Monthly Archives: Nov 2018

The data-driven risk manager

Despite the widespread ambition of organizations to create a data-driven culture, few seem to make the transition successfully. In the article Big Companies Are Embracing Analytics, But Most Still Don’t Have a Data-Driven Culture, the authors cite the results of this year’s annual New Vantage Partners survey on data issues. “Virtually all respondents (99%) say their firms are trying to move in that direction, but only about one-third have succeeded at this objective. This gap appears every year in the surveys, and the level of success hasn’t improved much over time.”

According to a Gartner study, a similar disconnect is found: 80% of CEOs claim to accept the concept of data as an asset, yet only 10% say their organization treats it that way. Given the fairly daunting odds, why are so many organizations still fighting the uphill battle to establish a data-driven culture? Because, as a TechCrunch article notes, “Being data-driven pays!” As proof, the authors cite an MIT study finding a 5-6% higher output in data-driven organizations and other research indicating a more than $13 payback for every dollar spent on analytics.

The importance of the risk manager

Given the potential payoff of a data-driven culture, the analysis-based role of a risk manager can be a linchpin in the effort to elevate the role of data in strategic decision-making across the organization. To make this transition, risk managers need to adopt an enterprise risk management (ERM) mindset, regardless of whether the organization actually has an ERM program in place. The core of this mindset relies on using data to influence decisions and direct actions.

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Finding added value in RMIS: Five benefits of using the system for litigation management

Managing claims-related emails, forms, and other documents can be a challenge, especially when claims data and files are spread across multiple systems. That challenge only grows when claims result in litigation. Not only is there additional documentation, but there is also the need to share that information with the legal department and other parties involved in each case.

In “Laying the foundation for a strategic approach to claims management,” we examine how an integrated claims management functionality of a cloud-based RMIS like Origami Risk can help reduce the strain of tracking claims data and documentation. Consolidating all of an organization’s claims data and related files in a single system not only eases access but can also standardize and streamline workflow processes. The subsequent analysis performed contributes to informed decision making and improved claim outcomes.

Risk managers and claims professionals can add to the value of their RMIS by extending usage to an organization’s legal staff. In this post, we look at five benefits of using a cloud-based RMIS to manage litigation information related to claims and incidents, as well as contracts, research, and other legal matters handled on a daily basis.

Five benefits of using a cloud-based RMIS for matter management

1. Centralize storage of claims and matter data and documentation

As the PropertyCasualty360 article “8 Best Practices for Claims Litigation Management” points out, when it comes to documentation and case information, “the better organized you are, the easier litigation is to manage.”

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Behind the hype of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) — What can it really do?

There is a great deal of buzz surrounding the rapid adoption of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology. According to a Gartner study, by 2020 90% of large and midsize organizations will have at least one process supported by RPA. Gartner also estimates, however, that 1 in 5 of organizations that try RPA will have replaced it with another technology during that time frame. How can the same technology be both adopted and abandoned so quickly?

The answer is revealed when examining the inherent benefits and drawbacks of RPA technology. As a form of automation, it holds the potential to boost productivity that yields the equivalent of additional 24/7 workers at a fraction of the cost of human resources. Several fundamental flaws in the approach, however, may prevent organizations from ever realizing those gains, and could even make some situations worse.

How RPA works

RPA software allows non-technical users to automate tasks by creating simple “bots” that can log in to systems, retrieve information, and perform basic tasks. So long as the tasks are clearly defined, highly repeatable, and primarily rule-based, RPA bots can be trained to do that work.

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Don’t fear the audit — Remove the roadblocks and reap the benefits of internal audits

Conducting internal audits isn’t typically an activity that any organization looks forward to. First of all, internal auditing takes time—something neither risk and safety departments nor supervisors and employees “on the ground” have in abundance. Internal audits also come with the headaches of coordinating the efforts of multiple departments and people at far-flung locations.

And when all of the hard work of gathering completed audit forms is done, data must be consolidated in a format that—fingers-crossed—will prove useful in determining the actions that will result in measurable change. It leaves one to ask, “Is it worth the effort? read more

ERM — Rethinking the vendor management process

The vendor management process is becoming an area of increased focus for risk managers. The operational, financial, and regulatory risks third-party vendors and contractors pose to an organization continue to expand unabated. Despite the magnitude of the threat posed from lax vendor management programs, many risk managers do not feel their organizations have the technology and capabilities in place to properly face the challenge.

A Deloitte study notes that 94% of responding executives have only low to moderate levels of confidence in the tools and technology they use to manage third-party risk. Nearly 90% have similar lack of confidence in the quality of the underlying risk management process. Armed with dubious solutions and processes, risk managers fighting for effective vendor management assessment may find it an uphill battle.

The status quo may not hold

Recent New York Times coverage of the dire supply chain effects Hurricane Maria had on the availability of critical prescriptions in the U.S. illustrates how quickly vendor management issues can escalate. The article notes, “Federal officials and major drugmakers are scrambling to prevent national shortages of critical drugs for treating cancer, diabetes and heart disease, as well as medical devices and supplies, that are manufactured at 80 plants in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.”

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How to Use ODG Data to Improve Workers Comp Case Management

This post was originally published on Risk Management Monitor.

Regardless of whether or not their organizations operate in states where the use of Official Disability Guidelines (ODG) has been adopted/mandated, risk managers can often leverage ODG data and the claim data from their risk management information systems (RMIS) to benchmark the medical and lost-time components of their workers compensation costs against national averages.

With its origins dating to 1995, ODG (www.mcg.com/odg) provides “unbiased, evidence-based guidelines” and analytical tools designed to “improve and benchmark return-to-work performance, facilitate quality care while limiting inappropriate utilization, assess claim risk for interventional triage, and set reserves based on industry data.”

The following are some ways risk managers can use ODG data in conjunction with their existing risk information tools to drive improvements in their workers compensation case management and achieve greater precision in loss reserve practices.

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Want to improve claim outcomes? Eliminate the paperwork.

“A workers’ compensation adjuster is not a paper pusher.” That’s one of “60 Tips for Superior Claims Handling” issued as part of a panel discussion held at a past National Workers’ Compensation & Disability Conference. “Work comp claims are more difficult than general liability claims. If you think of them as a paper pusher, that’s the output you’ll receive.”

Numerous articles make clear the impact of adjusters’ experience, skills, and judgment on claims outcomes (For example, see “Good Adjusters Know When to Settle Your Workers Comp Claims.”) Nonetheless, as indicated by the fact that panelists felt it necessary to make the point that adjusters are far more than back-office clerks, the misperception persists.

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