Why a Culture of Health Is Necessary in Improving Workers’ Comp Settlement Outcomes

Promoting a healthy workers' compensation culture is necessary to its overall success. This National Comp session looks at how to not only promote a successful program, but a safe one.
By: | October 13, 2021

Here’s one thing we know: There is not just one way to effectively manage a workers’ compensation program, but multiple ways to manage a successful program all while promoting a culture of health and safety among employees.

And that’s exactly what Joan Vincenz, managing director of corporate safety at United Airlines; Porter Leslie, CEO at Ametros; and David Strange, manager of workers compensation at Yellow will be discussing on October 22, 2021 at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference with their presentation entitled, “Do Right by Injured Employees and Improve Settlement Operations by Promoting a Culture of Health.”

Speakers Bring a Variety of Experiences to the Table

All three panelists share years of experience in the industry and are passionate about people and “doing right by injured employees.”

“A good friend of mine introduced me to Ametros and the industry. As I understood the challenges that injured workers face when they receive a settlement, I became passionate about finding ways to help them with their ongoing medical care,” Leslie said.

Prior to joining Ametros, Leslie worked in banking and in health care, so he was quickly drawn to how critical it is for an injured worker to have access to support in both those fields when they receive a settlement.

At United, Joan Vincenz and her staff are on a mission to provide a safe environment and prevent injuries. “When someone is hurt at work our goal is to provide immediate and quality medical care and every indemnity benefit an individual is due,” Vincenz said.

“The work is rewarding. Employees will never forget how they’re treated when they are injured at work. They will talk about it for the rest of the career.  So it is important we are caring and performing for every injured employee despite the complexity of the regs and the processes.”

Porter Leslie, CEO, Ametros

Vincenz’ career has been spent in aviation but primarily in operations, strategic planning and marketing.

“When I was offered this operations risk position in United’s corporate safety division, I had not worked in this area, but I quickly found risk to be fascinating,” Vincenz said. Today she is responsible at United Airlines for business continuity planning, emergency response, workers’ compensation and onsite medical clinics – all associated with risk.

“There is no silver bullet to a good program. You need to perform in coordinating and communicating with various stakeholders: senior leadership, finance, vendors, medical providers, operational leaders and our front line employees,” Vincenz said.

And like Vincenz, David Strange entered the industry after spending time in a different industry — the U.S. Army. Upon Strange leaving the Army after active duty, a friend was working in insurance and Strange was able to secure a position as a workers’ compensation claims examiner.

“I enjoyed adjusting the claims, because no matter what the injury was, every claim was different. This presented a challenge for me and I felt a sense of satisfaction getting claims resolved,” Strange said.

As time went by he became more experienced in handling claims and the various states’ statues, which then allowed Strange to get into leadership positions and help oversee the claims adjustment from various different perspectives and opportunities.

“I love helping injured employees recover from their injures and getting them back to work and a productive life. That is extremely satisfying to me,” Strange said.

“Additionally, I love being a leader and enjoying teaching new workers’ compensation adjusters how and what workers’ compensation is about. And the art of negotiating a settlement that is in the best interests of Yellow Corporation is very satisfying. Employees are our most valuable resource and its very rewarding to work with them.”

Putting People at the Center of Claims

Like Vincenz and Strange, Leslie believes people are at the center of the workers’ comp process.

“We are often helping injured workers who are between a rock and a hard place to find a better way.  It’s very rewarding to help them establish and follow through on their medical care plans so that they are happier and healthier after settling their claim,” Leslie said.

“Workers compensation is a niche; and what we do is a niche within a niche – we are focused on workers compensation settlements, often involving a Medicare Set Aside.

“It is rewarding to bring subject matter expertise to help people through once-in-a-lifetime situations when they get hurt and then consider settling their claim. The finality of a settlement means that it’s important to know the facts and get it right. We enjoy providing guidance before settlement on how our services can help and then being the support service for the injured worker for the rest of their lives,” she continued.

Joan Vincenz, managing director of corporate safety, United Airlines

In their National Comp presentation, Vincenz, Leslie and Strange will address how you build a culture of health and well-being in your workplace, how that culture influences claims handling approaches, and how settlement strategy is a fundamental part of claims management and different approaches to resolving claims while taking care of the injured worker in the process.

“We believe we have some ideas to offer from our experiences but it never fails that I learn either from the questions in the session or from talking with people afterwards,” Vincenz said. “I’m hoping attendees learn that we need to keep working to find ways to navigate through the complexity and ‘red tape’ to achieve resolutions that meet the employees’ needs and are effective to the employers.”

Leslie is also hoping to share some innovative approaches to how a culture of well-being can persist throughout an organization generally and especially when claims arise.

“We’ll provide insights into managing injured workers’ claims and how to leverage partners on claims settlements,” Leslie said. “I hope our session will provide ideas for how to take care of injured workers and navigate their claims to a settlement that sets them up for success.” &

National Comp — the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference — is back! We’re planning an in-person show for October, 20-22, 2021 and we’re excited to see everyone while still adhering to all safety protocols set forth by local and national health authorities at the time of the event.  Register today!

This year, we’ll feature seven tracks — from core content on medical and pharmaceutical management, claims and return-to-work, plus new and expanded avenues to explore like risk finance and injury prevention. All of our educational sessions are chosen for their ability to deliver sound takeaways and ideas that attendees can use right now.

In the meantime, National Comp will continue bringing you free virtual, educational content through our digital sessions series and our CompTalks program. Register today to make sure you don’t miss a digital session and check out our on-demand CompTalks library.  Missed a session? Watch it here on-demand.

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Maura Keller is a writer, editor and published book author with more than 20 years of experience. She has written about business, design, marketing, health care, and a wealth of other topics for dozens of regional and national publications. She can be reached at [email protected].

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