Insurance.Risks.2016.jpgDuring 2015, The Graham Company, one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s largest insurance and employee benefits brokers, announced the results from its 2015 Business Risk Survey, a national survey of 300 senior business professionals.

The survey revealed that nearly three quarters of business leaders are most concerned about potential risks associated with healthcare costs and cyber security threats to their organizations. The survey also found that even though business leaders perceive that they are taking the adequate measures to protect their organizations, in reality they’re falling short of doing what’s necessary to mitigate the risk associated with these potential threats.

Why was this survey significant? In the modern-day business environment where everything is interconnected, the potential threats facing a business are immense. This complexity of risks has caused many business leaders to become overwhelmed and unknowingly expose their businesses to risks that threaten their bottom line.

Single Biggest Risk

12.30.Risk.Insurance.Market.2016.jpgWhen asked to consider the single biggest risk facing organizations, business leaders’ opinions varied, but cyber security had the highest proportion with 21% of respondents naming it as the number one risk they were most concerned about.

Tied for the second greatest risk was professional liability (i.e., employee errors and omissions) and legal liability issues (16%), followed by healthcare costs (14%).

According to The Graham Company’s survey, 64% of respondents felt that their organization was either very well prepared or fairly well prepared to address the risks associated with healthcare costs, and 83% of respondents felt the same way about employee safety in the workplace. However, only slightly more than half of respondents regularly consulted with an insurance or risk management expert to review plans for mitigating risk. 

Key takeaways from the survey included:

Big Business, Big Risk: 55% of respondents felt that their organization faces higher risks today compared to a few years ago. Despite 76% of large businesses - those with 5,000 or more employees - saying they’re prepared for reputational risk or liability faced by directors and executives of their organization, only 49% of them have Directors and Officers Liability Insurance.

Professional and Legal Liability: Nearly 70% of all respondents expressed concern over employee errors and mistakes causing damage to their business operations, yet only 56% of respondents have Professional Liability insurance to deal with these kinds of issues. Furthermore, more than half of the respondents demonstrated concern over legal liability and potential lawsuits. While 78% of respondents said they are prepared to deal with these legal matters, they aren’t taking the necessary precautions to mitigate the risk of these potential threats.

12.30.Risk.Facing.Insurance.jpgCyber Threat Fears: Survey results show that companies’ fears regarding cyber threats are significant, with nearly half of respondents expressing that they felt there was a significant level or risk regarding the following:

  1. A hacking incident leading to theft of customer information
  2. Inability to use the organization’s network
  3. Theft of employees’ private information
  4. Theft of intellectual property
  5. Inability to access the organization’s website

Facing 2016: Monitoring Risk

An enterprise that takes no risks is an easy target for competitors, while enterprises that are reckless may endanger shareholder value. Risk Based Monitoring is a technology-based approach that maximizes the use of your company’s data, allowing you to make smarter decisions about where to focus resources. A risk-based approach is no less vigilant in its oversight of clinical studies.

Centralized monitoring can better detect data anomalies, resulting in better data quality and integrity. Data discrepancies indicate more attention is needed - allowing more resources to be better directed at the issues that pose the highest risk for data integrity and human subject protection. Ways to monitor risks, control data integrity and elevate security - and customer experience - include:

  • Enhanced compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Greater brand consistency and targeted, automated communications.
  • Reduced time and cost through more efficient processes.
  • Faster cycle time and application processing.
  • Better use of data and information assets.
  • Flexible technology built to support your needs, workflows and processes.
  • Improved data integrity and reduction in errors or duplication.
  • Greater automation and digitalization to minimize manual processing.

Keep in mind, different insurance companies may require different healthcare payer technology solutions depending on the needs of their customers and internal structure, but there are some solutions that may be universally beneficial for the industry overall. Insurance companies can utilize big data to provide a clearer picture of healthcare outcomes so medical providers can improve patient care and refocus their attention on initiatives that improve patient lives while cutting healthcare costs nationwide.

What does this mean for 2016? 

In 2016, there will be the call for increasingly elevated big data analysis requiring new, skilled workers to answer the call, just as the transition will require experienced consultants to ensure a smooth process overall - ensuring organizations prepared to manage, and mitigate, risk in the push to deliver a truly customer-centric experience.