Workplace MVP LIVE from RISKWORLD 2022: Dr. Marcos Iglesias, Travelers Insurance
Live from the R3 Continuum booth at RISKWORLD 2022, Dr. Marcos Iglesias talked with host Jamie Gassmann about his role with the Medical Innovation and Strategy Team at Travelers, caring for their clients’ employees who have a workers’ compensation-related medical condition. He discussed engaging injured employees, the topic he presented on at RISKWORLD 2022, and much more.
This show was originally broadcast from the RIMS 2022 RISKWORLD Conference held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.
Dr. Marcos Iglesias, Chief Medical Director, Vice President, Travelers
Dr. Iglesias is a seasoned physician executive and national speaker with 30 years of experience in workers’ compensation and disability treatment, evaluation, and insurance leadership. His professional interests include the prevention and mitigation of delayed recovery and disability.
His passion for helping workers live active, productive, and fulfilling lives has led him to develop innovative comprehensive disability management solutions that focus on early identification of risk factors and appropriate early interventions to return workers to pre-injury function.
Dr. Iglesias leads the Workers’ Compensation Medical innovation and Strategy Team at Travelers. He is a graduate of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, and the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California.
Travelers provides insurance coverage to protect the things that are important to you – your home, your car, your valuables and your business. They have been around for more than 165 years and have earned a reputation as one of the best property casualty insurers in the industry because we take care of their customers, agents, brokers, communities, and each other.
Every day, their approximately 30,000 employees and 13,500 independent agents and brokers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland help provide peace of mind to our customers. Their expertise and focus on innovation have made Travelers an industry leader and the only property casualty company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Their history of advancements has propelled the company, and the industry, to deliver higher standards – from writing the first auto and space travel policies to founding the Travelers Institute for public policy and launching a hybrid car discount.
By minimizing risk, preventing loss, and helping their customers prepare for the unknown, Travelers’ comprehensive products and services enable individuals and businesses to feel confident and secure about the future.
About Workplace MVP
Every day, around the world, organizations of all sizes face disruptive events and situations. Within those workplaces are everyday heroes in human resources, risk management, security, business continuity, and the C-suite. They don’t call themselves heroes though. On the contrary, they simply show up every day, laboring for the well-being of employees in their care, readying the workplace for and planning responses to disruption. This show, Workplace MVP, confers on these heroes the designation they deserve, Workplace MVP (Most Valuable Professionals), and gives them the forum to tell their story. As you hear their experiences, you will learn first-hand, real-life approaches to readying the workplace, responses to crisis situations, and overcoming challenges of disruption. Visit our show archive here.
Workplace MVP Host Jamie Gassmann
In addition to serving as the host to the Workplace MVP podcast, Jamie Gassmann is the Director of Marketing at R3 Continuum (R3c). Collectively, she has more than fourteen years of marketing experience. Across her tenure, she has experience working in and with various industries including banking, real estate, retail, crisis management, insurance, business continuity, and more. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communications with special interest in Advertising and Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Paseka School of Business, Minnesota State University.
R3 Continuum is a global leader in workplace behavioral health and security solutions. R3c helps ensure the psychological and physical safety of organizations and their people in today’s ever-changing and often unpredictable world. Through their continuum of tailored solutions, including evaluations, crisis response, executive optimization, protective services, and more, they help organizations maintain and cultivate a workplace of wellbeing so that their people can thrive. Learn more about R3c at www.r3c.com.
Intro: [00:00:03] Broadcasting live from Riskworld 2022 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, it’s time for Workplace MVP. Brought to you by R3 Continuum, a global leader in helping workplaces thrive during disruptive times. Now, here’s your host.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:00:22] Hi, everyone. Your host, Jamie Gassmann here, coming to you from the Riskworld 2022 at the R3 Continuum booth, our show sponsor. And joining me is Marcos Iglesias from the Travelers Insurance Group. Welcome to the show, Marcos.
Marcos Iglesias: [00:00:36] So good to be with you, Jamie. Thank you.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:00:38] You’re very welcome. Now, tell us what is your role at Travelers? What do you do for them?
Marcos Iglesias: [00:00:43] Sure. So, at Travelers, I’m the Chief Medical Director, and I sit in the work comp product team. And we have a team that is called the Medical Innovation and Strategy Team. So, it’s myself and three nurses, and we help to set some of the strategy around the work that we do in the medical space, primarily in workers comp. And we support some other lines of business as well. And our goal is really to try to make sure that we deliver the best medical care to our customer’s injured employees.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:01:15] Amazing. And so, what are some of the trending or some of the things that you guys are seeing that are kind of a focus for some of the the customers that you carry right now?
Marcos Iglesias: [00:01:26] Yeah. So, in the past two years, as you know, a lot has happened, not only COVID, but labor shortages. And so, we’re very focused on helping injured employees regain full function so that they can go back to work, so that they feel better about themselves, they get over their injury, but they’re also able to contribute to what their employers need them to do. So, it’s a win-win for everybody.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:01:50] Absolutely. So, are you seeing anything shifting with more of this remote work in terms of injuries coming through? Or is it more kind of staying stagnant and kind of the same as before?
Marcos Iglesias: [00:02:01] Not necessarily. We see the same types of injuries, the same type of issues surrounding those injuries. It is a little bit more challenging for some employers to bring people back to the workplace, but not impossible, and we’re trying to help them do that.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:02:16] Yeah. Awesome. And I know you are presenting at this year’s RIMS Conference, so talk to me a little bit about the topic that you’re presenting on.
Marcos Iglesias: [00:02:23] So, in the foyer and I presented yesterday and we presented on engaging the injured employee in a holistic fashion to help them recover. So, the idea here is that, you know, we have a tremendous responsibility to those injured employees to help them, not just in terms of their medical condition, the injury that they came with, but everything else that’s going around them which contributes to the injury or to their recovery.
Marcos Iglesias: [00:02:53] So, I’m talking about things like they may be afraid of re-injury, they may be afraid of activity, they may have issues like they’re not sleeping well, so all these things that are not part of the injury but may be barriers to their recovery. We’re trying to set up processes, we’re trying to set up programs that identify those injured employees that are at risk, and then match them with a solution to try to help them out.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:03:24] Oh, that’s going to be really interesting because I imagine you have somebody who’s home on a work comp injury and there’s things that are then happening in their personal life on top of that, I’m sure there could be some – I’m going to say the word, but I might stumble over myself – catastrophic, like it kind of intensifies, basically, that injury.
Marcos Iglesias: [00:03:42] Yeah. Just think of it, you know, the focus may not be just the ankle sprain or the low back. Obviously, that’s a big part of that employee’s experience but so much else is going on. In the last year, they’ve had to worry about COVID. Oftentimes, they worry, am I going to lose my job? Will I be able to afford my next mortgage payment? How will I take care of my family? Things like that. And, oftentimes, what we’ve seen is that it’s those issues that become the real barrier to returning to function, not just at work, but in every aspect of their lives. So, it’s not just the ankle sprain, the back sprain, it’s some of these things and they just need some help getting over it.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:04:29] Yeah. So, it’s almost like, you know, you can kind of support them in a different way.
Marcos Iglesias: [00:04:33] Absolutely.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:04:33] Yeah. Getting to some of that emotional support, you know, kind of creating that sense of safety.
Marcos Iglesias: [00:04:39] Yeah. It’s emotional. It’s social. Some of the interventions might be making sure that they have transportation to get to work. So, a lot of things that we can do, in my view, I think it makes injured employees feel more cared for, somebody is listening to them, somebody is looking after them. And it’s a very rewarding experience for us.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:05:03] Yeah. Amazing. So, you know, in looking at your presentation – I didn’t know you presented yesterday – if there were, like, three areas or takeaways that you wanted the audience to be left with that they could bring back to their organization, what would those areas be?
Marcos Iglesias: [00:05:18] I think what we’ve been talking about, an injury is a concerning time for any employee, but there’s so many other things going on, so make sure you look at that employee holistically. And the best way of doing that is really by sitting down with them and listening. They’ll tell you usually what else is going on. They’ll tell you about some of these barriers. Which then gives you an opportunity not only to engage with them and make them feel listened to, but it gives you an opportunity to intervene and to help them out. So, that’s the first thing.
Marcos Iglesias: [00:05:52] One of the things that I give as a tip that I think no matter who you are, you’re a supervisor, you’re a medical provider, you’re a claim adjuster, a nurse, I always ask the employee, when do you think you’ll return to work? I call that the one question. Because their answer to that question is, not only highly predictive of when they do go back to work, but it may also uncover the real barrier for their not returning to work.
Marcos Iglesias: [00:06:19] So, for example, if I asked John, “When do you think you’ll return to work?” His answer is, “You know, Monday morning.” I’ll be less concerned than if John says in four weeks. That may be a risk factor. That may point to the fact that he’s not going to recover quickly. And then, my next question will be, “Why do you think it’ll take you four weeks?” And that might uncover the real barrier. Maybe John crashed his car or his car is totaled. He doesn’t have transportation to get to work. Now, that’s the barrier and not his neck pain.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:06:52] Yeah. Interesting. And I think there’s so much power in that dialogue and, like, active listening. Employees really appreciate that opportunity to have somebody who cares.
Marcos Iglesias: [00:07:02] Yeah. A sad statistic from my practice days many, many years ago tells us that doctors will usually interrupt the patient that they’re seeing within eight seconds. And I can tell you that a lot of patients don’t feel listened to by a host of people, by their doctor, by other care providers. So, we have an opportunity as a supervisor, as an employer, as a friend, as a claim professional, to just sit down, let them talk, let them tell us what’s going on, which then gives us that opportunity to hold their hand and bring them along.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:07:43] Yeah. And that helps with retention at the end of the day as well, when you’re giving that employee, you know, that opportunity to give some transparency and you’re creating that environment of safety where they can talk about it. It just goes so far in so many different ways, not only from getting them back to work, to your point, but just in them considering you that employer that cares and values you as that employee, it helps with that retention overall.
Marcos Iglesias: [00:08:09] Absolutely. It’s a holistic approach. At Travelers, we call it the Custom Care Approach. It’s the injured employee at the center because they’re the ones with the injury. They’re the ones with the claim. Of course, everybody else, you know, is part of it as well. And we try to support everyone, every stakeholder in every claim that we have.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:08:29] That’s the human back into the process, it sounds like. I love that.
Marcos Iglesias: [00:08:33] It’s what I like doing as a doctor.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:08:35] Oh, wonderful. It has been an absolute pleasure having you on the show. Thank you so much. If somebody wanted to get a hold of you and learn a little bit more about Travelers, you know, about the Custom Care Program, or anything that you do, or to connect with you further to learn a little bit more from you, how would they do that?
Marcos Iglesias: [00:08:49] Well, our travelers.com website has a host of information about what we do, not only in workers’ compensation, but in all of our lines of business. And if you’d like to get a hold of me, I’m sure you can find me on the website or on LinkedIn, and I’d be happy to get in touch with you.
Jamie Gassmann: [00:09:08] Wonderful. Thank you again. It’s been a pleasure for taking time out of your busy schedule here at the conference. We appreciate having you on the show.
Marcos Iglesias: [00:09:15] Thanks so much, Jamie. A pleasure.
Outro: [00:09:21] Thank you for joining us on Workplace MVP. R3 Continuum is a proud sponsor of this show and is delighted to celebrate most valuable professionals who work diligently to secure safe workplaces where employees can thrive.