Work Comp Benchmarking Study Launches 2019 Survey to Poll Frontline Claims Professionals for First Time Ever


May 21, 2019 — Chicago, IL — The Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study’s annual survey is underway. Now in its seventh year, the 2019 study will – for the first time ever – survey frontline claims professionals (instead of claims executives) to ascertain alignment between industry leadership and staff who directly handle workers' compensation claims. As the industry’s largest talent constituency, with the greatest influence on financial and injured worker outcomes, visibility into how their views mirror or differ from claims executives will highlight opportunities to advance the entire industry.   

Reprising prior years’ survey questions, the 2019 study will not only compare frontline participants’ perspectives to the views of the 1,800-plus claims executive participants who preceded them, it will also identify how the experience of frontline staff at higher performing claims organizations differ from those at lower performing claims organizations. Finally, the survey will continue its exploration of front burner topics such as prioritizing claims core competencies, developing and retaining claims talents, utilizing a claims advocacy approach, leveraging technology and data, and driving improved medical and claim outcomes.

The study’s 2019 focus was once again guided by its Advisory Council of diverse industry executives. “For every new workplace injury in this country, there is a claims examiner or nurse who is personally responsible for engaging the injured employee in their recovery,” says Advisory Council member Tom Stark, technical director of workers’ compensation at Nationwide. “With several million newly injured employees per year, our frontline teams directly manage a total economic outlay of well over 60 billion dollars in workers’ compensation benefits paid. Understanding the view from the frontline trenches is not only valuable to the industry, it’s absolutely vital.”

“Since we launched the study in 2013, we have consistently been contacted by industry executives requesting frontline intelligence to improve their talent and claims operation practices” says Rachel Fikes, vice president and study program director at Rising Medical Solutions. “Now we’ll be able to fill this data void, as there is a clear need and desire to have a better understanding of the frontline perspective.” 

The 2019 confidential survey will continue throughout May. All frontline participants and study stakeholders will receive a copy of the 2019 Study Report which can be used to validate operational alignment, verify existing strategies, advocate for resources in support-challenged areas, and identify opportunities to impact claim outcomes. Claims executives are encouraged to share the survey link with their frontline teams as an investment in this industrywide effort. 

About the Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study

The Workers’ Compensation Benchmarking Study is a national research program examining the complex forces impacting claims management in workers’ compensation today. The study’s mission is to advance claims management in the industry by providing both quantitative and qualitative data. Through survey research with claims leaders and practitioners nationwide, the program generates actionable intelligence for claims organizations to evaluate priorities, challenges, and strategies amongst their peers. Conceived and directed by Rising Medical Solutions, the ongoing program is a collaboration of industry executives representing diverse organizational perspectives, including the Study’s Principal Researcher and Advisory Council: 

  • Denise Algire | Director of Risk Initiatives & National Medical Director | Albertsons Companies
  • Raymond Jacobsen | Senior Managing Director | Aon Reinsurance
  • Marcos Iglesias, MD | SVP, Chief Medical Officer | Broadspire
  • Rich Cangiolosi | VP, Western Region | CCMSI
  • Kelly Kuri | Claims Manager | Frank Winston Crum Insurance
  • Jonathan Gerdes | SVP, Casualty Claims Solutions | HealthSmart
  • Scott Emery | Senior Director, Claims | Markel
  • Ted Jeffries | Director of Claims | Missouri Employers Mutual
  • Michele Fairclough | Medical Services Director | Montana State Fund
  • Tom Stark | Technical Director, Workers’ Compensation | Nationwide Insurance
  • Alan Bender | Director, Workers’ Compensation & Casualty Insurance | Publix Super Markets
  • Helen Weber | AVP, Head of Medical Strategy | The Hanover Insurance Group
  • Adam Seidner, MD, MPH | Chief Medical Officer | The Hartford
  • Thomas Wiese | VP, Claims | The MEMIC Group
  • David Price | VP | UMR Risk Management
  • Linda Butler | Director, Claims Management | Walt Disney World Resort
  • Brian Trick | Senior Manager of Claims | Wegmans Food Markets
  • Kyle Cato | Associate Risk Manager, Workers’ Compensation & General Liability Claims | Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

About Rising Medical Solutions

Rising Medical Solutions ( is a national medical-financial solutions firm that provides medical cost containment and medical care management services to the workers’ compensation, auto, liability, and group health markets


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