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Posts by: Marc Lanzkowsky

  1. 3 Types Of Claims Metrics Every Department Should Be Looking At February 12, 2016

    Posted in Claims Technology, SPOT on Ops.

    Good news! – claims departments are now flooded with great data.

    Seems like great news doesn’t it. It is great news, or can be, if you’re using the data to help improve the operations, lower cost or predict the future. However, many firms aren’t using the data they have to provide valuable information for the operation. With the advent of more modern claim technology there has been a push to input more and more information about claims.

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  2. 3 Claims Department Musts That Will Let The CEO Sleep Soundly March 23, 2015

    Posted in Best Practices, SPOT on Issues.

    There are many elements to a well run claims department. As with many areas of business it comes down to people, process and technology. Good people will drive the success of any department and working with defined efficient processes, as well as technology tools that support the organization, are basic core requirements to any well run department. Specifically what people, processes and technology make up a good claims department is a subject for another day. Regardless every claims department should be using metrics, performing audits and have a business continuity plan in place as a minimum. Take our survey too and let’s see what companies are doing on these three.

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  3. Breaking Those Competing Commitments To Change January 23, 2015

    Posted in SPOT on Ops.

    In life change happens and people adapt. In business change happens and people react. Those who are resistant to change are usually easy to spot and equally as easy to manage and therefore rarely derail a change initiative. However, it is the person that generally supports change and outwardly appears to be working for the implementation of a new initiative that can sometimes harbor a “competing commitment” that can have a more deleterious impact on the success of a new initiative.

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  4. Book Review: The Global Directors and Officers Handbook by Granof & Nicholls November 14, 2014

    Posted in Book Review.

    In today’s ever expanding global marketpalce, the need for executives to be aware of potential liability exposure is greater than ever. To assist in understanding that exposure, we review the the Global Directors and Officer Handbook, published the ABA (get your copy here) and Edited by Perry Granof and Henry Nichols.

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  5. 15 Excuses For Not Changing And 5 Reasons To Change The Way We Make Change April 1, 2014

    Posted in Strategic Planning.

    Change is hard for everyone and how and when to change has been debated and discussed in companies since the first company was formed. What is never debated are some of the excuses used for not changing. People are generally resistant to change and despite the need to move forward people generally prefer to live with what they have. Taking a strategic approach to the issues around change itself shuold help to alleviate some of the resistence. In this post we look at changing the way we change.

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  6. Part 3 on Leadership: Challenges and Assistance in Leading Change March 25, 2014

    Posted in Strategic Planning.

    In Leadership: The Change Process In Claims Requires A Different Approach, I put forth the position that changing a claims organization needs a new brand of leadership skill that does not usually exist in the traditional claims organization. In Part 2 on Leadership: Developing a Strategic Transformation Team, I addressed how to break from existing management process to achieve effective strategic results. In the final installment, I discuss how challenges around leading change make it beneficial to bring in strategic support to help achieve the desired success.

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  7. Part 2 on Leadership: Developing a Strategic Transformation Team March 17, 2014

    Posted in Strategic Planning.

    Breaking from the linear approach to management is the key to leading Strategic Transformation. A standard organization will have a head of claims and then a variety of department heads to manage each line of business. Depending on the company there may be additional senior managers to handle various operational aspects of the group, which may include support staff, call center, technology and data analytics. Under this method, projects get initiated and managed within the same linear organizational framework. The result of this approach is a development process built in a silo that limits input and understanding of possible interdependencies that may exist outside the framework. In this post we will explore further how a strategic transformation team is formed and can be effective.

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  8. Leadership: The Change Process In Claims Requires A Different Approach March 10, 2014

    Posted in Strategic Planning.

    Successful organizations are always changing and adopting to improve their operations, lower costs and increase efficiencies. Claims departments are no different and have been under pressure to transform their operations and live by the mantra of doing more with less. Good claims organizations continuously evolve and adapt to ensure they add value to the overall business. Regardless, changing to meet the challenges of the marketplace is often fraught with problems and difficulties. Many initiatives fail to get off the ground or fail in the implementation process. Change can be very successful and if managed and led correctly. To change effectively there must be a strategic approach and a change in how these initiatives are led.

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  9. Claims Challenge: It’s Time for a Change – Are You In? January 14, 2014

    Posted in Commentary, My SPOT, Strategic Planning.

    Here’s a challenge! Let’s redesign the claims industry. Yes innovation has improved the world of claims over the past few decades to make claims more efficient. As recent catastrophe’s have shown, the industry is much better at responding to losses than in years past. Regardless, claims functions in an assembly line approach. This has of course been a huge improvement and like manufacturing has helped to produce a better more consistent product. Today’s world allows us to collaborate more so my challenge is to tap into your collective experience and come up with even better ideas. What do you think?

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  10. 4 Keys to Managing a Successful Outsourced Claims Operation October 30, 2013

    Posted in Best Practices, Compliance, Due Diligence, SPOT on Issues.

    All things being equal there are many fine TPAs in the market that will provide wonderful service to your insureds in a cost effective and comprehensive manner. Initially you think you have chosen a good one. However, as time goes on you realize you are not exactly getting what you expected from your TPA. So what happened?

    It matters little what your reasons for outsourcing were. Bottom line is if you didn’t take certain steps to properly select and manage a TPA you are likely to end up with problems. The partnership you form with your TPA will be fruitful if you take key steps to select and manage them in a way designed to foster long term success.

    Learn how in our latest post!

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  11. Kindergarten Management: Getting Back to the Basics June 10, 2013

    Posted in Best Practices.

    Everything we know in life started back in kindergarten. Kindergarten is where we learned to socialize in groups, lived by rules, played well with others, managed time, took turns asking questions and listened to authority. Success and creativity were rewarded and failures became further learning experiences. The more I thought about this recently the more I realized that kindergarten is a perfect example of a well-functioning organization and management.

    We can lean a lot by going back to kindergarten. Bear with me take a look how this would apply in a claims department.

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  12. Claim Files Are Evaluated Using A Form Of Root Cause Analysis So Why Not Do The Same When Evaluating The Department? March 5, 2013

    Posted in SPOT on Ops.

    Similar to a claim file analysis, operational problems require an assessment as to what happened, how it happened, how could it have been prevented, who was at fault, what’s it going to cost to fix the claim and are there any lessons learned. For example, let’s say payments are being delayed resulting in fines being assessed against the department. If one looks at the fines as a claim one would want to determine what caused the fine? how did it happen? and how can it be corrected? An analysis of the “claim” needs to take place prior to making any decisions. Why not use these smae claim evaluation techniques to understand the operation? In our latest post we give a suggestion for doing just that.

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  13. 3 Things Good Claims Professionals Won’t Do January 24, 2013

    Posted in Best Practices.

    I have audited a lot of claim files over the years and one consistently good claims professionals manage their claim files following best practices. And when looking at these files there are certain patterns that develop. Good claims professionals don’t fail to document, assume things they don’t know and always stick to the basics. Our latest post gives three examples of things NOT to do to become a good claims professional.

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  14. How Would Albert Einstein Approach Claims January 3, 2013

    Posted in Best Practices, SPOT on Ops.

    Who knew Albert Einstein was a claims professional? OK maybe he did more important things in this world but some of his most memorable quotes could certainly apply to a claims organization. “Nothing happens until someone does something” as he has been quoted so make it happen and readt our latest post.

    2 comments
  15. 4 Areas Of Concern From The Latest Insurance Executive Conference December 12, 2012

    Posted in Commentary, Strategic Planning.

    Recently insurance leaders came together at the 23rd Executive Conference looking at “Driving Growth in the Life and Property-Casualty Insurance Markets.” Throughout the conference 4 themes seemed to permeate: Data and technology, regulatory environment, climate change and social media. It would seem these issues will with the market for a while. Take a look at our brief overview of the conference.

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  16. 3 Ideas To Prepare For The Completely Unexpected: The “Sandy Contingency” November 28, 2012

    Posted in SPOT on Issues, SPOT on Ops.

    Preparing for the unexpected is always the core of any disaster recovery plan. Regardless, the Sandy “Super Storm” created a series of events that few truly every contemplated. It was a scenario that strained many businesses and exposed a number of weaknesses in disaster recovery planning. Unlike prior events, Sandy left a wide are in surrounding a major metropolitan city without power, fuel and public transportation for long periods of time. It’s time to rethink plans that don’t take into account a Sandy Contingency. Tell us what type of planning you have done too and share those ideas with others looking to learn from this tragedy.

    1 comment
  17. The 5 Core Leadership Traits Of A Well Managed Claim File October 8, 2012

    Posted in Best Practices.

    Leadership is a topic that we tend to think about as it relates to an individual leading a group. In claims we are always faced with leaders that manage us and help, hopefully, to get the best out of us. But leadership does not mean that you have to have a group of people that follow. There are 5 core traits a good leaders show. In our latest post we connect those five traits to 5 traits a good claims file, when handled well, will show.

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  18. Claims Predictive Modeling: Using The Numbers To Improve Operations And A Change Worth Exploring August 22, 2012

    Posted in Claims Technology, SPOT on Issues.

    Claims Predictive Modeling (CPM) is one of the big buzz words in the industry. After a few decades of improving claims technology systems and creating vast databases of claims information, CPM is an attempt to use that information more effectively. In our latest post we discuss CPM and what it means to make changes to adopt this new metric.

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  19. A Claims Tale Of Three Little Managers And Their Review Programs June 20, 2012

    Posted in Best Practices, Claims Auditing, Compliance, SPOT on Issues.

    We have all head the story of the 3 little pigs but have you heard of the 3 claims managers? The Manager of Straw, the Manager of Sticks and the Manager of Bricks are all motivated to do the right thing but they go about it in very different ways. One had no program in place to review their operation, one had a basic process in place and one used a detailed program to review claims. Read on this story and see how problems occur and are managed differently.

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  20. Everybody Wants to Make Improvements In Claims But No One Actually Makes It Happen June 15, 2012

    Posted in Claims Technology, Commentary.

    There is so much that needs to be done in the world of claims. Operations need fixing, technology needs improving and a futures need to be defined. For some reason however, we are all really good at talking about it and not so good about doing anything about it. The industry needs to take action. Claims departments need to think creatively and “out-of-the-box” if we are going to attract new talent to the industry. This also means acting and not just talking about acting.

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  21. 2 Preventative Steps To Help Avoid Claims Crisis Before They Become Emergencies June 11, 2012

    Posted in Best Practices, Commentary.

    Seth Godin in his wonderful blog recently wrote about Emergency room doctors in organizations. These are the people that are really good at and are rewarded for stopping bleeding. Seth is questioning where all the strategic thinking to prevent those emergencies in the first place? In claims we tend to hire and support that emergency room doctor mindset. Despite this, we can avoid becoming emergency rooms and be more proactive strategic organizations. In our latest post we explore possible solutions to be less reactive.

    2 comments
  22. Insanity: Claim’s Departments Can’t Expect Different Results Without Changing Their Organizations May 9, 2012

    Posted in Commentary, My SPOT.

    Maybe I care too much about our industry or am just frustrated by the lack of attention to quality claims handling, but this is annoying. Why should claims make up half of the most frequent market conduct issues for the Property & Casualty industry as listed by Wolters Kluwer for the 5th straight year? As part of their review they track and analyze the results from state market conduct examinations. As with their prior studies, claims issues continue to dominate the list of state concerns. In my latest post I analyze the last 5 years of the Wolters study and find an upsetting trend – nothing is changing. This is a challenge to claims organizations to improve! Check it out.

    7 comments
  23. What Would Steve Jobs Do In A Claims Organization? March 15, 2012

    Posted in Best Practices, Claims Technology, SPOT on Ops.

    So what would Steve Jobs say about our claims industry? Well, having heard about his reputation I think I will leave what he would say out of this post. Regardless, I think Mr. Jobs would see an industry with tremendous opportunities to innovate and improve the way they deliver and manage claims services. In our most recent post, we explore a claims world in as it may be in the world of a master of product design and marketing.

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  24. Why Don’t Claims Organizations Track Claims Through The Process The Way UPS Tracks A Package? December 28, 2011

    Posted in Bad Faith, Best Practices, Claims Technology, Commentary, SPOT on Costs, SPOT on Ops.

    Today as a customer you can track your packages from the moment they leave the store to the second they arrive at your door. During that time you can see where they are in the process. Truly amazing. Why can’t claims organizations do the same thing? How much better would a claim be if we could track it through the system in the same way UPS can track a package. Something to think about when reading the latest from theClaimsSPOT.

    2 comments
  25. 2 Problems To Prevent Before They Get Out Of Control: The Lily Pads Revisited December 7, 2011

    Posted in Best Practices.

    Waiting to the last minute can be a costly venture. In out latest post we tell the story of the farmer who waited to clear those innocent lily pads from his pond. He kept going on to what he thought were more important things. Unfortunately he waited to long and the lily pads took over the pond and cost him a lot more to clear. We all have lily pads we don’t want to clear from our desks. It’s time to look for them and clear them off before they strangle the life out of your pond….I know a little poetic but read on and you will get the idea.

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