The day-to-day nature of work has changed for nearly everyone since the COVID-19 pandemic, and as we enter a new year, we know from past events in US history such as the Great Depression and Great Recession, this pandemic will once again reshape the American workplace.
Many economists are forecasting a strong rebound for the first half of 2021, given the continued low interest rates, increased immunization rollouts, and another relief package on the horizon. However, as new variants of the COVID-19 virus start to emerge globally, the coronavirus will continue to be an operational risk for many industries (i.e., construction, healthcare, manufacturing, etc.). If there is one thing we learned from this pandemic, it is that it has forced all of us to embrace those overlooked technologies (i.e., health tracking devices – Fitbit, Apple Watch) which were maybe seen as trendy before but are now being utilized as daily tools.
Insurers too, need to dig deep into their technologies in order to prepare for yet another year of accelerated transformation. They can expand their value of core systems with digitalization, allowing them the flexibility to write new chapters of a customer’s journey, that transform typical underwriting and claims processes, bringing together greater customer satisfaction, efficiency, and effectiveness.
There is a heightened focus within the workers’ compensation industry to infuse more compassion and empathy back into the overall structure of the system, especially for those most affected, the injured workers. Insurers need to re-examine their current business model to make certain they are fully harnessing the power of digital to better improve their effectiveness.
For many workers’ compensation insurers and state funds, “Technologies” are the lead story that will enable their case managers, loss prevention/safety teams, and underwriters to focus more on critical aspects of their job.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotic automation and collaborative communication platforms have attracted a lot of attention and investment the past 18 months and are now being seen by many workers’ compensation insurers as “table stakes” to maintain viability.
Here are a few areas where insurers and state funds should consider adopting technology:
- Delivery of care (improve quality, accessibility, and cost)
- Managing return-to-work (faster, seamless transition)
- Handling of daily administrative tasks (streamline, straight-through processing)
- Regulatory compliance (staying up to date with changes)
- Safety & Risk management (better prevention and overall mitigation)
- Detecting fraud
Workers’ Compensation Insurers understand the importance of getting an injured worker back to full health, with a smooth transition back to the workplace. That’s why having the right software solutions in place is so essential to ensure positive outcomes for all involved stakeholders.
Notwithstanding today, insurers won’t be able to avoid all the newly unexpected events or possible disruptions for this year, the next year, or several years to come. How companies respond will determine between surviving and flourishing or fading and becoming unable to keep pace. Insurers need to write their own story for 2021 on lessons learned from the insight gained in 2020.
Learn more about our Workers’ Compensation solutions.