Managing Service Providers
Attracting and retaining claims talent is one of the biggest challenges facing the workers’ compensation industry.
Empowering claims adjusters and supervisors, identifying top performers, and providing targeted training to others can help companies keep top-level talent for many years, according to industry experts in the session, “Improve Outcomes with a Quality Assurance Program for Managing Service Providers,” at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo in Las Vegas on November 11.
Southwest Airlines asks its claims vendors to provide rating scores for all adjusters assigned to the company. Those whose scores fall below 90 percent may receive training, while the best performers are pointed out and praised.
“Being an adjuster can be a thankless job; people are mad at you all day,” said Patti Colwell, workers’ compensation program manager for Southwest.
“You have to make it an environment they want to work in to have some longevity.”
Among the keys are transparency and accountability, the presenters said.
“Set reasonable expectations, communicate those expectations, and then follow through with corrective action if they are not met,” said Jim Kremer, senior manager of claims advisory services for Ernst & Young LLP’s Financial Services division.
“If I am working hard and others don’t, that has a huge impact on morale.”
A “robust claims quality assurance system” can help distinguish effective and efficient claims workers from those who need training or may be better suited for other work.
“What you measure, how you measure it and having best practices written down has helped us to be successful,” said Amy Newton, associate VP of claims for Colorado-based Pinnacol Assurance.
“A quality assurance program can help you shine a spotlight on those doing the best jobs at their desks.”