Collaboration, communication keys to claims success

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Louise Esola

SAN ANTONIO — Collaboration among employers, attorneys and claims adjusters is critical in helping to better manage workers compensation claims and keeping litigation costs down, say those in the trenches of closing injured-worker claims.

“It never ceases to amaze me (how) we don’t talk,” Glenn Backus, president of Nashvillebased third-party administrator Alternative Service Concepts L.L.C., told attendees at The Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.’s annual conference Monday in San Antonio. “There are a lot of silos in the industry.”

Mr. Backus moderated a discussion with Misty Price, chief operating officer for Van Nuys, California-based law firm Adelson, Testan, Brundo, Novell & Jimenez, and Suzanne Ormond, risk manager for Alsco Inc., a large uniforms and laundry firm based in Salt Lake City with more than 80 plants nationwide.

All three presenters work to close workers comp claims for Alsco, which before a team approach became a part of risk-management operations in 2015 spent upwards of 40% of its comp costs on litigation, said Ms. Ormond. One culprit, she said, was a lack of communication between all those involved in closing the claim.

Ms. Price acknowledged the root of the communication issues that often prolong claims.

“There’s a lot of volume in…

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