Spotlight on Sessions: Wednesday, Nov. 19
Improving Claim Outcomes / MM1
Today: 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Effective partnerships between employers and payers can make all the difference when it comes to delivering top quality care and achieving successful workers’ comp claim outcomes. Panelists include Randy Triplett, workers’ compensation & integrated disability manager at Goodyear, and Jane Ish, vendor and network programs at Helmsman/Liberty Mutual.
Workers’ Comp Insurance Exposed / PM1
Today: 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Leaders of the nation’s largest workers’ comp carriers reveal what lies ahead for insurance claims and underwriting. Panelists include Chris Irving of Travelers, Russell Johnston of American International Group, and Debbie Michel of Liberty Mutual; moderated by Eric Silverstein of Lockton.
Risk Scenarios Live! / CM2
Today: 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.
An expert panel analyzes the handling of a hypothetical, yet realistic, complex claim, depicting the event and navigating audience members through the claim’s potential pitfalls. Panelists include Tracey Davanport, director-national managed care at the Argo Group, Dr. Robert Goldberg, chief medical officer at Healthesystems; and Dr. Kurt Hegmann, director of The Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational & Environmental Health.
WC Programs Save Harley-Davidson $3.5M/ DM2
Today: 2:30 – 3:45 p.m.
The iconic motorcycle company has seen a 68 percent reduction in workers’ comp claims and a 63 percent drop in costs with its integrated approach to occupational and non-occupational injuries. Panelists include Harley-Davidson’s Sue Gartner, corporate health services HR manager; and Beth Mrozinsky, corporate safety and health HR director.
Learning From the Experts
A focus on employer experiences and expertise is a theme you’ll see throughout this conference. During our 31 breakout sessions, a plethora of employers join workers’ compensation and disability thought leaders to provide targeted insights into the obstacles they’ve faced and the strategies they used to achieve optimal outcomes.
John Smolk, principal manager of workers’ compensation for Southern California Edison joins a panel this morning discussing a workers’ compensation benchmarking study that looked at operational challenges and effective strategies to overcome them. [Session CM1, 11 a.m., Islander A&F].
Also this morning, Randy L. Triplett from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. joins Jane Ish of Liberty Mutual Insurance to address outcomes-based medical networks. [Session MM1, 11 a.m., Islander I], and Bill Wainscott of International Paper teams up with attorney Jeffrey A. Kadis for an in-depth look at worker separation and how to conduct a global settlement to avoid litigation. [Session LR1, 11 a.m., South Pacific Ballroom D].
Later today, Jill Dulich of Marriott joins attorney Richard Lenkov to offer 10 ways employers can reduce — or eliminate — their legal expenses immediately. [Session LR2, 2:30 p.m., South Pacific Ballroom D].
Employers looking at the various risk financing options will find answers in an afternoon session with Mark Walls from Safety National [Session PM2, 2:30 p.m., Islander I], while employers with injured, absent or disconnected workers will appreciate the session on engaging such employees, presented by Kevin Confetti of the University of California along with Dr. Teresa Bartlett of Sedgwick. [Session DM1, 11 a.m., Islander D&E].
Managing medical costs — an increasingly complex task for most employers — is the target of a session specifically focused on the kind of cost control measures which can themselves become part of the problem. [Session MM2, 2:30 p.m., Islander G&H].
At today’s luncheon, conference co-chair Roberto Ceniceros will sit down with this year’s Teddy Award winners to delve into the secrets of their successful programs. A celebrated industry journalist, Ceniceros will be taking over the reins of the NWCDC for the 2015 conference.
And don’t forget to download the conference mobile app to plan out your session strategy and to visit with practitioners who just may have the solution to your biggest headache.
3 + 3: Theory of Risk
Anthony Valsamakis doesn’t just practice risk management, he wrote a book about it. And he doesn’t just consult with quants, he is one.
“Risk management has been in my blood for so long that I have to stop myself, otherwise I could go into a two-hour monologue,” said Valsamakis, whose career in the discipline goes back almost 35 years, to his first job with the Standard General Insurance Company.
In 1990, the London-based chairman of the Eikos Group received a doctorate in Business Economics. In 1992, “The Theory & Principles of Risk Management” was published, with Valsamakis the principal author, and is now in its 4th edition.
Valsamakis worked first with a carrier, then as a commodities broker, before taking up an academic post. The company he started in 1999, the Eikos Group, has a risk consulting arm, with clients in most industrial sectors, including the food, mining, forestry, industrial paper and packaging and banking industries. The group also includes a transportation risk brokerage and a Bermuda-based carrier.
“I think the idea of having a secure data base that everyone can access and can update at any moment is by far the best innovation that I can see happening in the information game.”
– Anthony Valsamakis, Chairman, Risk Financing Strategy, Eikos Group
For as long as he can remember, Valsamakis sought ways to get better information on the risks he underwrites, brokers or consults on.
“Over many years we’ve tried hard to increase the quality and timeliness of the information that enables us to do just that,” Valsamakis said.
Finally, it looks like Valsamakis has found a risk management information systems platform that enables him to do just that.
For the past year and a half, Valsamakis has been using a system developed by Riskonnect.
“What’s useful for me is that the platform basically resides within the client’s systems,” he said.
The information he needs to prioritize, depends on which client he is working with.
“By definition, depending on where I am working and what I am doing, risk management priorities are very different,” Valsamakis said.
The Riskonnect platform provides the necessary flexibility.
A mine, for example, could be in a location in Africa or South America with a high degree of political risk. A key risk for a furniture maker might be around trade secrets, the possibility that a disgruntled employee would leak a pricing catalogue to competitors. For a packaging manufacturer, their material supply chain is of the utmost importance, and so on.
For each client, Valsamakis can use Riskonnect platform and work with the client to compile the information that is most relevant to that client and its industry and enter that into a secure system.
“All of these are template facts that you can easily put into the Riskonnect system,” Valsamakis said.
The Riskonnect platform is housed within the client’s information technology system, and it is transparent enough, to give Valsamakis and his client access to the same sets of data.
“I think the idea of having a secure data base that everyone can access and can update at any moment is by far the best innovation that I can see happening in the information game,” he said.
Whose System Is It?
Valsamakis has been around long enough to know a few things about data and risk transfer. He’s seen a number of risk information management systems put out by brokers, for example, that he thinks are set up more for the broker’s business model than for the sharing of information.
Generally speaking, information about an insured’s risks come from the broker and the insured. The Riskonnect system works, according to Valsamakis, because it is designed to be adapted to the client, not the broker.
“I have seen efforts by brokers, for example, over the years to produce a type of risk information platform that becomes theirs,” Valsamakis said.
“It’s been a perennial problem in the industry, where depending on which broker you end up with, you’ll end up with system A, B or C,” he said.
The Underwriter Needs to Know
Using Riskonnect, Valsamakis encourages clients to be as transparent as possible, in order to give the most complete information to underwriters.
“For me the question is, ‘What is the volatility around the asset and can there be an impact on the balance sheet of our clients?’” he said.
“We need to describe this exposure in various contexts so that the underwriters know what they are covering,” he said.
It’s basic human psychology. If an underwriter doesn’t feel they are getting enough information about a particular risk, they will take a negative view of that risk.
The more accurate the information Valsamakis has about a client’s exposures, the better the pricing he gets from underwriters.
“If you were an underwriter putting your capital and risk and I gave you little information, you would actually be less inclined to look at the risk in favorable terms. There will be a natural inclination to downgrade it,” he said.
Where Valsamakis sees enormous value is in the Riskonnect system ability to tag which can be revisited at a later stage.
“It’s amazing how clients forget, in the passage of time, that there are profiles that have changed for better or worse.”
A Long-Term Investment
The Eikos Group invested significantly in the Riskonnect product and are taking it to a number of clients. The transparency of the system and the advantage it gives the Eikos Group and its clients with underwriters is in itself a business advantage over the competition.
“We made a decision as a small company, relatively speaking, to invest a lot of money in Riskonnect and be very proactive about it,” Valsamakis said.
“When I talk to executives I say we invested in it because it’s going to save our clients money. Better information will lead to a lower cost of risk,” he said.
“If I’m talking to someone at a high level, that’s fairly easily understood.”
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.