A new era of injury claims management

QBE is putting science and analytics at the centre of its mission to help injured people get their lives back on track.

The workplace has changed dramatically in recent years, says David Bacon, QBE General Manager of People Risk Claims. Customers now need more proactive and effective solutions to look after their people.

To meet this challenge, QBE has invested over $20 million in claims innovations to help brokers and customers proactively manage injuries and incidents, while also assisting injured people to return to work.

The QBE approach

“The approach that we chose to take was to really significantly enhance the application of the science and analytics in our business to be able to work towards helping people get their lives back together,” Bacon says.

“We observed that a lot of the academic work around injury recovery was very well established, very well researched but really we found effectively no practical application of that in workers compensation or CTP.”

Physiotherapist treats man with injury in his clinic

So, Bacon says, we set out to change that.

“We arranged a series of partnerships with different healthcare organisations and academic organisations as well as data analytics partners to help us be able to work towards taking the science of injury recovery forward.

“We applied these things in the compensation environment and can now actually see what practically worked and what didn’t,” he says.

What we’re doing

Behavioural insights

By investing in behavioural insights, we’ve developed our understanding of neuroscience, psychology, decision theories and economics, helping us to rethink our approach to claims management, says James Hay, QBE’s Head of People Risk Claims Strategy and Performance.

Female psychologist runs session with employees on their wellbeing

“We’re equipping our case managers to have more influential communications with your customers, to help them navigate the schemes and make decisions to drive better outcomes,” he says.

We’ve built an internal team of experts supported by BehaviourWorks, the largest university based applied behaviour change research unit at Monash University, because by understanding peoples decision making at critical moments, we can adapt our solutions to improve the person's outcomes.

Some of the results so far, include:

  • 45% reduction of non-attendance of examinations
  • 26% improvement in response time from doctors
  • 25% reduction in appointment of solicitors
  • Reduced wage replacement payments at 12 weeks.

Clara Analytics – Artificial Intelligence

QBE has an exclusive partnership with Clara Analytics that enables us to use and develop a suite of Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning tools. These tools help us identify portfolio risk, allocate workloads and understand the performance of providers, says Hay.

Using Clara’s machine learning and artificial intelligence we can quickly understand which claims are likely to realise a poor outcome and which providers are most likely to positively or negatively impact on the injured person.

Some of the results so far, include:

  • Improved identification of high-risk claims – outperforms humans
  • Reduction on total claim costs.

Female trainer helps female client stretch in the gym

Active Recovery and Sword

QBE has partnered with Active Recovery Clinic, a ground-breaking practice that leverages a science-based approach to accelerate patient recovery. We’ve also partnered with SWORD, a biomechanics start-up from Portugal that uses wearable sensors, machine learning and biomechanical models to help injured people rehabilitate more effectively. Together we have set up exclusive clinics to help people recover and return to work faster, improving outcomes and reducing claims costs.

Some of the results so far, include:

  • 130% improvement in home-based exercise compliance
  • 21% increase in the recovery rate
  • Average 20 days less time off work
  • 23% reduced claims costs.

Medication management

Medications, including opioids and other pain medications are highly addictive and are linked with high rates of addiction, abuse and overdose, says Hay.

“In workers compensation claims we know that injured people who take medications for any prolonged period are significantly less likely to return to work.”

QBE’s medication management approach now more effectively monitors prescription to enable best practice medication usage.

Some of the results so far, include:

  • 324 people identified as being prescribed excessive or inappropriate medication
  • We now ensure only medications associated with the injury are supplied
  • 25% - 45% saving on prescription medication costs
  • Central monitoring of category A drugs (opioids and similar)
  • 269 medication reduction plans in progress or completed.