Recently, we had the pleasure of speaking with one of our board members, Donna Glenn of Liberty Mutual Insurance, about how she came to know WCRI.

Donna is Senior Vice President and Casualty Product Manager for National Insurance at Liberty Mutual. She has more than 25 years of property and casualty insurance experience. In her current role at Liberty Mutual, she is leading the strategic direction of the workers’ compensation line of business. Liberty Mutual currently writes more than $2.4B direct written premium for this line, handling more than 300,000 workers’ compensation claims for its 72,000 commercial customers. 

1)    How did you first learn about WCRI?

As a property and casualty actuary, I have worked at multiple insurance carriers throughout my career that have been members of WCRI. Back in the mid-90s, I had the responsibility of evaluating frequency and severity trends for large self-insured customers, with the intent to recommend solutions for improved outcomes. I found that WCRI had a wealth of industry data that insurers could leverage as benchmarks for comparison purposes. Personally, my exposure to the workers’ compensation industry and to WCRI evolved and deepened through the years. I now have the responsibility of managing the casualty lines of business (including workers’ compensation) at Liberty Mutual, one of the founding members of WCRI. In this capacity, I also represent Liberty Mutual on the WCRI Board of Directors. In this role, I have the opportunity to influence and shape the strategic direction of the Institute.  

2)    What value do you derive from being a member of WCRI?

WCRI is a unique organization that invites members from all aspects of the workers’ compensation system to participate:―employers, providers, state agencies, worker advocates, labor unions, and insurance carriers. These broad perspectives bring significant value and rich texture to the research outcomes. As an "actuary," I am naturally biased toward data and the information the provide. As a trained "quantitative analyst," I recognize the challenge of data management and believe that WCRI’s research methods create significant credibility and trust for their work products. Because of the various state flavors of workers’ compensation regulations, it is important to have benchmarks at this granular level. WCRI is an excellent source of detailed data. As an insurance carrier, we are diligently managing workplace injuries for our customers’ employees. We also evaluate our overall effectiveness at managing various types of claims, medical utilization, and indemnity benefits. Another way WCRI provides us value is by allowing us to compare our internal data with theirs, which provides us with broader industry experience.

3)    What is your favorite WCRI study/research area?

Managing the medical component of workers’ compensation injuries has long been critical to the health of the workers’ compensation system. WCRI has a long history of analyzing these issues. Over the years, examples include 

  • comparing medical fee schedule effectiveness across states,
  • various utilization trends between inpatient/outpatient care,
  • comparing group health outcomes to workers’ compensation outcomes, and
  • the ongoing prescription drug epidemic.

Today’s crisis is the unnecessary prescribing of opioids to injured workers for an extended amount of time, which can delay return to work and, worst case, lead to addiction, overdose, and death. Chronic pain management is critical to injury management and ultimately enabling workers to recover. State regulators have been working to address these issues, and WCRI’s ongoing research has been instrumental in helping them understand what is going on, how other state legislators are responding, and whether their responses (i.e., reforms, legislative action) are achieving their objective. All the while, WCRI does this research without taking a position or making recommendations. They fill a valuable void by providing the data that leads all stakeholders to make more informed decisions.

So, given the changing nature of medical management, the health care environment, and emerging issues, every few years I have a new favorite study. 

4)    Can you describe a moment when WCRI’s research was really helpful?

There is not one moment that comes to mind; each and every day is filled with moments to leverage WCRI’s research. 

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Interested in becoming a member of WCRI? Click here to learn about the benefits of membership, and then use the form below to contact us with your interest or any questions you have. 

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