Annual Work Comp Benchmark Study Releases 2019 Report Comparing Claims Leader & Frontline Staff Perspectives


December 17, 2019 – Chicago, IL – With an estimated 140.3 million U.S. workers receiving workers’ compensation benefits, frontline claims professionals are personally responsible for managing a total economic outlay of nearly $100 billion dollars in benefits paid annually. Coupled with the industry’s talent crisis – with an imminent mass exodus of retiring claims professionals and challenges attracting young professionals – the impact that frontline staff have on the industry’s financial viability and injured worker outcomes cannot be overstated.

Now in its seventh year, the Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study – for the first time ever – surveyed 1,282 members of this critical talent constituency to ascertain how their views mirror or differ from the 1,800-plus claims leaders who participated in prior research. Reprising questions from past surveys, the 2019 Report not only provides recommendations to improve overall operational performance, it also provides strategies for how to best incentivize and retain the frontline talent pool.

“We’ve got a ‘perfect storm’ threatening the workers’ compensation industry right now,” says Rachel Fikes, chief experience officer and study program director at Rising Medical Solutions. “Frontline claims professionals are the largest and most influential employee population in our industry, yet, very little research has been conducted with them to date. Adding frontline intelligence to the study’s cumulative data can help organizations advance claims management and talent practices, as well as confront the increasing stakes of attracting young professionals to our industry.”

The 2019 Report examines frontline perspectives on topics such as:

  • Ranking of core competencies most critical to claim outcomes
  • Claims functions that frontline staff spend the most time on
  • Effectiveness of systems / tools in managing best practices
  • Assessment of job meaningfulness
  • Investment in new hire and senior staff training, and whether it’s considered adequate
  • Ranking of company benefits that frontline staff most value
  • Understanding of advocacy-based claims models
  • Assessment of technology and data’s effectiveness in performing current job
  • Views of technology delineated by years of claims adjusting experience
  • Usage rates of various analytic programs
  • Ranking of medical management training, and whether it’s deemed adequate
  • Ranking of the most important provider quality measures

As in prior years, the 2019 Report will be available to all without cost or obligation as a contribution to the workers’ compensation industry. The 2019 Report may be requested here.

About the Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study
The Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study is a national research program examining the complex forces impacting claims management in workers’ compensation today. The study’s mission is to advance claims management in the industry by providing both quantitative and qualitative data. Through survey research with claims leaders and practitioners nationwide, the program generates actionable intelligence for claims organizations to evaluate priorities, challenges, and strategies amongst their peers. Conceived and directed by Rising Medical Solutions, the ongoing program is a collaboration of industry executives representing diverse organizational perspectives, including the Study’s Principal Researcher and Advisory Council:

  • Denise Algire | Director of Risk Initiatives & National Medical Director |
    Albertsons Companies
  • Raymond Jacobsen | Senior Managing Director | AON
  • Rich Cangiolosi | VP, Western Region | CCMSI
  • Kelly Kuri | Claims Manager | Frank Winston Crum Insurance
  • Helen Weber | AVP, Head of Medical Strategy | The Hanover Insurance Group
  • Adam Seidner, MD, MPH | Chief Medical Officer | The Hartford
  • Scott Emery | Senior Director, Claims | Markel
  • Tom Wiese | VP, Claims | The MEMIC Group
  • Ted Jeffries | Director of Claims | Missouri Employers Mutual
  • Michele Fairclough | Medical Services Director | Montana State Fund
  • Tom McCauley, Owner & Consultant | Networks by Design
  • Alan Bender | Director, Workers’ Compensation & Casualty Insurance |
    Publix Super Markets
  • Jonathan Gerdes | SVP, Casualty Claims Solutions | SmartCasualtyClaims
  • Marcos Iglesias, MD | VP, Chief Medical Director | Travelers
  • David Price | VP | UMR Risk Management
  • Linda Butler | Director, Claims Management | Walt Disney World Resort
  • Brian Trick | Senior Manager of Claims | Wegmans Food Markets
  • Kyle Cato | Associate Risk Manager, Workers’ Compensation & General Liability Claims | Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
  • Tom Stark | VP, Underwriting | Zenith Insurance Company

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.