2019 Women to Watch: Josephine CopelandPosted On: Dec. 2, 2019 12:00 AM CST
Vice president of managed care
Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
Josephine Copeland entered the insurance industry after working as a paralegal for the state of Connecticut, where she reviewed managed care applications.
After moving to Genex Services LLC to complete their managed care applications, she went to PMA Cos., where she said her legal background is an asset, “because contract negotiation is part of my responsibility.” As vice president of managed care at PMA, she leads the insurer’s workers compensation managed care operations, including utilization review, pharmacy benefits, medical bill review and case management.
About 20% of her day involves collaborating with PMA’s internal claims teams.
“We collaborate on solutions to operational issues as well as more strategic solutions to address all facets of the medical portion of claim costs,” Ms. Copeland said. “We identify drivers of those costs and define ways to use managed care strategies and techniques to address them.”
Chicago Chief Risk Officer Tamika Puckett, who formerly served as director of enterprise risk management for the city of Atlanta, worked with Ms. Copeland when PMA became the city’s third-party administrator for workers comp.
“They uploaded a database of more than 50,000 claims in just three months, and that was huge,” Ms. Puckett said. “Jo also implemented processes and procedures to reduce exposures.”
The results included a 14% reduction in reported claims and a savings of “anywhere from $500 to $1,000 per workers comp claim,” she said.
Ms. Copeland has confidence in her abilities, which wasn’t always the case.
“I walked into this job, and I wasn’t sure I could do it,” she said. After giving notice at her previous employer, “they asked if they could counter. I said, ‘Please don’t. I want to take a chance on myself, and I’m afraid that if you counter, I may say yes and stay out of fear.’”
After sharing her story with a woman’s group, Ms. Copeland said she received an email from a woman who said she accepted a job the next day — a job she originally wasn’t going to take because she didn’t think she was ready.