In an open letter to the California workers' compensation community posted today on the WCIRB website, President and CEO Bill Mudge describes some of the transformations taking place at the WCIRB including a new mission statement, new core values, and a renewed commitment to openness and transparency. Mr. Mudge's letter is shown below and is accessible in the About section of website.
To our Colleagues in the California Workers’ Compensation Community:
As all of us involved in the California’s workers’ compensation system know, 2012 was a year of distinct challenges and promising opportunities.
California lawmakers enacted significant reforms in the form of Senate Bill 863. The bill increases permanent disability benefits while making several reforms designed to reduce administrative costs and speed the delivery of medical care to injured workers. SB 863 represents an opportunity to improve the function of the workers’ compensation system, and these reforms are already having a real and direct impact on insurers, employers and injured workers.
One of our top priorities is monitoring and analyzing the impact on system costs of SB 863 as they emerge in statewide loss and loss adjustment expenses. To that end, we developed, in collaboration with industry experts who serve on our Claims Working Group and Actuarial Committee, a detailed and comprehensive SB 863 Cost Monitoring Plan, and as data becomes available, we will make it available to everyone in the workers’ compensation community. This plan, which has been submitted to Insurance Commissioner Jones, can be found in the Research and Analysis section of our new website, http://www.wcirb.com/.
SB 863 is not the only significant change to occur for us in 2012. We embarked on an ambitious transformation and modernization of the WCIRB’s business operations and culture, and we developed a new mission statement which sharply defines the WCIRB’s role and will guide our actions in the coming years. The new mission statement is:
The WCIRB is California's trusted, objective provider of actuarially-based information and research, advisory pure premium rates, and educational services integral to a healthy workers' compensation system.
Our transformation started at the top with a restructuring of the senior management team. We promoted David Bellusci – the WCIRB’s highly respected Chief Actuary – to the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. We also promoted Eric Riley to the newly-created position of Chief Customer Officer – a job dedicated to our commitment to broad external outreach and customer service to our members and all system stakeholders. We brought on board a new Chief Information Officer, Raj Marwah, to lead our ambitious technology modernization efforts. Completing the senior management team is Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Brenda Keys who serves as the WCIRB’s primary liaison with the California Department of Insurance and has responsibility for all legal issues.
We are committed to being a company that embraces our customers as true partners and rewards innovation, integrity and outstanding service. As part of our effort to develop a new Mission statement, the WCIRB identified a series of Core Values that will help guide us. These core values are:
True to our Mission and Values, we have delivered over the past nine months three new core systems that comprise the framework for the next generation of WCIRB services:
Looking forward in 2013, we will deploy Phase 2 of STAR to incorporate a new policy audit system and significantly extend our online services. Taken together, these two initiatives will allow WCIRB members and other data submitters to completely eliminate paper interaction with the WCIRB. Our goal together is to reduce costs while increasing process speed and efficiency.
The vitality of California’s workers’ compensation system is, in many ways, dependent on access by its stakeholders to relevant information and education. The WCIRB is spearheading several new educational initiatives customized for insurers, agents and brokers, and employers. These include online training, live webinars, educational collaborations, expanded employer outreach, and a team of account specialists to facilitate communication with our insurer members. We have also added a page to wcirb.com that will provide regular updates on key statistics regarding our production and performance: WCIRB by the Numbers.
While the year ahead will again present new challenges and opportunities, I am confident in the strength and professionalism of the WCIRB team to successfully navigate whatever comes our way. We are grateful for the ongoing support of our members, and say thank you to the many industry colleagues that participate on our committees and working groups. It truly is a collaborative partnership at the WCIRB. And, in closing, I want to express my appreciation for the opportunity to lead the WCIRB’s transformation as we build upon our integral role in a healthy California workers’ compensation system.
All the best,
Bill Mudge, President and CEO