Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study Invites Claims Leaders to Take 2020 Survey Examining New Industry Differentiators


August 18, 2020 – Chicago, IL – Now in its eighth year, the Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study’s 2020 annual claims management survey is underway, examining new industry differentiators.

The 2020 research, guided by an Advisory Council of senior workers’ compensation executives, will investigate how claims organizations are addressing the priorities and challenges identified by frontline claims staff in the study’s 2019 survey. Industry opportunities identified by the 1,200-plus frontline participants include greater initial and ongoing training, better understanding of advocacy-based claims models, enhanced technology utilization to reduce administrative burden, and increased consideration of benefits revealed as most valuable to them.

“For the first time, claims leaders will be asked to respond to the direct and quantified viewpoints expressed in a largescale, industrywide talent survey,” says Rachel Fikes, chief experience officer and study program director at Rising Medical Solutions. “Given that frontline staff manage a total economic outlay of nearly 100 billion in workers’ compensation benefits paid each year, how payers are responding to this critical talent pool’s perspectives will uncover yet another key differentiator in what makes for a higher performing claims organization.”

The 2020 study will also examine the impact of COVID-19 on workers’ compensation claims management. This new line of inquiry will 1) assess how the pandemic is affecting claims operations, and 2) discover the differentiating practices used by high performing organizations to support employers, injured workers, and claims staff during this extraordinary time.

“Identifying the industry’s ability to adjust service delivery and adapt to national workforce disruption has immediate application,” says Fikes. “It also has future application for any new disruptors that may require sweeping business continuity measures.”

The study invites all claims managers, directors, and executive-level leaders who oversee workers’ compensation claims operations for payer organizations to take the 2020 confidential survey. The survey will remain open throughout the month of August and into early September.

Study participants will receive a copy of the 2020 Study Report which is expected to be published in the fourth quarter. As in prior years, the 2020 Report will be available to all industry stakeholders without cost or obligation as a contribution to the workers’ compensation industry. It may be pre-ordered 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
  • Tyrone Spears, Workers’ Compensation Administrator, City of Los Angeles
  • Scott Emery, Senior Director, Claims, Markel
  • Ted Jeffries, Director of Claims, Missouri Employers Mutual
  • Michele Fairclough, Medical Services Director, Montana State Fund
  • Molly Flanagan, AVP, Workers’ Compensation Claims, Nationwide Insurance
  • Alan Bender, Director, Workers’ Compensation & Casualty Insurance, Publix Super Markets
  • Jonathan Gerdes, EVP, Smart Casualty Claims
  • Helen Weber, AVP, Head of Medical Strategy, The Hanover Insurance Group
  • Adam Seidner, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, The Hartford
  • Thomas Wiese, VP, Claims, The MEMIC Group
  • Marcos Iglesias, MD, VP, Chief Medical Director, Travelers
  • Linda Butler, Director, Claims Management, Walt Disney World Resort
  • Victoria Kennedy, Assistant Director, Insurance Services, Washington State Department
    of Labor & Industries
  • Brian Trick, Senior Manager of Claims, Wegmans Food Markets
  • Kyle Cato, Associate Risk Manager, Workers’ Compensation & General Liability Claims, Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
  • Thomas Stark, VP of 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.