2017 NWCDC Preview

Leading With Technology

The newest educational track at NWCDC reflects the growing role of technology in the workers' comp environment.
By: | November 27, 2017

The thought of “insurtech” inevitably disrupting established processes and familiar practices for purchasing insurance and managing claims may scare some workers’ compensation industry practitioners.


But insurtech also may deliver a positive impact, especially for those practitioners who learn to take advantage of the changes currently underway and those likely to arrive in the near future, said Jeffrey Austin White, Senior VP and product manager, workers’ compensation, at Gallagher Bassett.

White will speak on the topic during the 26th Annual National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo to be held Dec. 6-8 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The former director of innovation at worker’s comp insurer AF Group is known for his forward thinking on how technology impacts insurance and workers’ comp, and its disruption of existing systems.

“Most people [negatively] look at insurtech as disruption,” White said. “I don’t want people to think of it as a bad thing. Because you can use it to your advantage.”

White’s presentation, titled “How Will Insurtech Impact the Claims World” will be part of the new Technology track added just this year to NWCDC’s other educational tracks that include Medical Management, Program Management, Legal/Regulatory, Disability Management and Claims Management.

NWCDC added the Technology track to help workers’ comp professionals gain an understanding of the emerging systems quickly becoming part of the workers’ compensation landscape.

In addition to speaking on using insurtech to one’s advantage, White said he also plans to detail where insurtech is entering workers’ comp and discuss new technologies that may become mainstream.

“Most people [negatively] look at insurtech as disruption. I don’t want people to think of it as a bad thing. Because you can use it to your advantage.” — Jeffrey Austin White, Senior VP and product manager, workers’ compensation, Gallagher Bassett

Part of his discussion aims to help his audience prepare for the future by highlighting technologies such as robotic process automation and its impact on insurance processes.

Staying true to NWCDC’s mission of providing practical educational session content, the Technology Track will also feature Travelers’ Melissa Burke, second VP, workers’ compensation, as well as Sangarapil Manoharan, an MD and regional chief of service, occupational medicine at Kaiser-On-The-Job.

They will discuss lessons they’ve learned along the road to implementing telemedicine.


The goal is to help attendees avoid pitfalls and learn how to gain maximum benefit when employing the telemed and telehealth technologies that are currently disrupting health care, Burke said.

“We will walk [attendees] through the perspective of the injured employee, the carrier, the employer and the provider,” Burke added.

Other NWCDC Technology Track sessions will include a review of the current state of mobile technology and use of apps in the workers’ comp claims world, existing wearable technology for injury prevention and post-loss claims management, and a look at how high-performance claims organizations apply technology.

The latter session will include speakers representing an employer, a TPA, an insurer and a medical management company.

Janine Kral, VP of risk management at Nordstrom, will open the conference with a keynote address titled “The Nordstrom Way: Boosting Injured-Worker Engagement.” Kral will share the retailer’s strategy for applying its famed customer-service culture to the care of injured workers.

NWCDC’s entire agenda and registration information are available online.

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

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