issue 002,

Expert view

The “Expert view” column presents a wide range of claims management topics offering valuable insights and information for clients.

Edge:
What is Sedgwick working on right now that will have an impact on our customers in the near future?

Darryl:

We have started to roll out mobile technology from a disability and absence perspective using responsive design, so all of the features available in viaOne® express will be accessible in a mobile format, giving users even more functionality than the prior mobile app version provided. All clients that use viaOne express will have the mobile technology option by the end of the year. This summer, clients using the redesigned version of viaOne express had the opportunity to start using the camera feature on their phones to take pictures of claim-related information  and upload documents through  their computer that go directly into Sedgwick’s claims management system.

Also, through our acquisition of Absentys, we will continue to offer a software solution to assist employers with the rules and regulations associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act and ADA Amendments Act (ADA/ADAAA). They can now use our system to handle their own process for ADA/ADAAA cases.

In addition, we are talking with clients about an enhanced fast track model that provides an opportunity for basic medical procedures, minor surgeries and maternity claims to be approved quickly to help improve turnaround time and employee satisfaction.

Edge:
What else is on the horizon for absence and disability solutions?

Darryl:
We have received great feedback on the text and email options available for claim updates and we are looking at expanding this service. There are currently a handful of claim events that trigger automatic notifications. We are looking at adding more of them along with new functionality that will allow us to send manual texts. We’re also planning to enhance our reporting capabilities, and provide an even greater level of integrated reporting across workers’ compensation, disability and leave programs. This is a big strategic initiative for next year and we’re excited about it.

Edge:
How has technology improved the claims process for employees on disability and leave?

Darryl:
Our text and email options have enhanced communications with claimants. It’s not unusual for them to select text or email as their preferred mode of communication. It seems to improve the user experience. As I mentioned, we’re looking at adding more events in the claims process where we can use text and email. For example, some of our clients that tend to have a lot of pregnancy cases have asked if we can send a text after we receive confirmation of the birth to remind the employee to update their benefits. Also, the redesign of viaOne express gives clients and employees the ability to report claims and intermittent absences through an easy to navigate form available from their computer, smartphone or tablet.

Edge:
Are there areas that Sedgwick is enhancing or changing to respond to trends that we are seeing with our clients?

Darryl:

A hot topic right now is finding ways to better integrate our services with our clients’ health plans. One specific area is integrating healthcare and disability when it comes to behavioral health conditions. This would include helping employees get back on track after they go out on disability or leave. We’re seeing an increase in behavioral health needs and we are working with clients on processes to help them get their employees the medical care they need through their employer’s health plan or an advocate company that can assist them.

If an employee has existing psychosocial issues that are not acknowledged and dealt with, they can significantly impact lost time and medical costs in a claim. If one of our nurse case managers notices possible mental health concerns, they will engage our dedicated behavioral health specialist (BHS). The BHS will  help the employee address mental health issues, and overcome the challenges associated with a work-re­lated injury, disability or absence.

Darryl Hammann

Hammann joined Sedgwick in 1993 and has held progressively responsible positions in the company including national integrated disability management/disability practice leader, disability business development director and disability product development director. In his current role, he assumes overall operational, account management and product delivery responsibilities for the business group. Darryl also worked as benefits manager for a Fortune 500 company. For two years, he managed their FMLA, workers’ compensation and disability programs, overseeing the transition from a coordinated to an integrated program. He was later promoted to corporate healthcare manager with responsibility for the strategy and design of healthcare benefits and the enrollment process.

Additional Resources
MORE FROM THIS ISSUE