White Paper

Managing Your Legal Spend

When it comes to managing your organization’s legal spend, it’s important to set expectations with outside counsel clearly from the onset to avoid confusion and expensive surprises.
By:

White Paper Summary

Below are four ideas to help you get a better handle on your legal spend.

Idea One: Timekeeper Authorizations

Authorizing timekeepers builds accountability into your relationship with outside counsel.

Here are three important considerations:

Is paying your timekeepers an hourly rate the best way to manage your legal spend?

For some types of law, perhaps not. Many organizations have found success with flat fees and alternative fee arrangements for transactional and regulatory  matters where the work being performed has little risk of unexpected outcomes or additional legal work. For adversarial litigation like auto liability or workers’ compensation, the hourly statement of your defense counsel will give you a clear idea of progress made on your case and the type of work being completed. This can be invaluable in keeping you apprised of the ongoing activities of litigation.

Are you hiring a lawyer or a law firm?

If you have a small pool of matters there is no substitute for personally vetting your outside counsel and maintaining a long term relationship with them. With only a few lawyers to keep up with, rates should be set individually or by position. If your attorneys are responsive and get good results, you will want your matters to continue to be handled by them. In this instance, your  organization will need to have an individual to approve rates, a process for accepting rate increase requests, and a method to monitor and track rates to insure that the approvals are being respected.

RiskCentralButtonV1-250

For more information on Quovant, please visit: https://www.quovant.com/.

At Quovant, we’ve spent 26 years analyzing outside legal spend and performance, so you don’t have to. We’ve turned millions of hours and billions of dollars of legal bill review into proven software and services that manage spending and spot new sources of savings. And because we know every legal and risk management team has different needs, you can choose from a turnkey cloud solution to manage your own legal spend and matters or tap our experienced team powered by proven technology to do it all for you.

4 Companies That Rocked It by Treating Injured Workers as Equals; Not Adversaries

The 2018 Teddy Award winners built their programs around people, not claims, and offer proof that a worker-centric approach is a smarter way to operate.
By: | October 30, 2018 • 3 min read

Across the workers’ compensation industry, the concept of a worker advocacy model has been around for a while, but has only seen notable adoption in recent years.

Even among those not adopting a formal advocacy approach, mindsets are shifting. Formerly claims-centric programs are becoming worker-centric and it’s a win all around: better outcomes; greater productivity; safer, healthier employees and a stronger bottom line.

Advertisement




That’s what you’ll see in this month’s issue of Risk & Insurance® when you read the profiles of the four recipients of the 2018 Theodore Roosevelt Workers’ Compensation and Disability Management Award, sponsored by PMA Companies. These four programs put workers front and center in everything they do.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top,” said Steve Legg, director of risk management for Starbucks.

Starbucks put claims reporting in the hands of its partners, an exemplary act of trust. The coffee company also put itself in workers’ shoes to identify and remove points of friction.

That led to a call center run by Starbucks’ TPA and a dedicated telephonic case management team so that partners can speak to a live person without the frustration of ‘phone tag’ and unanswered questions.

“We were focused on building up a program with an eye on our partner experience. Cost was at the bottom of the list. Doing a better job by our partners was at the top.” — Steve Legg, director of risk management, Starbucks

Starbucks also implemented direct deposit for lost-time pay, eliminating stressful wait times for injured partners, and allowing them to focus on healing.

For Starbucks, as for all of the 2018 Teddy Award winners, the approach is netting measurable results. With higher partner satisfaction, it has seen a 50 percent decrease in litigation.

Teddy winner Main Line Health (MLH) adopted worker advocacy in a way that goes far beyond claims.

Employees who identify and report safety hazards can take credit for their actions by sending out a formal “Employee Safety Message” to nearly 11,000 mailboxes across the organization.

“The recognition is pretty cool,” said Steve Besack, system director, claims management and workers’ compensation for the health system.

MLH also takes a non-adversarial approach to workers with repeat injuries, seeing them as a resource for identifying areas of improvement.

“When you look at ‘repeat offenders’ in an unconventional way, they’re a great asset to the program, not a liability,” said Mike Miller, manager, workers’ compensation and employee safety for MLH.

Teddy winner Monmouth County, N.J. utilizes high-tech motion capture technology to reduce the chance of placing new hires in jobs that are likely to hurt them.

Monmouth County also adopted numerous wellness initiatives that help workers manage their weight and improve their wellbeing overall.

“You should see the looks on their faces when their cholesterol is down, they’ve lost weight and their blood sugar is better. We’ve had people lose 30 and 40 pounds,” said William McGuane, the county’s manager of benefits and workers’ compensation.

Advertisement




Do these sound like minor program elements? The math says otherwise: Claims severity has plunged from $5.5 million in 2009 to $1.3 million in 2017.

At the University of Pennsylvania, putting workers first means getting out from behind the desk and finding out what each one of them is tasked with, day in, day out — and looking for ways to make each of those tasks safer.

Regular observations across the sprawling campus have resulted in a phenomenal number of process and equipment changes that seem simple on their own, but in combination have created a substantially safer, healthier campus and improved employee morale.

UPenn’s workers’ comp costs, in the seven-digit figures in 2009, have been virtually cut in half.

Risk & Insurance® is proud to honor the work of these four organizations. We hope their stories inspire other organizations to be true partners with the employees they depend on. &

Michelle Kerr is associate editor of Risk & Insurance. She can be reached at [email protected]