You Won’t Believe How Much Potential Insurtech Has in WC Claims Management

Technology isn’t revolutionizing workers’ comp just yet, but machine learning, robotic automation and new communication platforms are attracting a lot of investment dollars.
By: | November 29, 2018

“Last year I talked about Insurtech as disruptive technology. This year I’m talking about Insurtech as an enabling technology,” said Jeffrey Austin White, SVP & product manager, workers’ compensation, Gallagher Bassett.

White will be presenting the session “InsurTech, Artificial Intelligence and New Technologies Impacting the Claims World” at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo in Las Vegas this Thursday at 10:45 a.m. in the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

“I changed my tone, because the industry changed its tone,” White added.

Jeffrey Austin White, SVP & Product Manager, Workers’ Compensation, Gallagher Bassett

That is to say, the industry has begun investing heavily in new technologies focused on improving the customer experience and bringing an element of automation to underwriting and claims processes. Some standout solutions in the commercial insurance industry include straight-through claims processing, wherein simpler claims can be filed, approved and paid in a matter of minutes without a human even touching it.

In workers’ comp, claims are never that simple. But, claims mangers can still leverage some pieces of the technology to make their lives a little easier. Robotic process automation can take over rudimentary, repetitive tasks like moving and renaming files and managing invoices, which frees up adjusters to do more important work like tracking prescribing patterns and managing care.

“Technology should enable adjusters to focus on more critical issues, like making sure claimants are getting the best quality of care and handling the claim to best of our abilities, versus getting caught up in  the minutiae of all these other tasks,” White said.

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Machine learning apps may also help to predict high risk claims and guide action on them.

“We’ve seen this in cases where opioids are involved. More decisions in future will be based on advanced analytics; data gets us more information in a more timely manner,” White said. “Artificial intelligence can help make decisions on tough cases, but there will always have to be boundaries and oversight on that.”

Texting platforms can also address a common pain point: communication between adjusters and claimants. “People don’t feel comfortable answering phone calls from numbers they don’t know. Technology can help improve communication,” White said.

Of course, any technologies built to facilitate communication with consumers must adhere to state and federal regulations, which often require an opt-out feature. Nonetheless, a large proportion of Insurtech applications will be built for mobile devices.

“We are dependent on our mobile phones, and the industry has to leverage mobile tech to connect with consumers. Insurtech firms are focusing on better value for the money, integration between social and financial worlds, and timely and efficient service.” &

Katie Dwyer is a freelance editor and writer based out of Philadelphia. She can be reached at [email protected]

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The R&I Editorial Team can be reached at [email protected]