Beyond the Claim
Beyond the Claim

Episode 3 · 6 months ago

Leading with Analytics w/ Dennis Tierney


The pandemic has shown us that you have to lead with analytics.

Even before COVID, analytics were around, but they seemed like something that sat in the backseat. They can't stay there. Analytics have to drive your claims department.

And as newer and better models and algorithms emerge, our industry can look deeper and deeper into the ways that technology can advance our work.

Dennis Tierney, National Director of Workers Compensation Claims at Marsh, joins the show to discuss using analytics to prioritize the right claims.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How the pandemic has changed the way workers' comp claims work
  • The future of the talent gap in the insurance industry
  • What affects mental health has on injured workers, claims costs, and the public

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Being able to lead with analytics and really helping prioritize, those claims that you need to work on right now is just really something: That' s unavoidable, you' re listening to beyond the claim, the show for forward thinking, risk and claims professionals curious about the latest industry, Trans winning strategies and stories from influential leaders. Let' s dive in welcome to be on the claim, I mean helst, Mark Cunningham, chief sales and marketing officer with broad spire to day happen with me, Denis Tyrany tennis is national director of workers, COP claims, with March marches on the world a leading professional service forms in the area of Risk Strategy and people. Then I thank you so much for joining us today. Sure mark thanks. thanks for having me appreciated, all things considered an okay, you know, and these crazy times you know things are things are doing fine, so appreciate it. I' m glad to hear that I know these are definitely challenging times and we' re all trying to make the most of it. So Dennis is national director of work. COP Claims Dennis. Do you are you? I know you' ve held multiple titles over your years and I' m sure that you are you know, staying engaged in work cop throughout this pandemic, but before we dive into you, know, work cop or the industry as a whole or your time at March. Can you give you some background for the audience of just your your journey? your story start as early as you want to. you can be from elementary school or from college, whatever you' re comfortable with. But what' s the dentist story? Yeah, so you know the rocks New York, obviously a big Yankee Fan and then, as I as I got older when we moved up a little bit north to in New York, so you know, went the Catholic school from kindergarten to twelfth grade, went to an all boys Catholic school. So I guess good and bad in certain ways of ending. How do you think about that? you know went to college and my plan was to become a lawyer right, so I...

...made or in political science I minored in law ended up going to law school for about a little last thane year, Saint John' s University, and it just it just wasn' t for me right it just it just not. I wasn' t you know so everything that I thought it was going to be so at that point in time I ended up going and get my masters. I mastered in a public administration with a concentration in health care and a through our college. I worked for a the international brother of electrical workers. They have, you know a health and Welfare Fund, so I did mostly health and welfare benefits. So I had a little bit of the background on that, but once I graduated rated school and got my Namtar, I needed a job right and again, you know, like everyone else, mostly everyone else in the industry. you know we got to insurance just by you know almost by accident right, so I need a job and liberty. Mutual was was, was hiring so once it our interview, they didn' t know much about works compensation, but they basically, I guess I did a good job because they hired me right on the spot right either that or they just needed people. Oh you know so so they hired me on the spot, and I thought of my career back in two thousand and two as the work is complain adjuster for living mutual here we are just about twenty years later right, so work for liberty for about four years and then started my career at Mash in two thousand and six. So you know it was a great decision. Your March has been great, it' s a grey company to work for so so again. Here I am, and I guess you know, like many others, I' m stuck in the industry now and until my career is also what was the catalyst to shift from the the claims you know operations to consulting. You know, I didn' t really know much about it. What What ended up happening was kind of like you know what I do now somewhat. That person was on an account and I was working in liberty and they I guess they liked the way I handled self and the way I presented myself and there was an opening in marsh and that person who I got to know a little bit. You know recomended me for the job...

...and I' m allays someone that is up for new challenges right. I mean honestly like his handling the work, as comes care for four years start to get a little boring. So I wanted to see what else was out there and is a up for new challenge, and when I you know, I went for the job. I saw that it was a was a lot more involved than just workers, cop right there was a lot more that went into it. So that really interested me So yeah I went to went for the interview at Mars was lucky enough to get the job, and here we are, you know in two thousand and twenty one right. So it' s crazy how things work out! I' ve got to believe that starting off that was an adjuster just laid a solid foundation for you to operate. you know in the consulting space understanding the work cop environment is such an intimate level. I know for me, I started off with Hewitt or an Hewitt and then now allied on the benefit side, so I can, I can aline there. I stayed there a little longer than you, and only recently over he last couple of years transition the war work compend casualty, but a along the way I found from a claim standpoint having for me, I didn ' t manage claims, but I did manage the technical opponent so back in business analysis, setting up computer systems as well as third party applications that were used for the administration, and I found that administering the the benefits and understanding policies at that level have always allowed me to communicate more effectively and more comfortably. You know in various conversations, regardless of the type of program I' m dealing with it. Did you find that it actually helped you in that transition compared to to some of y appears at the same Er Yeah? I would say definitely from a technical standpoint. It did right, I mean I have to say coming from a carrier back in twenty on to two thousand and six. When I started in March, you know, coming from a carate, a broker was a little bit of a world win right, I mean I a carrier. It was really structured when he came to the broker back, then it wasn' t a structured, and you know what marsh kind of gifted me with was the accounts that they assigned to me. You know a good majority of them, weren' t even work as cop their a...

...liability right. So I kind of almost had a learn on the fly, but to your point it definitely gave me that technical knowledge and work is Com. Definitely Gaming, that knowledge and how to just speak, to clients and deal with clients and problems solve and find the solutions right because kind of what we do in our industries. We find solutions for clients so definitely get. Having that background, a liberty, mutual kind of set me up for a success in that area, so fast forward to two thousand and twenty at the time pandemic kits, and then you know we' re in twenty late, O tousand and twenty one now over the past two years. I know that we' ve seen some change in the industry in reaction to the PENDETA initially accommodating. You know: Customers and clients that were in the middle of the pandemic and who knows technically speaking where we are in the phase of the pandemic at this point. But where have you seen the work cop, specific industry change over the past couple of years? Where do you see it going in response to the pandemic? Yeah, I would say you know the one area and obviously it was. it was just like nothing. We seen before right, I mean the pandemic hit and you know everyone worked from home and I think my family saw me last when I was working from home during the pandemic than I was at the office right because it was just non stopped, but I think one of the main things that at least I communicate to our clients - and even to my to my colleagues is bettent that the pandemic has shown us is, is really you have to lead with analytics right. You know, I feel, like You know, analytics have always been around and it ' s always been something that we' ve talked about, and maybe it was kind of you know not in the front seat, but when we' re on the back seat but the pandemic. You know there was just so many things coming at you. So many things you had to take care of a So you really don' t didn' t have the time to manage. You know what everything that he wanted right, so You really had to prioritize those claims that you needed to manage the ones that really have the ability to have you know to blow up and to have really high exposures right and...

...the best way to do that is to lead with analytics, to be able to use your analytics to help identify those claims to work on right. So now what I say to appliance is you know we need to leave with analytics right, you need they need to be at the forefront. you know we don' t know. What' s coming down the Pike Right, the pandemic is still around but being able to leave with analytics and really helping prioritize. Those claims that you need to work on right now is just really something that' s unavoidable, so that' s kind of the main thing that I' ve seen and it kind of helped it push analytic sort of forefront and making it kind of number one priority that we have in managing claims and when you say you know, leave with an alike specific to the P. I know you in general you' re saying it' s a strength and I must have specific to you know coid and the pandemic. Did you find that there was a need beyond what currently existed, to be able to track and trend at that level? Or did you see that as a on average that the market, the clients your clients were in need- and you know the the vendors parity periods were prepared to some degree to provide that temment like yeah? I think they were prepared to some degree. I think, like anything else, right, no matter what we have, we always can make it better and improve it. So I think, like I said, to some degree they were prepared, but I think the pandemic has even made us need to enhance that even more really get getting down and really being able to write up tivy those things that we couldn' t see with the levels of analytics that we currently have or models that we currently have right being able to help drive models and create newer models and algorithms that can really get deeper and deeper. So I think the pandemic. You know it' s a horrible thing, but it continues to be, but it forced us to kind of think differently and to utilize technology differently right, we' ve seen it in the industry in many different ways right tell them. Medicine obviously tell he Medicine workers comp was really slow to adapt that and when the pandemic hit, we that was available so again to get back to our answering your question, I...

...think, to a certain degree we were set up, but I think it only push thus in the industry to get better and to get more advanced into. that you' ve seen that evolution, I' ve seen some other products you know outside of it like that, have been created in response to the pandemic. Where do you? What do you see things going over the let ' s say: the pandemic continues for another six, twelve months, sure that' s impacting your clients directly and indirectly, depending on the Inye in where do you see the need the work cot market going? I guess it within that short term and then maybe even beyond that, as we, you know, look to just kind of either re established the old norm or adjust to the new. Well, I think the industry as a whole right now, especially, I think you know in the clean provider space- is really struggling just with with talent and people right. I think we' ve seen that across the board, where, whether it be that you know folks are just retired or you know, there' s just there' s just an abundance of a need of getting people right. So my concern is that if the pandemic continues that you know trying to fill that gap and feel that need is going to continue as well, which is definitely a hazing, is having an impact on appliance. You know my hope is that not ups from a claim just from to Mcclain standpoint or an industry standpoint, but just for you know the world and live in that the pandemic comes to an end and with that hopefully things to get back to the Loman. What do I mean by that is, you know, being able to you know, fill those positions of people that have left or retired being able to have those interactions in person that I still think are really valuable that aren' t going on right now. So again, you know it' s hard to predict where it' s going. I know where we are now, and my hope is that you know what, with the pandemic, hopefully getting better, that some of these issues were dealing with will be able to be solved. Agreed Agreed completely all right. I know every one is probably had their fill of pandemic talk...

...over the last. You know, eighteen plus a month, so will shift gears a little bit. You know I do You look o wealth of experience in the work comp industry. I have to believe you' ve come across some kind of misnomers or some misunderstanding concepts around or cop or the industry as a whole. Is there anything that you know one or two items that might stick out for you that you want to make? you want to correct the record now with this this world wide audience that you have sure sure from work thanks for that to me anyway, I feel like when, whenever you know you mentioned insurance to those people that aren' t in it, it seems like people are like really insurance or like insurance like it' s so boring right and I feel like that is really so wrong, because what people don ' t realize is it' s. Insurance is really a gateway. The so many different things right I mean just because you work in insurance. you know, there' s there' s marketing, you know there is accounting, there' s financing, es, there' s communications right, there ' s the stuff that I do right, other it' s on the writing. So there' s so many different things in the world of insurance that that that people kid get involved in work on, and maybe I' m biased, but I feel like a lot of those things- are really interesting and exciting and dynamic right. It' s I know when my world things are never boring, because things are always changing and I' m learning every day. I' m not sure if you could say that in every single industry or every single job, so the one thing I' d like to get out there to those listening is that insurance is not boring. It provides great careers for people and once you get in and I think he' ll see that it really is something that really could you know enlighten yourself and you could have you know a good now freer path on it as well. I think it' s a fantastic point. I mean I think, within even the industry, as we' re communicating out to you know the the general audience that we should speak from a position of of confidence and of appreciation for because I started I graduated masters, but also my Undergrad was in finance.

Didn' t there was no transferable, you know knowledge to this pace. One. There was no opportunity to develop a degree right for this particular market. So that' s an area where we have to improve, although I know that there' s at least within the adjuster space there' s more of an educational path there, but even with graduate go to go to the benefits outsourcing company and have done everything from technology to implementation, to account management, to sales, to operations and to your point you know: That ' s not necessarily always could be possible across many industries and whether I dabbled in a lot of different things, or I really had a deep concentration in one. It has very little to do with the immediate perception that many have of insurance. Being you know, boring legal driven policies right and so yeah. I think, there' s definitely a narrative out there that we need to change because there' s a ton of opportunity and, as you mentioned earlier with T, you know we' re going through a wave of retirements. You know that we were working aggressively to account for as an industry, and I think we have to start with really recruiting some top talent into the space so that were prepared for a long term. I mean this is a this. is a critical industry that we' re in to make sure that people are made whole and you know we in remain hole throughout their life? So you know that being said, you' ve been in the industry for a while and you' ve seen a lot and I' m sure some things that you would want to improve upon. So if you know, if you' re, if you' re thinking hey I' ve got some, you know magical powers, and I want to snap my fingers and solve or any challenge that might be out there. If I could do it today, was there there anything that comes to mind that you say you know we can. we can do better. We should do better yeah, I mean definitely an now. I' m not going to be er, not going to say it against. We talked about a definitely to town. Yet right, that' s huge because again, that' s the future. That ' s he that' s the president and future of the industry and another thing, what' s really dear dear to me, is and because of I' m involved in workers. COMP is kind of the dilemma we deal...

...with in Workers Conclin with that whole cycle, social aspect right and the whole mental. the mental aspect of claims right, I think, as an industry, we' ve done a great job of kind of bringing that sort of forefront even before coid, but even more so with Ovid. but you know what we see is how that has such a huge impact on claims and has an even more important has such a use impact on people right. So you know we' re in the business of you know getting people the care they need and getting them. you know trying to get them back to work and making them better right. So that one thing really, if I could snap my fingers, I would love to be able to find some way to help cure that right up to find some sort of a solution around that whole cyclosis aspect that mental aspect, which really hinders an impacts- or you know our injured workers and all the stuff that they go through right and and even if you think about it, it' s not it' s really throughout the course of life right. I mean people have so many challenges, and so many things to deal with and the pandemic has only added on to that. You know so much still again. If I had that magic wand, I would love to fix that, because if we, if we could fix that, I think it would just make the world that I would make make people be able to get better quickly and selfishly for me and what I do would it would help reduce clam costs right so so yeah. That would be my one major thing. You know that I' d love to cure and more fix if I had that those kind of powers so follow Feston, and so you know, we' ve seen nationally that whether it be are athletes or prominent figures that you know much more willing and able to acknowledge when there are mental health compone, you know, concerns and components. I know it wasn ' t an option to a degree that it is, as I was growing up in, and I think that we as a society or thankfully, more accepting and more supportive of individuals going through that as challenges coming from the the benefit space. You know a lot of the health insurance. the the disability... was driven in some way or form to account for those types of circumstances. Although there were, there was a room for improvement. I was surprised, though, and at a Jere stiction level we were camp, that there were still the limitations in those types of benefits that there are in some places, not everywhere, but do you do you anticipate there being a change in light of the current temperatures or that maybe we haven' t seen today, given some of the you know the jurisdictional componte that are on the books today, yeah. I think I think we can mark and I think it' s already started right. I think we' ve seen you know with presumptions. You know presumptions that You know kind of Nice walk about presumptions like kind of changing the laws. We' ve seen a big up push around that specific to Copin, but I think even now, as we move outside of Covin, we' ve seen jurisdictions changing law specifically more to first responders right, because those are the ones people on the front lines where you know. Maybe in the past you know in some jurisdictions that' s a put in a mental health claim. You might need a physical injury right, whereas now I think some of the the jurisdictions are changing that or where you don' t right and that' s kind of help changing the law. So I think that will continue to kind of move forward. I think the industry is kind of starting with first responders, but I think it' s going to kind of trickle down to those, maybe outside those industries, because to your point I think, as a society we' re realizing that it' s so important and people are impacted in many different ways, so to not give them that ability to get the care they need or the support they need of the benefits they need is really a disservice. So I think it' s starting and I think it' s going to continue as we move forward here - excellent excellent. Well, Dennis we are we' re up against it. I do appreciate your time today very insightful and I anticipate that our audience will you now find what you' ve been able to share very rewarding if folks want to get in contact with you? I know Linkedin is very popular. is there an easier? Is there an easy way to get in on... the linked in, I think assume would be your go to yeah. Linkedin Linkin is definitely the you know the best way. You know I' m on the air, my contact informations on there. So if anyone likes to wants to reach out him, I' m always open and willing to meet a new people or speaking with those that that I' ve met in you as well. I really enjoyed it and thanks again for the opportunity. Thank you Denis great talking to you, hopefully see you in person soon, yes, that we agree. You' ve been listening to beyond the claim, a podcast for risk and claims leaders to ensure you never miss an episode. Please subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you use apple podcast, we love for you to give us a quick rating for the show just tap the number of stars that you think the podcast deserves until next time stay curious and keep innovating t.

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