Key Insights from the 2018 National Workers' Compensation & Disability Conference


Nearly 2,000 workers’ compensation professionals gathered at the National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference in Las Vegas on December 5-7.

At this premier event in the workers’ compensation industry, employers and leaders in claims, medical and disability management, as well as experts in technology and regulatory issues, discussed emerging workers’ compensation challenges and shared ideas and solutions. 

Teddy Awards Honor Most Successful Workers' Compensation Programs

A conference highlight was Risk & Insurance’s Theodore Roosevelt Awards for Workers’ Compensation Excellence (Teddy Awards). The award honors among the most successful workers’ compensation programs in the US.

Congratulations to our winning clients, Main Line Health, Monmouth County, New Jersey, and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as the fourth top winner, Starbucks Coffee Company. These organizations participated in a panel discussion, "Steal These Ideas: Teddy Award-Winning Employers Showcase their Successful Strategies," led by Conference Chairman and Senior Risk & Insurance Editor Roberto Ceniceros and PMA Management Corp. President Frank Altiere.

Participants shared their passion for creating a culture of safety in their organizations, advocating for injured workers throughout the claims adjudication process to create an atmosphere of trust and appreciation, and helping injured workers restore their health and well-being. Successful strategies discussed included transforming traditional loss reporting into employee self-reporting, using motion-capture technology to develop physical job requirements, implementing innovative safety strategies and modified duty solutions, and promoting employee health and wellness programs, with ideas such as using incentives to encourage biometric screening.

Hot Button Topics—Predictive Analytics, Opioids, Marijuana & Complex Claims

Sessions also focused on hot button topics—managing opioid use among injured workers, emerging issues related to marijuana use and the workplace, the rise of telemedicine and best practices for complex workers’ compensation claims. Past Teddy Award winner Monica Manske, Senior Manager Workers’ Compensation, Employee Safety and Ergonomics, Rochester Regional Health presented “Operational Excellence in Managing Safety and Workers’ Comp Risks” that outlined her four-part strategy to bolster risk mitigation and create a winning program.

The role of predictive analytics in mitigating claims costs and disability durations garnered much attention. PMA Regional Claims Service Manager Cari Burhenne and RWJBarnabas Health Senior Vice President Caryl Russo presented a session, "Predictive Analytics: Real Life Pre- and Post-Loss Applications." The session focused on RWJBH’s very successful model for preventing claims from evolving into complex scenarios using predictive analytics, that included five key steps:

  1. Defining “red flags” of claims
  2. Escalation procedures
  3. Strategy/Interventions
  4. Monitoring results
  5. Measuring ROI

PMA Companies is a proud sponsor of the conference. PMA representatives from Claims, Medical Management, Risk Control, and Client Services attended to share ideas, learn more about emerging trends and innovative solutions for clients’ needs, and build relationships through networking opportunities.

Michael MacAulay, Senior Vice President, PMA Management Corp.

Mike is the Senior Vice President of Sales for PMA Management Corp., part of PMA Companies' TPA Operations.