2015 NWC&DC

Speaker Proposal Deadline Looming

The deadline is approaching for proposals to speak at the 24th Annual National Workers' Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo.
By: | January 26, 2015 • 2 min read

The deadline is nearing for submitting proposals to speak at the 24 annual National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo held in Las Vegas.

WCconf_24thAnnualThe conference is looking for panels and individual speakers to present strategies that will help worker’s comp payers solve claims challenges, teach best practices for selecting and managing service providers, or can enlighten on industry trends.

Those are just a few of the general topic areas we are interested in hearing employers, vendors, attorneys, medical providers, regulators and other workers’ comp professionals address. We are eager to hear other great topic ideas.

Presentation proposals can focus on new, innovative strategies that reduce injuries and costs. But risk managers, workers’ comp managers, and disability managers are also welcome, for example, to share their unique experiences with adopting tried-and-true practices at their companies.

Integrated disability strategies combing solutions for workers’ comp and non-occupational drivers of employee absence are of particular interest to us this year.

Conference speaker proposals are due by February 6th, 2015. The event will be held November 11-13 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Speaker proposal forms are available at http://www.wcconference.com/speak.html

If you or your company plans to submit a proposal for a session presentation, please keep in mind that we do prioritize those submissions that include an employer on the panel.

However, we also understand that not all presentations can include an employer speaker and we value the knowledge and information that other workers’ comp professionals serving the payer community bring to the conference.


Here is some advice to increase the potential for having your RFP selected:

  • Consider submitting multiple RFPs because we sometimes receive several proposals from different companies wishing to speak on the same topic. We may only select one presentation per topic in such cases. Submitting multiple RFPs provides an alternative when one of your ideas is a popular one among several submitters.
  • Select topics with relevance for a broad range of workers’ comp professionals. The greater the relevance and the stronger the speaker’s experience and knowledge the greater the possibility of being selected.
  • Avoid submitting proposals that are mere product or service pitches featuring company personnel responsible for sales or marketing.
  • Review additional advice available in a past advisory http://www.riskandinsurance.com/2015-nwcdc-call-proposals/.

I am also available via telephone or email for anyone wishing to discuss their proposal content ideas before submitting.

Roberto Ceniceros, conference chairman 208 286-1425

Roberto Ceniceros is senior editor at Risk & Insurance® and chair of the National Workers' Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo. He can be reached at rceniceros@lrp.com. Read more of his columns and features.
Share this article:

NWCDC Update

Co-Chairs Discuss High Points, Prepare for 2015

Feedback on the best of last year's National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo is fueling plans for the 2015 conference.
By: | January 9, 2015 • 4 min read

The 23rd annual National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo was, by all accounts, a rousing success. The talk of posts on various social media sites, the nation’s premiere event for workers’ comp and disability practitioners attracted record attendance in November.

WCconf_24thAnnualThe conference had barely ended when planning organizers were already getting started on the 24th National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo, scheduled for Nov. 11-13 again at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Speaking proposals are being accepted through Feb. 6.

This year’s planning co-chairs hope to build on the success of last year’s event, which they say is a hard act to follow.

“I think we’re going to have to dig deep to do better,” said Denise Gillen-Algire, director of managed care and disability risk management for Safeway and a conference planning co-chair. “This last conference was really good.”

As a returning conference program co-chair, Gillen-Algire says she has definitely seen changes since she began in 2010. “In terms of what I see people looking for five or six years ago vs. today is more innovation and program design topics,” she said. “Things around how to design programs, measure performance of providers, best practices in programs; things like that.”


Joining Gillen-Algire as a planning program co-chair is Bill Wainscott, manager of workers’ compensation and occupational health for International Paper. He is especially focused on expanding the push to include as many employers as possible.

“A lot of times [at conferences] speakers tend to talk in theoretical terms about research or trends,” Wainscott said. “This year what struck me was employers saying ‘here’s what we did.’ I learned a lot from other companies willing to share.”

Wainscott’s sentiments were echoed by Gillen-Algire, who said she heard many positive comments about the focus on employers. “There was great feedback on several panels we had with employers on them in that people were talking about real experiences,” she said. “That’s important – a case study approach, the pros and cons to certain programs, or implementing different systems.”


Wainscott said he heard and spoke with many different employers not only during sessions but also in the expo hall. He was pleasantly surprised to find out about innovative programs for smaller and mid-sized employers.

“I walked away learning some things I could do differently that I hadn’t thought about,” Wainscott said. “I probably stole more from those than I gave to smaller employers. It was a really good opportunity to network with people.”

As an example, Wainscott said he spoke with a woman whose program focuses squarely on the employee. “I tend to get really focused on all the processes and medical management things and return-to-work issues and she brought me back to the point that it’s all about the employee,” he said. “They did an excellent job of communicating to employees, setting expectations well before an accident occurs. Every employee and supervisor knew what would happen when an injury occurred and held everybody accountable.”

In another “eye-opening” expo hall conversation, he learned about a small employer’s inclusion of its employee assistance program. “If a wife is struggling with her husband being around all day and juggling all the family activities and money is not coming in as much as it was, the EAP gets involved and helps around the depression issues or family struggles,” Wainscott said. “I hadn’t thought about EAP playing a serious role in workers’ comp. They said it really helped out, helped the employee deal with things and more importantly helped the family deal with things. I hadn’t really thought about bringing the family in.”

Next Up

One of the first orders of business for the co-chairs is deciding on the opening general session. The 2014 opening keynote address was delivered by Dr. L. Casey Chosewood, senior medical officer and director of the Office for Total Worker Health Coordination and Research at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

“I was very pleased and received nothing but positive feedback on Dr. Chosewood’s session,” Gillen-Algire said. “That theme was in many sessions; several on integrated disability management and total worker health, and that sort of followed through several sessions. It touched on the importance of pre-loss/post-loss and managing workers’ health.”


Those themes may continue into the 2015 conference.

“Looking at the core of the conference, it is workers’ comp and disability. So I think it’ll be important for us to have sessions around integrated disability and how that integrates with employees and wellness programs and the Affordable Care Act,” Gillen-Algire said. “Obviously, the ACA has been in place for a few years, and most employers and insurers are just starting to see the impact. Additional sessions on strategies for workers’ comp and employers around the ACA will be important.”

Other possible sessions included risk financing, the consolidation of the industry and the impact on managing vendor partners, and the management of litigation. Ultimately, the sessions are chosen with input from the full advisory board.

“That’s the nice thing about this conference,” Wainscott said.  “We get such a diverse group of people at the table.”

To submit a proposal or for more information, please visit our website.

Nancy Grover is the president of NMG Consulting and the Editor of Workers' Compensation Report, a publication of our parent company, LRP Publications. She can be reached at riskletters@lrp.com.
Share this article:

Sponsored: Lexington Insurance

What Is Insurance Innovation?

When it comes to E&S insurance, innovation is best defined as equal parts creativity and speed.
By: | March 2, 2015 • 4 min read

SponsoredContent_LexingtonTruly innovative insurance solutions are delivered in real time, as the needs of businesses change and the nature of risk evolves.

Lexington Insurance exemplifies this approach to innovation. Creative products driven by speed to market are at the core of the insurer’s culture, reputation and strategic direction, according to Matthew Power, executive vice president and head of strategic development at Lexington, an AIG Company and the leading U.S.-based surplus lines insurer.

“The excess and surplus lines sector is in a growth mode due, in no small part, to the speed at which our insureds’ underlying business models are changing,” Power said. “Tomorrow’s winning companies are those being built upon true breakthrough innovation, with a strong focus on agility and speed to market.”

To boost its innovation potential, for example, Lexington has launched a new crowdsourcing strategy. The company’s “Innovation Boot Camps” bring people together from the U.S., Canada, Bermuda and London in a series of engagements focused on identifying potential waves of change and market needs on the coverage horizon.

“Employees work in teams to determine how insurance can play a vital role in increasing the success odds of new markets and customers,” Power said. “That means anticipating needs and quickly delivering programs to meet them.”

An example: Working in tandem with the AIG Science team – another collaboration focused on innovation – Lexington is looking to offer an advanced high-tech seating system in the truck cabs of some of its long-haul trucking customers. The goal is to reduce driver injury and fatigue-based accidents.

SponsoredContent_Lexington“Our professionals serving the healthcare market average more than twenty years of industry experience. That includes attorneys and clinicians combining in a defense-oriented claims approach and collaborating with insureds in this fast-moving market segment. At Lexington, our relentless focus on innovation enables us to take on the risk so our clients can take on the opportunities.”
— Matthew Power, Executive Vice President and Head of Regional Development, Lexington Insurance Company

Power explained that exciting growth areas such as robotics, nanotechnology and driverless cars, among others, require highly customized commercial insurance solutions that often can be delivered only by excess and surplus lines underwriters.

“Being non-admitted, our freedom of rate and form allows us to be nimble, and that’s very important to our clients,” he said. “We have an established track record of reacting quickly to trends and market needs.”

Lexington is a leading provider of personal lines coverage for the excess and surplus lines industry and, as Power explains, the company’s suite of product offerings has continued to evolve in the wake of changing customer needs. “Our personal lines team has developed a robust product offering that considers issues like sustainable building, energy efficiency, and cyber liability.”

Most recently the company launched Evacuation Response, a specialty coverage designed to reimburse Lexington personal lines customers for costs associated with government mandated evacuations. “These evacuation scenarios have becoming increasingly commonplace in the wake of recent extreme weather events, and this coverage protects insured families against the associated costs of transportation and temporary housing.

The company also has followed the emerging cap and trade legislation in California, which has created an active carbon trading market throughout the state. “Our new Carbon ODS product provides real property protection for sequestered ozone depleting substances, while our CarbonCover Design Confirm product insures those engineering firms actively verifying and valuing active trades.” Lexington has also begun to insure new Carbon Registries as they are established in markets across the country.

Lexington has also developed a number of new product offerings within the Healthcare space. The Affordable Care Act has brought an increased focus on the continuum of care and clinical patient safety. In response, Lexington has created special programs for a wide range of entities, as the fast-changing healthcare industry includes a range of specialized services, including home healthcare, imaging centers (X-ray, MRI, PET–CT scans), EMT/ambulances, medical laboratories, outpatient primary care/urgent care centers, ambulatory surgery centers and Medical rehabilitation facilities.

“The excess and surplus lines sector is in growth mode due, in no small part, to the speed at which our insureds’ underlying business models are changing,” Power said.

Apart from its coverage flexibility, Lexington offers this segment monthly webcasts, bi-monthly conference calls and newsletters on key risk issues and educational topics. It also provides on-site risk consultation (for qualifying accounts), access to RiskTool, Lexington’s web-based healthcare risk management and patient safety resource, and a technical staff consisting of more than 60 members dedicated solely to healthcare-related claims.

“Our professionals serving the healthcare market average more than twenty years of industry experience,” Power said. “That includes attorneys and clinicians combining in a defense-oriented claims approach and collaborating with insureds in this fast-moving market segment.”

Power concluded, “At Lexington, our relentless focus on innovation enables us to take on the risk so our clients can take on the opportunities.”

This article was produced by the R&I Brand Studio, a unit of the advertising department of Risk & Insurance, in collaboration with Lexington Insurance. The editorial staff of Risk & Insurance had no role in its preparation.

Lexington Insurance Company, an AIG Company, is the leading U.S.-based surplus lines insurer.
Share this article: