Behind the Data: Conversations With NCCI's Experts

Posted Date: August 15, 2019

Behind the Data: Conversations With NCCI’s Experts

This edition of The Data Connection features the premier of our interview series with NCCI experts. Michael Spears, NCCI’s chief information officer and chief data officer, provides his insights on the upcoming Indemnity Data Call. In his role as chief data officer, Michael oversees NCCI’s data collection, data quality, coordination with industry groups on data reporting rules and standards, and the deployment of reporting tools for data providers.

With the implementation of the Indemnity Data Call on the horizon, Michael answers questions about the history and the future of this data Call.

Q: It’s been a little over a year since NCCI announced the Indemnity Data Call. Can you give a brief history of the Call?

A: The driving force behind the Call is legislative pricing and the need for more robust and timely Indemnity data. NCCI worked with its industry partners through our Actuarial Committee and the Data Collection Procedures Subcommittee to develop the Indemnity Data Call proposal. The proposal was presented to NCCI’s Board of Directors and received unanimous approval in January 2018. Shortly after the Board’s approval, we published the Indemnity Data Call Implementation Guide, providing the requirements to the industry.

Q: NCCI has been collecting transactional Medical data for over 10 years. What have we learned from Medical data to prepare for the collection of Indemnity data?

A: What we learned from Medical Data Collection was the importance of keeping stakeholders engaged in the process, providing appropriate industry lead-time, developing a robust set of communication and training tools, keeping the editing strategy simple, and introducing reporting compliance programs on a gradual basis. With the gained expertise, this is the roadmap that we’ve been following with the Indemnity Data Call.

Q: How is NCCI helping the industry prepare for the new Call?

A: As part of our implementation efforts, we reached out to a wide cross-section of NCCI affiliate data reporters to obtain their feedback. This helped us formulate the requirements and understand the needs of our partners in preparing for the new Call. Every data element selected was vetted by the committees in terms of value and ability to report. We have provided several educational opportunities, including the 2019 Data Educational Program and the live webinars we hosted last year. We continue to provide an ongoing series of industry communications, which includes a visual Roadmap to Reporting. Later this year, we will be working with several carriers to pilot the new collection system and tools so that we’ll be ready to begin certification testing several months before the first due date. The 2020 Data Educational Program will offer additional opportunities to learn about this initiative.

Q: NCCI is known for its workers compensation expertise and for collecting and validating quality data. How is NCCI preparing for the new Call?

A: To put it in a word, collaboration. Within NCCI, data, information technology, and actuarial professionals are working closely to meet the needs of the industry. NCCI turned over the reporting details to the Workers Compensation Insurance Organization (WCIO), and they were adopted as an industry standard (WCIND) for participating bureaus. The standard will provide the needed consistency for the industry to minimize cost and maximize quality.

Q: NCCI is a strong proponent of data stewardship. Why is this so important?

A: NCCI relies on data to fulfill our various roles in maintaining a healthy workers compensation system. Our belief is that a sound data governance program is essential because it sets the structure for the overall management of the availability, usability, integrity, and security of data used to deliver quality and timely products and services. Consistent with all NCCI data types, in-depth data stewardship practices are being applied in the development and implementation of the Indemnity Data Call.

Look for additional interviews in future editions to get insights on a variety of data-related topics.