Magazine article Risk Management

A Conversation with Carolyn Snow

Magazine article Risk Management

A Conversation with Carolyn Snow

Article excerpt

As the 2014 RIMS president and a veteran risk manager, Carolyn Snow has a unique perspective on risk management. The director of risk management for health care giant Humana Inc., Snow manages the company's insurance program, including its captive and risk management information system, serves on the corporate acquisition team and the legal entity committee, and is a member of the core advisory group for enterprise risk management. She has been with Humana for 14 years and, before that, she served as vice president of marketing at Aon Risk Services and held underwriting and marketing management positions with Fireman's Fund and Cigna P&C.

She spoke to Risk Management about her experiences in the risk and insurance industry and the issues she plans to focus on as RIMS president in 2014.

RM: What are your responsibilities at Humana?

Snow: Part of what we do is manage the corporate insurance program--property, casualty, professional, aviation, and directors and officers. We have an insurance program manager, but we also spend time on that as a department.

We're more about operational risk, but a big part of what we do is risk management for our clinics. Humana owns Concentra, which has urgent care clinics as well as worksites that bring health services to the workplace. We also own CarePlus Health Plans and CAC-Florida, which primarily serves Medicare and Medicaid patients. Over the past two years, we have actively acquired physician groups, mostly in Florida, because we're looking at integrated medicine. We also own an operation called Senior Bridge, which provides home help.

Anything related to members or patient safety is under our umbrella. A typical task may be designing safety programs or addressing something about a member or patient that is reported to us. It is pretty encompassing, because it could be a personal nurse who called on a member and found that they had fallen and had been there all night. Or it could be as relatively insignificant as a report that items have gone missing from somebody's desk.

If the issue is something that appears to be serious, we do an investigation and work with the person who reported it. Ultimately, it might give rise to a claim later, which we then manage to completion, whatever that turns out to be.

RM: How has your company's risk management program grown?

Snow: Humana has always done a good job of evaluating the risks of its business areas, has a good awareness of risk and has worked cooperatively with the risk management team. Risk management has grown in visibility in the past few years, as risk has become more of a public issue. As a company, we have established an enterprise risk program, which my department was involved in developing.

As an insurer, there is more regulation on risk management. Any time you have new government regulations, more attention is paid to risk management and it becomes of greater interest at the board level--the board is very involved and aware of what we do.

RM: In particular, what regulatory issues should risk managers watch for?

Snow: The way to watch regulatory issues as a risk manager is to figure out which ones have a direct impact on your company. RIMS is keeping an eye on the Neal Bill, which pertains to the taxation of offshore reinsurance. The bill would limit deductions for reinsurance premiums paid by a U.S. insurer to its foreign affiliates. That could have a real impact on the market by reducing coverage and limits while raising premiums. …

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