Posts by: Jeff Enzinger

Mount Everest, RMIS technology, and the sunk cost trap

Standing atop Mount Everest is an extraordinarily rare feat. Since the first reported ascent in 1953, only 5,000 people have reached the mountain’s 29,029-foot peak. Over the same span of time, nearly 300 have died attempting to do so. And while making it to the top of Everest is tough, having the fortitude to turn back when the summit is within reach can be even more difficult.

The costs of climbing Everest are significant. In addition to spending roughly $100,000 for a single attempt, the time climbers put into planning and training for the venture is typically measured in years. Given these investments of time, energy, and money, many climbers not surprisingly push on in the face of extreme weather, oxygen depletion, and increasingly bleak odds. Unfortunately, the drive to make the investment “pay off” costs some their lives.

In a season 1 episode of the podcast Choiceology with Dan Heath, Michael Roberto of the Harvard Business School refers to this phenomenon as a sunk cost trap. In a sunk cost trap, Roberto explains that the human mind obscures rational thought because of emotional attachments already ‘sunk’ into achieving a goal. We all experience sunk cost traps in our daily lives: holding on too long to a bad investment, staying in a bad relationship, or refusing to walk out of a bad movie on your first night out in months.

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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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Collecting Values from the Field

Jeff Enzinger, an Origami Risk sales executive, shares his thoughts on the challenges Risk Managers face when collecting exposure values from the field.

Risk Managers embark annually on a daunting and sometimes thankless task of obtaining exposure data from the “field”. Values they seek include data like building replacement costs and other data points critical to the process of obtaining or renewing insurance. A business doesn’t have to be a multi-national enterprise to have dozens or even hundreds of locations that vary in both size and purpose. Field locations like offices, facilities, and warehouses can be spread across the country or the globe.

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