017, a circuit judge ruled that Alabama’s workers’ compensation statutes were unconstitutional because of the caps on weekly benefit and attorney fees. Since then, a bipartisan task force has been working to develop reforms to workers’ compensation statutes that would address the areas that the judge felt were unconstitutional while, at the same time, preventing significant cost increases for employers. It remains to be seen whether legislative action on the task force recommendations will happen in 2019.

Federal

With the solvency of Social Security being a significant concern for the federal government, we have been waiting for Social Security to start looking into potential shifting from state workers’ compensation programs to their program. This appears to be happening now. There are currently 15 states that have a “reverse offset” allowing workers’ compensation benefits to be reduced if the person is receiving both Social Security Disability (SSDI) and workers’ comp. In all other states, SSDI gets the offset. Legislation could quite possibly take away this reverse offset.

See also: Why So Soft on Workers Comp Fraud?

Psychology of Pain

Treating pain is much more complicated than prescription medication and physical therapy. Pain has biological, psychological and emotional factors — often approached through what we refer to as the biopsychosocial approach to pain or the biopsychosocial model. When patients focus on pain, pain worsens. Anxiety, fear and a sense of loss of control contribute to pain. Research shows treating anxiety and psychological support reduces pain and the use of pain medication. And while we know that the psyche has a tremendous role in pain, few patients receive treatment for the emotional and psychological aspects of pain.

Worldwide, the need for more effective pain treatment has led the pain treatment community to promote comprehensive treatment of pain and multidisciplinary pain care. Unfortunately, access to skilled providers and comprehensive pain care is a challenge in many parts of America. In addition, receiving payer approval for care is equally challenging.

Understanding a patient’s response to pain earlier in the claim offers an opportunity to create a meaningful, holistic treatment plan. If the initial pain assessment reveals the patient has a high level of subjective pain complaints with limited objective findings, there is a likelihood the patient will end up in chronic pain in the future.

Here are a few suggestions to consider regarding the psychology of pain and workers’ compensation:

  1. Create a pain philosophy as part of your claims program. Engage the entire cross-functional claims team in the development of the program, including claims, clinical, legal, employer, occupational and orthopedic providers. The pain philosophy and associated documents become part of the client service instructions.
  2. Implement pain assessment tool(s); initial and continuing assessments are available
  3. Outline care pathways for holistic pain treatment
  4. Because patient-centered care is key to success, communicate clearly and often with the injured worker, Transparency and empathy are important.
  5. Identify a pain psychologist or clinical pain expert to consult, as needed, on pain cases and help guide the more complex cases
  6. Create a feedback loop or grand rounds approach to bring stakeholders together on a regular basis and assess the pain philosophy, outcomes and opportunities for improvement.

Politics of Permanent Impairment

When the AMA 6th Edition Impairment Guidelines were issued, experts hailed them as a significant improvement in the evaluation of physical impairment. But they have also led to litigation around the country as plaintiff attorneys challenge the constitutionality of the guidelines because they can produce lower impairment ratings.

This leads to the question that states need to be asking: What is the purpose of the impairment guidelines in their state? If the purpose is to provide a measurement of objective physical impairment, then the AMA 6th Edition is the best tool for this. But, if the purpose of the impairment rating is to provide a PPD award that considers more than just objective impairment, then the AMA Guidelines alone are not the proper tool. The AMA Guidelines measure physical impairment, not loss of access to the labor market, potential loss of earning capacity or other subjective elements that have nothing to do with recovery from the physical injury.

Social Determinants of Health

In patient care, addressing social determinants of health is as important as the quality of the care that a patient receives. Social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, live, work, play, worship and age that factor into overall health. Social determinants of health include socioeconomic status, education and literacy, access to healthy foods and health services and social and physical environments. Increasingly, payers and health care providers are interested in more holistic care, with the goal of improving health outcomes.

Economy’s Impact on Workers’ Compensation

We are at record low levels of unemployment, and wages are climbing. Higher employment and wages mean higher payroll. Higher payroll leads to higher workers’ compensation premiums.

Higher employment rates also mean we have more workers in the workforce who are not adequately trained and may not be in good physical condition. Because of this, some carriers are starting to notice a slight uptick in accident frequency rates. It will be interesting to see the data presented at the 2019 NCCI Annual Issues Symposium to see if we are, indeed, starting to see an increase in frequency rates.

Twenty states increased their minimum wage as of Jan. 1. Higher wages could lead to more payroll and associated premiums. In addition, in states with a wage loss benefit, a higher minimum wage means decreased wage loss awards.

Employee Health Models

Benefits continue to be a talent attraction and retention tool for employers. Chief human resources officers understand that the health of an employee is directly related to productivity. The health and wellbeing of the employee population lead to productivity and, in turn, directly correlate to top- and bottom-line performance of the organization. Employee health models are evolving with employer-purchased care. This is happening because health insurers are not negotiating and managing costs in a way that employers can manage models directly.

Direct primary care (DPC) is a small, but fast-growing, movement of doctors who do not accept insurance and, instead, charge a monthly membership fee. Employers engaging direct primary care believe in the primary care health model from a treatment perspective and care coordination. Doctors have the incentive to prioritize prevention and provide high-quality, coordinated care. It is a cost-effective, value-based care model that avoids the fee-for-service traditional pricing model.

The National Business Group on Health estimates that over 50% of employers report having some form of value-based care in their health insurance program. Although we are hearing more about value-based care in workers’ compensation, be mindful of the difference between bundled pricing and value-based programs. “Value-based” care should have a quality care component and cost factor. “Bundled pricing” is a cost savings model.

Telemedicine is common in employee health benefits today. Over 95% of large employers offer telemedicine solutions. While adoption varies, consumers who use telemedicine typically report a high level of confidence and satisfaction in their care.

Mega Claims and Rates

Industry data reports that the number of claims over $5 million incurred is increasing, and the size of individual claims is also increasing. It was not that long ago that a $5 million claim was a rarity, and catastrophic injury claims tended to top off around $10 million to $15 million.

However, a combination of factors are leading to the increase in these numbers, including accident survivability, an increase in auto accident frequency and advancement in medical treatment. Carriers are now seeing individual claims as high as $40 million, and these long-tail costs have a significant impact on premium rates.

In terms of forecasting workers’ compensation premium rates for 2019, overall the outlook is that rates will remain fairly flat, with some states seeing slight rate decreases. However, both A.M. Best and Fitch have cautioned that increasing medical and litigation costs are eroding workers’ compensation carrier combined ratios and that 2019 will likely be closer to a break-even combined ratio than the last three years. If the data, ultimately, shows that accident frequency is increasing, that would be another factor that would affect the marketplace.

Leave of Absence

State and local laws, the talent war and employee expectations are leading more employers to implement leave-of-absence programs. Employers offering paid leave report that the benefit helps with employee retention and reduces costs related to turnover and employee training. Another contributing factor to leave policies is the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which contains a tax credit for employers that provide qualifying types of paid leave to full- and part-time employees.

As more leave programs exist, the coordination of leave administration with job accommodations and workers’ compensation continues to be an issue to watch.

Impaired Workforce

As we enter 2019, legal marijuana is more available than ever. In October 2018, recreational marijuana became legal in Canada. After the November elections, there are now 10 states and the District of Columbia with legal recreational marijuana.

In 2019, state legislatures in Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Rhode Island are all expected to consider legalizing recreational marijuana.

What does all this mean for employers? Some percentage of your workforce is possibly impaired at work. The challenge for both employers and law enforcement right now is that the science of marijuana has not caught up to the social reality of legal marijuana. There are no widely accepted standards or standardized tests to determine if someone is impaired from marijuana.

Talent Training and Development

As an industry, we are experiencing an unprecedented amount of turnover due to the aging workforce. With turnover comes the need to train and prepare the next generation of claims handlers. It is important that we carefully examine training programs to ensure that they are adequately preparing people with the necessary skill sets to handle claims. Not only are statutes and rules important to learn, but soft skills are more important than ever. Rules and regulations are trained consistently, and system training is extensive, but soft skills training is lacking and, often, absent.

Workplace Violence

Workplace violence continues to get worse. We are not talking about mass shootings, which are rare. Instead, our focus is the day-to-day threat of violence faced by many workers.

Physical assaults on the job are a growing problem in many industries – especially healthcare, K-12 schools and retailers. Most are not aware of how bad the problem is becoming because it is not widely reported. Some workers feel the violence is part of the job, so they don’t report the incidents. In addition, businesses and schools don’t want customers and the community to think they are unsafe, so they don’t talk about the problem.

We cannot begin to fix the problem of workplace violence until we acknowledge the extent to which it is happening and talk about the societal causes of the behavior. This is a very complex problem for employers.

Unconscious Bias

In recent years, the discussion of diversity and inclusion has become mainstream. Conferences and conference sessions on the topic flood our inboxes, and many of our organizations have hired diversity officers. While the discussions are important and meaningful, we also must spend time digging into ways that we can train our staff to be more inclusive. One such way is to tackle the topic of unconscious bias.

Unconscious biases are learned stereotypes that are automatic, unintentional and deeply engrained in each of us. Because many of these prejudices exist beyond the conscious level and are a result of being brought up in a culture that harbors biases, we must first acknowledge that they, in fact, exist. Simply learning about our hidden biases is not enough. We must train colleagues to identify these biases and build skills to overcome them.

Employee Classification

The determination of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is a challenge that has been around since the start of workers’ compensation. This issue is getting more attention now because of the gig economy. States and the U.S. Department of Labor are very focused on this issue.

This is a very complicated problem for employers. The rules regarding what constitutes an independent contractor not only vary by state, but “independent contractor” can also be defined differently under a state’s workers’ compensation than under wage and hour rules. In addition, IRS definitions of independent contractor are often different than the state regulations.

The Sharing Economy

When we speak of the sharing economy, organizations like Uber, Lyft and AirBnB come to mind. However, the biggest potential impact of the sharing economy in workers’ compensation comes in the form of data.

Larger companies used to have a tremendous competitive advantage because they had access to so much more data, which enabled them to make more informed decisions. However, many insurtech companies are data aggregators, gathering information from multiple sources and compiling it into something useful that can be analyzed and acted on. The wide availability of data is a benefit to startup and smaller companies because it can help to level the information playing field. More data enables better analytics and better decision-making.

Globalization of Risk Management

We live in a global economy and, as a result, risk management is becoming more globalized. Employers with operations in multiple countries are well aware of the challenges associated with globalization, including complying with a growing number of laws and regulations. However, even businesses that do not have physical operations in other countries can be subject to international laws and regulations if they have an online presence or work cowith vendors in other countries.

See also: How Should Workers’ Compensation Evolve?  

The Consumer Experience

Organizations placing a high priority on consumer experience and engagement are changing the way they create and design products, address customer service issues and measure experience and engagement across stakeholders. These organizations often discuss design thinking as a strategy for innovation. “Design thinking” involves internal and external stakeholders, satisfaction and engagement levels and efficacy and quality. How often do you find injured workers at a conference sharing their experience with the system and claims process? Do injured workers have a voice at the table regarding processes and communications in which they are involved? Would turnover and employee satisfaction improve for claims organizations if the claims adjuster had a central role in workflow and product design?

As we consider the future of work, talent attraction and retention, evolving from process to an empathetic engaging industry, we believe emphasis on the consumer experience is paramount to success.

Measuring Success

The adage, “what gets measured gets done,” is also true in the workers’ compensation industry. But the question becomes, are we measuring the right things?

We are excited to once again be moderating the opening panel at the WCI conference in Orlando in August. This session will be a discussion among employers, industry leaders and regulators on measuring success. What metrics are important, and what is obsolete? How can we drive the desired outcomes by adjusting the way we measure success? We hope you will join us in Orlando this August at the WCI conference for this session to hear what stakeholders think about this issue.

Future of Work

The future of work is an important conversation for all of us to consider in 2019. When you think of the future of work, what comes to mind? Machine learning, automation, technology, digital? How are our work cultures changing?

Employees today want to feel connected – connected to each other, connected to their community and connected to passions. Employees also want to perform purposeful work and to feel valued.

As workplaces evolve, our industry will also need to evolve to attract and maintain the workforce of the future.

Natural Disasters

Without question, we are experiencing more frequent and more catastrophic natural disasters than ever. Last year, we saw a record hurricane hit the Florida panhandle and wildfires in California destroy entire towns.

Disaster planning and response are an essential part of a risk manager’s job. However, the significant and devastating nature of the natural disasters requires evaluation of current risk management programs. Risk managers need to build in contingencies for contingent plans and need to factor in what would happen if there was a significant and lengthy disruption in your supply chain. We need to be thinking of the unthinkable and preparing for it before it happens.

To listen to the complete Out Front Ideas with Kimberly and Mark “Issues to Watch” webinar, which was broadcast on Jan. 8, please visit: http://www.outfrontideas.com/archives/