Rising’s Rachel Fikes Wins 2017 Comp Laude® Award for Claims Research Leadership, Industry Advocacy

Chicago, IL – November 9, 2017 – Rising Medical Solutions vice president and study program director Rachel Fikes earned top honors in the 2017 Comp Laude® Awards service provider category for her pioneering efforts to advocate for claims management advancement in the workers’ compensation industry, including employee-centric benefits delivery. Presented by WorkCompCentral, the annual Comp Laude® Awards recognize integrity, excellence, and success in the industry, consistent with the organizers’ overall mission to “change the story of workers’ compensation to a more positive narrative.” Award winners were announced at the Comp Laude® Gala held Tuesday, October 31 in San Diego.

A 20-year communications and insurance services veteran, Fikes leads Rising’s Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study – an ambitious national research program she piloted from infancy. Now in its fifth year, the study has conducted survey and focus group research with more than 1,700 claims leaders – the largest study of its kind. Since 2013, it has evolved from an operational assessment tool into a data-backed guide validating how and what higher performing claims organizations are doing compared to industry peers.

One key finding to emerge from the collective intelligence contributed by study participants is that organizations using advocacy-based claims models have better outcomes than those who do not.

“Bringing this valuable information to light will further motivate organizations to adopt claims advocacy approaches to engage injured workers,” says Thomas Stark, Workers’ Compensation Technical Director at Nationwide Insurance and a member of the Study’s voluntary Advisory Council. “Years from now, when our industry discusses the great success of the advocacy concept, I am certain Rachel will be regarded as one of the most eloquent expositors of the movement.”

Other industry transforming opportunities quantified from study insights collected under Fikes’ leadership include transitioning from process management to outcome management models, migrating from fee-for-service to value-based payments, and implementing talent development and knowledge transfer strategies to prepare the next generation of claims professionals.

“Rachel understands the tremendous power of data,” says Denise Algire, Director of Risk Initiatives and National Medical Director for Albertsons Companies, as well as the Study’s principal researcher and report author. “The result of her labor is an indispensable, unbiased resource that inspires the workers’ compensation community towards action and advancement.”

About Rising Medical Solutions
Rising Medical Solutions is a national medical-financial solutions firm that provides medical cost containment and medical care management services to the workers’ compensation, auto, liability and group health markets. Rising also directs and publishes the annual Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study, a national research program examining the complex forces impacting claims management in workers’ compensation today.