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Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc.

THIRD-PARTY ADMINISTRATORS: Expertise, Mid-Market Buyers (tie); Expertise, Large Buyers

Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc.

Changes to state workers compensation laws and federal Medicare legislation in recent years have pushed Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. to become an expert resource for employers managing those issues.

President and CEO David North said the Memphis, Tenn.-based third-party administrator has worked to build national practice teams that can interpret issues such as Medicare secondary payer reporting requirements and workers compensation reforms in such states as Illinois, Washington and Kansas. The company prides itself on using that expertise to help clients create practical solutions for managing claims and costs.

“It's their day-in, day-out job to monitor what's going on in the industry, convert those understandings to improvements in process, and then lead the communication with our colleagues and our customers on what the implications are of the new developments,” Mr. North said.

Such expertise clearly is valued by Sedgwick clients of all sizes. In the 2011 Buyers Choice Awards, the TPA tied for top honors in the category of expertise provided to mid-market buyers and won the large buyers category outright.

With regulations continuing to change throughout the workers comp and liability markets, Mr. North said Sedgwick is working to stay ahead of such issues.

“As the employers look at the legislation and see ways of reducing costs, there are others out there that look at the same legislation and think about ways to keep things as they are,” Mr. North said. “We have to work hard to actually extract from the legislation what I think was the original legislative intent.”

Outside legislative matters, much of Sedgwick's expertise comes from getting to know each of the firm's clients in detail, and creating risk management solutions based on their unique needs, said Darryl Hammann, Sedgwick's senior vp of client services in Eden Prairie, Minn.

For instance, a large retail client recently asked Sedgwick to help with managing the company's employee leave policies for workers comp, short-term disability and family medical leave. Mr. Hammann said the TPA used its experience with other national retail clients to help the customer adopt new processes for managing employee leaves.

“We spend usually a good day or day and a half with them talking about where their current program is today, talking to them about where it is they want to go and then really leveraging the hundreds of clients that Sedgwick has to fill the gaps in on where they're trying to improve their program,” Mr. Hammann said.

View profiles of all the honorees here.