Webinar: Succeeding with an Unbundled Claims Management Approach
Unbundling workers’ compensation managed care services can make a lot of sense for some employers. But meeting the demands of a changing environment is a constant challenge whether you are — considering unbundling — have recently unbundled — or want to gauge the effectiveness of your unbundled program. Limited risk management resources, the complexities of data management and transparency, and increased medical costs are combining to push claims executives to improve their approach. Not doing so is to risk bad outcomes, not only for injured workers but for corporate bottom lines.
A diverse panel will offer employer, managed care, and claims executive perspectives on unbundled approaches, including:
- Considerations when unbundling managed care services
- An effective team approach, including the coordination of internal resources and the various vendors involved in unbundled claims management
- Best practices in data management, including addressing the state reporting burden
- Using performance measures to validate the effectiveness of an unbundled approach
Webinar: Foreign Acquisition Risks – Be Prepared
Our increasingly global economy has forced the majority of organizations to look beyond their domestic borders for growth opportunities. But building a presence in a foreign market from scratch can take years. International acquisitions are the most effective way to ramp up a presence quickly, tapping into an existing network of clients and suppliers in a new market.
Managing the risks of foreign acquisitions can be tricky business. Language barriers, cultural differences, local politics, technological incompatibilities and regulatory compliance issues can turn a lucrative deal into a disaster. The grim reality is that many mergers fail to deliver upon the goals they were intended to achieve.
Meticulous planning and preparation are the best way to mitigate the risks of foreign mergers and acquisitions. This webinar will focus on the challenges of entering new business climates and the communication strategies needed to help local stakeholders and newly acquired employees understand your corporate risk management philosophy.
In this webinar, sponsored by The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, expert panelists will discuss these topics and issues related to foreign acquisitions:
- Assessing cross-border uncertainties. A discussion of techniques or protocols for evaluating cross-border risk, pricing it and possibly transferring it.
- The use of captives. The use of captives in managing foreign acquisition risk is attracting growing attention from the risk management community. This discussion will address which cross-border risks are best housed in captives and how those captives should be managed.
- Problem venues. This aspect of the webinar will look at which venues, though attractive from a business opportunity standpoint, require extra vigilance on the part of risk managers.
- Local paper. Local paper is a requirement in some geographies but not in others. The panelists will discuss the use of local paper and other insurance issues that business executives operating in foreign countries need to be aware of.
A Dreaming Team
Chris Thorn is known as one of the most creative risk managers in the business. After all, his risk management program hit the cover of Risk & Insurance® in March, 2012.
Now the senior manager, payments and risk, for Southwest Airlines is working with Riskonnect, a technology partner that he thinks can take his program to new heights.
“For us, it’s a platform that gives you so many different tools that if you can dream it, you can build it,” said Thorn.
Thorn ditched his legacy risk management information system in 2012 and started working with Riskonnect, initially using the platform solely for liability claims management.
But the system’s “do-it-yourself” accessibility almost immediately caught the eye of Thorn’s colleagues managing safety risk and workers’ compensation.
“They were seeking a software solution at the time and said, ‘Hey, we want to join the party,” Thorn recalls of his friends in safety and workers’ compensation.
“For us, it’s a platform that gives you so many different tools that if you can dream it, you can build it.”
–Chris Thorn, senior manager, payments and risk, Southwest Airlines
What was making Thorn’s colleagues so jealous was the system’s “smart question” process which allows any supervisor in the company to enter a claim, while at the same time freeing those supervisors from being claims adjusters.
The Riskonnect platform asks questions that direct the claim to the appropriate category without the supervisor having to take on the burden of performing that triage.
“They love it because all of the redundant questions are gone,” Thorn said.
The added beauty of the system, Thorn said, is that allows carriers and TPAs to work right alongside the Southwest team in claims files while maintaining rock-solid cyber security.
“This has sped up the process,” Thorn said.
“Any time you can speed up the process, the more success you’re going to have when you make offers to settle claims,” he said.
Since that initial splash in claims management, the Riskonnect platform has gone on to become a rock star at Southwest in a number of other areas. And as Thorn suggests, the possibilities of the system are limited only by the user’s imagination.
With a little creativity and help from Riskonnect as needed, a risk manager can add on system capabilities without having to go on bended knee to his own information technology department.
In the area of insurance policy management, for example, the Riskonnect platform as built by Thorn now holds data on all property values and exposures that can in turn be downloaded for use by underwriters.
Every time Southwest buys a new airplane, the enterprise platform sends out a notice to the airlines insurance broker, who in turn notifies the 16 or 17 carriers that are on the hull program.
Again, in that “anything’s possible” vein, the system has the capability of notifying the carriers, directly, a tool Thorn said he’s flirting with.
“It is capable of doing that,” he said.
“We’re testing out this functionality before we turn on it loose directly to the insurance companies.”
In alignment with the platform’s muscle in documenting, storing and reporting liability and property exposures, the system monitors and reports on insurance carrier financial strength.
If a rating agency downgrades a Southwest program carrier’s financial strength, for example, the system “pings” Thorn and his colleagues.
“Not only will we know about it, but we will also know all programs, present and past that they participated on, what the open reserves are for those policy years and policies,” Thorn said.
“That gives us even more comfort that we have good, solid financial backing of the insurance policies that are protecting us,” Thorn said.
Like many of us, Chris Thorn didn’t set out to work in risk management and insurance. Thorn is a Certified Public Accountant, and it’s that background that allows him to take creative advantage of the Riskonnect platform’s malleability in yet another way.
With the help of the Riskonnect customer service team, Thorn added a function to the platform that allows him to calculate the cost of insurance policies on a monthly basis, enter them into a general ledger and send them over to his colleagues in accounting.
“It’s very robust on handling financial information, date information, or anything with that much granularity,” Thorn said.
The sky is the limit
Thorn and Southwest are only two years into their relationship with Riskonnect and there are a number of places Thorn thinks the platform can take him that have yet to be explored, but certainly will be.
“It’s basically a repository of anything that’s risk-related, it continues to grow,” Thorn said.
“This has sped up the process. Any time you can speed up the process, the more success you’re going to have when you make offers to settle claims.”
–Chris Thorn, senior manager, payments and risk, Southwest Airlines
Not only have Southwest’s safety and workers’ compensation managers joined Thorn in his work with Riskonnect, business continuity has come knocking as well.
Thorn met in July with members of Southwest Airline’s business continuity team, which has a whole host of concerns, ranging from pandemics to cyber-attacks that it needs help in documenting the exposures and resiliency options for.
That Enterprise Risk Management approach will in the future also involve the system’s capability to provide risk alerts, telling Thorn and his team for example, that a hurricane or fast moving wildfire is threatening one of the company’s facilities.
Supply chain resiliency and managing certificates of insurance for foreign vendors are other areas where Thorn and his team plan to put the Riskonnect platform to good use.
“That’s all stuff that’s being worked on by us,” Thorn said.
“They’ve given us the tools, but we’re trying to develop how we’re going to use it,” he said.
This article was produced by the R&I Brand Studio, a unit of the advertising department of Risk & Insurance, in collaboration with Riskonnect. The editorial staff of Risk & Insurance had no role in its preparation.