NWCDC Update

Practical Solutions for a Changing Claims Environment

The agenda for the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo will focus on proven solutions for claims challenges.
By: | May 21, 2015

Many theories are emerging on the future of workers’ compensation in a rapidly changing world, but the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo built our upcoming 2015 session program mostly by focusing on existing solutions for claims payers’ current challenges.

WCconf_24thAnnualYet now that building the program for the 24th annual conference scheduled for November 11-13 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas is complete, I can also report that the lineup of 32 breakout sessions will include some forward-looking discussions.

Attendees will mostly find practical breakout-session presentations on topics like The Home Depot’s strategy for deploying nurse case managers, Southwest Airlines’ quality-assurance efforts for selecting vendor partners, and how employer Reyes Holdings applied an integrated disability and absence management approach.

Our selection group helped pick speakers often by favoring presentation proposals containing pragmatic solutions to the problems they and their industry colleagues face or see as emerging issues needing greater clarity.

The selection group included Denise Algire, director, managed care & disability corporate risk, Safeway Inc.; Bill Wainscott, manager workers’ compensation & occupational health, International Paper; Dan Reynolds, editor-in-chief, Risk & Insurance; and myself.

Like the rest of society, though, workers’ comp is seeing many technology-driven changes and more lie ahead, of course. That is driving thought-provoking, insurance industry discussions on topics such as how the future face of employment and increased use of robotics will impact underwriters.

Those are important considerations. But there remains a need to help workers’ comp professionals understand current applications for technology the industry is still coming to grips with, like the application of predictive analytics.

That is why the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo will provide sessions like one to be led by ESIS, explaining the industry’s data analytics and predictive modeling capabilities. The presentation will be backed by Georgia Pacific explaining of how it has actually applied the tools to improve claims results.

We did not, however, ignore discussions on emerging changes.

Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. and Harbor Health Systems, for example, will discuss evolving medical management topics such “accountable care, value-based pricing and patient engagement.” But with an eye to the practical, the session will also include a senior workers’ comp manager from Boeing sharing how the company’s current practices align with the expected shifts in healthcare delivery.

Our breakout sessions also look to enlighten on controversial topics impacting the workers’ comp industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear two opposing views on the movement pushing for more states to allow employers to opt out of their traditional workers’ comp systems as is currently allowed in Texas and Oklahoma.

The full conference agenda will be available online June 22.

But here is a sneak peak at what the agenda will include:

    • Walmart and PRIUM sharing the retailer’s efforts to manage pharmaceutical misuse
    • Pacific Gas and Electric’s adoption of a 24/7 telephonic injury management program
    • LifeTEAM Health and a Kaiser Permanente medical director describing the results from helping injured employees overcome psychosocial risks with a biopsychosocial strategy
    • A discussion on workplace violence, causation, mental trauma and prevention
  • Explanations of strategies and available tools for administering the Americans with Disabilities Act and leave laws such as the Family Medical Leave Act.
  • A Hyatt Hotels senior occupational health manager on practices for injury prevention, early intervention, and claim-severity mitigation.

It’s an agenda built with an aim to meet the needs of a cross section of workers comp and disability management professionals, including medical providers, attorneys, claims managers and risk management department leaders.

Roberto Ceniceros is a retired senior editor of Risk & Insurance® and the former chair of the National Workers' Compensation and Disability Conference® & Expo. Read more of his columns and features.

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