Workers' comp sees tech transformation thanks to COVID-19 – report

However, many companies are still not taking full advantage of automation

Workers' comp sees tech transformation thanks to COVID-19 – report

Workers Comp

By Ryan Smith

There has been significant technology transformation in the workers’ compensation sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study by Enlyte, the parent company of Mitchell, Genex and Coventry.

Enlyte’s 2022 Workers’ Compensation Technology Trends Report examines companies’ technology investments and adoption strategies and explores which products and services will impact the industry next, Enlyte said.

The report found that over the past year, workers’ compensation companies invested most in finding ways to use technology to improve internal efficiencies and manage the effects of COVID-19. However, many companies have yet to tap into the full advantages of automation, the study said. Enlyte predicted that going forward, the workers’ compensation industry will turn its attention to using technology to create better experiences for injured employees, focus on communication, and improve return-to-work processes.

Key findings include:

  • The workers’ compensation invested most heavily in telemedicine and electronic payments and billing in 2021. Electronic payments made the biggest jump from last year’s results, moving from fourth to second place
  • Mobile apps for injured employee communication are expected to have the biggest impact on the industry over the next five to 10 years
  • Most organizations are only automating 25% of their medical bills using straight-through processing, which demonstrates an opportunity to improve efficiency

Read next: Revealed – America’s leading workers’ compensation providers

“Workers’ compensation technology adoption is still being driven by COVID-19,” said Shahin Hatamian, senior vice president of product management at Mitchell. “Payers are still looking for ways to better manage COVID-19 claim trends, improve efficiency as they experience turnover and find better ways for their teams to work remotely.

“As the world begins to transition into more of an endemic phase, we anticipate a continued focus on technologies that can automate manual processes, improve productivity, increase patient and provider engagement, enable faster and smarter decision-making, and ensure the continuity of care.”

Survey respondents said that communicating with injured employees is considered the most important step in the claim life cycle, and one that could benefit most from new technology, Enlyte said.

“As organizations continue to focus on stabilizing and improving their businesses in the coming years, using technology to improve the injured employee experience and return-to-work processes will become even more important for the workers’ compensation industry,” Hatamian said. “This will continue to create better overall experiences for stakeholders in the claims process and enable better claims outcomes.”

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