March 2018 – Advice for a Full Career

“Work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it”

A quote from Stephen Hawking. Please read this great article from the BBC.
He should have been on Long Term Disability for decades.
He defied all predictive models… He was an outlier…
What can we learn from his example in claim management?
What is more important – the diagnoses or the will to work?

If you love what you do with a passion, it’s easier to overcome frustrations. Conversely, if you hate your job, there is less incentive to go back!

Professor Hawking may be an extreme example, but his life illustrates what is possible when motivation overpowers all other factors.

In disability management we have the Krone scale for maternity claims, many medical guidelines, but why isn’t there a scale or indicator to help us measure motivation?

Motivation is very subjective, and an experienced claim manager can probably tell you a claimant’s motivation to return to work after a 3 minute phone call.

But how can we wrap a quantifiable measure around this and provide a scoring mechanism that has Professor Hawking at one end and a unionized office worker with a 35-year-old case of lumbago at the other.

The Claim Lab is working on this, developing a questionnaire that measures motivation to return to work, using a set of questions specifically targeted at disability insurance claims. This is combined with a set of scoring rules to weight certain answers and compare responses to validate accuracy of the responses.

Then there is the issue of what to do with this information once we have it… How do we use this data in our claim management process? Do we write-off those claimants with low motivation? Do we approach the employer to understand a wider picture? Do we contact the Physician to get more medical information?

Certainly we only have a limited budget available for interventions that can be applied to such claims, whether medical or vocational, so why not target the people with the highest likelihood of returning to work?

However, we just look at the data, and I invite the claim management experts amongst you to comment on a potential process to follow!

In the meantime, I am going to brush up on my understanding of black holes, just as Professor Hawking would like.

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