Long-time WCRI supporter Carmen Sharp of The Hanover Insurance Group talks about why she is a member of the Institute in this video recorded member spotlight. Carmen is vice president of workers’ compensation and personal injury protection claims, medical strategy and shared services. Click here to watch now or you can read the transcript below. 


Andrew: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to today's member spotlight today. We have the pleasure of speaking to Carmen sharp of The Hanover Insurance Group. Carmen is a vice president of workers’ compensation and personal injury protection claims, medical strategy and shared services. In her position, Carmen leads workers’ compensation and personal injury protection claims and case management; managed care and cost containment strategy for all casualty lines; Medicare secondary payor center of excellence and shared services in claims for all lines of business including new claim intake, claims administrative support, compliance and quality assurance functions; and she is responsible for $2 billion incurred on a workers’ compensation portfolio of 65,000 active insureds. She also served on the board of directors for the Workers Compensation Research Institute. So it's with great pleasure that I welcome Carmen Sharp, how are you Carmen?

Carmen: I'm doing well, thank you. Andrew.

Andrew: So Carmen, as, you know, in member spotlights, we ask four questions of our valued members and so if it's okay with you, we'll jump right into it. How did you first learn about WCRI?

Carmen: Sure, so that was about fifteen years ago I'd say I was in a product development role and as, you know, the board of WCRI is composed of a diverse set of individuals stakeholders from various parts of the work comp system. So I was invited in to sort of represent the product development side. And I really got a close look at the mission of WCRI, the research, the insights that it creates both within the work comp industry and outside with important stakeholders like legislators and regulators. So the more that I learned, the more impressed I became, so I'm a big fan.

Andrew: And so how many years would you say you've been a member at this point?

Carmen: Oh boy, at least fifteen years and probably more than that through various companies I've worked for.

Andrew: Fantastic, so over those many years, I guess, you know, you've obviously become engaged with a lot of the different research. I mean, what is the value you derive from being a member of WCRI?

Carmen: I'm sure there's lots of different kinds of value, but I'd say the one that I really rely on WCRI for is keeping me up today on what's going on in the work comp industry. It's a very dynamic environment. As you know, there's a lot going on and emerging trends tend to creep up on you, right? I see it in your own data. I really rely on WCRI to look at the data to identify the trends and bring those forward. I have to say the WCRI annual conference is a must attend for me every single year because it really shapes what my priorities for the following year will be.

Andrew: That's so great to know, Carmen. You know we do hear that from a lot of the members, but it's so wonderful to hear from valued members such as you and, and that's great. Thank you for mentioning our conference, which is coming up March 5-6, we're going to be in Boston this year, and so we hope a lot of people who might not have attended in the past join us. And so my third question, what is your favorite WCRI study or research area?

Carmen: There's a ton of research as, you know, Andrew, I don't think I could pick one favorite. I would say that my favorite is always the latest study, the latest study, the topical studies in particular are the ones that really speak to what's going on in the industry. So the ones that have come up lately around medical inflation. Around comparing group health reimbursement rates with work comp, those creates tremendous insights for me. There's a lot of power in those insights and so I really look forward to those.

Andrew: Makes a lot of sense that's fantastic. Our research on long COVID is probably another study. That's a great study that just released and we have a webinar coming up in another month. So, so last question for you can you describe a moment when's research was really helpful.

Carmen: Yes, there's a moment that really sticks with me and it happened ten years ago I believe it was, so I was at the annual conference and there was a speaker... really a panel of speakers up on the stage and they were talking about staggering mortality rates from opioid overdose. This was a sobering moment, if you remember ten years ago, it's hard to remember, kind of what our awareness as a, a people was back then. But the country wasn't really fully awakened to what was going on with opioids at that point, but the data really demonstrated what was going on and in work comp, we have so many traumatically injured patients, so many patients at that time on opioids, it was really a call to action to the industry. Well, ahead of state monitoring programs, legislation around opioids. So this was really on the leading edge of managing that problem a little better for the protection of injured workers.

Andrew: I couldn't agree more. That research got a lot of attention from stakeholders even some of the major newspapers, such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal covered it because obviously workers comp was one avenue that led into the opioid epidemic that we did have so, yeah, well said. As you said, very sobering.So Carmen, that was my last question. I mean, anything to say to perspective members because this is one of the ways that we tell people about the value of a membership anything to say, to perspective members.

Carmen: Yeah, I would say if you're on the fence about membership, take the plunge, I would encourage you all day long. You will not regret it. The membership fees are really very short money if you will, for the insights and the value and the access that you gain things like the analyst tool when you're a member and a contributor to the database that allows you to analyze your own results internally. I mean, it's really invaluable. You won't be, sorry, you did it.

Andrew: All right, Carmen Sharp, thank you so much for your time today.

Carmen: Thank you.

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