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Gallagher Bassett makes client service its top priority and finds success

Gallagher Bassett makes client service its top priority and finds success

• Third-party administrators service for small and medium buyers
• Third-party administrators expertise for medium buyers
• Third-party administrators overall for small and medium buyers

Ask Scott R. Hudson, president and CEO of Gallagher Bassett Services Inc., what sets his company apart from competing third-party administrators, and he enthusiastically rattles off a number of recently adopted practices aimed at improving service for clients.

For instance, Gallagher Bassett recently established dedicated operations units to meet the specific needs of different market segments his company serves, be they insurers, captive owners, or employers that unbundle claims management from their insurance coverage purchases, he said.

“There are a whole series of things we are doing to build operations dedicated to those different segments that reflect their unique needs,” Mr. Hudson said.

The drive to meet specific customer needs is getting noticed, as Gallagher Bassett received Business Insurance's 2012 Buyers Choice awards in five categories: overall TPA for small buyers and medium buyers, TPA service for small buyers and medium buyers, and TPA expertise for medium-size buyers.

One example of new customer service options Gallagher Bassett provides is a program for employers that foster a pronounced culture of caring for their employees, whether or not workers are injured. They now can contract with the TPA to have “employee care specialists” help manage workers compensation cases from each claim's inception.

Unlike an adjuster who would be the injured worker's typical first contact, the employee care specialists are not regulatory experts, nor are they medical experts such as nurses who manage claims. Instead, they are service experts attuned to meeting the specific care needs of employees.


“The adjuster is still in the process, but in this case they are working behind the scene,” Mr. Hudson said.

Then there are the improvements Gallagher Bassett brings to all clients, such as service level. TPAs often are satisfied with audit results that show servicing problems occurred in 10% to 15% of cases, Mr. Hudson said. But “There is a movement afoot inside of GB for zero servicing issues,” Mr. Hudson said. “That is clearly a differentiator.”

There are also constant improvements in Gallagher Bassett's “medically driven model,” Mr. Hudson said. That includes improving the side-by-side work interaction between adjusters and nurses at each branch; advancements in medical provider networks so they are more focused on outcomes achievement rather than on geographical coverage; and constant investment in claims analytics and predictive modeling abilities.

“We are making significant investments in technology,” Mr. Hudson said. “We have retooled the (information technology) leadership team ... and we are putting in place tools to enable adjusters to make better decisions and putting in place technology that streamlines the interface.”

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