Phoenix WC Claims Transfer Experience Highlights Values

Columbus, OH (CompNewsNetwork) - National claims and risk management provider Avizent recently announced the results of their workers' compensation data file transfer for the City of Phoenix. According to data analysis, Avizent completed the file transfer and conversion from the previous contractor, successfully loaded 12,854 work comp claims totaling $94,627,452 into their system, and balanced "to the penny."

“Thousands of work comp program managers nationwide may be hesitant to move their work comp claims to new third party administrators (TPAs) due to concerns over lost data or other potential problems,” said Vance Root, Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Avizent.  “Our results with the City of Phoenix highlight how transfers can be done smoothly and efficiently when you build a strong team, and develop effective communications and systems.”

Transferring work comp claims to a new vendor was a massive undertaking for the City of Phoenix, the fifth largest city in the nation.  The City is responsible for 32 departments, such as engineering and architectural services, fire, police, public works, water, streets, budget and research, development services and public transit.  They have approximately 16,000 employees and an average of 2,200 industrial claims per year.

“We had many entities to keep happy in the transfer process, including public safety, police, fire and seven bargaining units,” noted David Booth, Personnel Supervisor for the City of Phoenix.  “In over 100 years, we had never transferred from one TPA to another.  My colleagues and I had many sleepless nights as we worked to decide the best company to trust our work comp claims to.”  

To help address the challenges, Booth and others on the selection committee went through a rigorous review process covering seven of the top TPAs in the nation.  Criteria for review included: experience and references, staffing levels, expertise, prior experience handling government claims, as well as technology and the longevity/history of the TPA.

“While it would have been easier to stay with the incumbent, ultimately our responsibility is to ensure the employees of the City of Phoenix get the best treatment for their work comp injuries and to ensure we safeguard our fiduciary duty to taxpayers,” said Booth.  After the process and review, it became clear that the best choice to meet our needs was Avizent.”

The timing from the initial request for proposals to implementation took under six months – well under what was initially anticipated. To address what was described by the City of Phoenix as a “monster” project, Avizent's team developed a comprehensive program focused on understanding all aspects of the service delivery model and a detailed project plan; and coupled these efforts with a quality assurance team to ensure that all parties were aware of deliverables and timeframes.   

Key components of the Avizent approach were a single point of contact and frequent communication with the client.  Claims information, such as name, age and date of injury, was also carefully “mapped” to ensure that every data element was transferred from one system to the next with no loss of information.  Avizent was also able to scrub the data of identifiers, and run a number of tests to identify and correct any missing data. Errors in data transfer would have resulted in delays in care coordination, coverage and lost revenue to the City.
“The unknown is the scariest part of a project of this nature,” notes Booth.  “My advice to others is don't be afraid to make changes – don't let fear stop you from looking for the best programs available. This transfer has worked well because of the professionalism and confidence the Avizent team displayed throughout this process.  From the day we notified them they won the contract, they have been very hands-on and supportive of myself and our staff.”

About Avizent:

Avizent, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the fastest growing national risk management providers of claims management, medical managed care, alternative risk options and RMIS technology. The company employs nearly 800 associates throughout the United States. 

About the City of Phoenix:

Phoenix is Arizona's capitol and the fifth largest city in the United States with more than 1.5 million residents. It is centrally located in the state and takes up more than 500 square miles. 

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