In early August, the FINEOS team attended the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. Jonathan Boylan, FINEOS Chief Technology Officer and I had the honor of presenting a session called Digital Solutions and Absence Case Management. Our perspective comes from our experience with the FINEOS Absence Management solution that provides employers and carriers with a simple 5 step process to administer federal, state and municipal leave laws, as well as include employer specific leave offerings. We covered an overview of the leave laws, which present an ever-changing landscape. The complexity of the laws and compliance requirements is increasingly motivating employers and insurance carriers who help manage absence to adopt an absence solution. Just from a sheer numbers perspective alone many are realizing that it is almost impossible to have thousands of employees and keep track of all the different federal, state and local leave laws while staying compliant, consistent and fair.
As the DMEC Annual conference progressed, the disability and absence space sessions shared valuable data, provided great examples and conveyed helpful information.
- The first session I attended was very interactive and included a detailed discussion about insourcing verses outsourcing with absence administration. The employers shared that many of their executives are going back and forth and looking for ways to reduce spend and drive accommodations and return to work programs internally.
- I also enjoyed listening to various topics about complexities with accommodations, engagement with employees (which is critical for overall performance and improved morale today), and the digital do’s and don’ts of leave technology.
Overall, the conference topics were extremely relevant to what HR leaders, employment attorneys, benefit administrators and insurance carriers deal with on a daily basis and many of the industry leaders in this space where there to discuss and offer guidance. Employment law and leave law questions were brought forward to leading expert employment attorneys and human resources leaders in the industry, most sessions were interactive, engaging and provided a few laughs.
This year, the DMEC Annual conference had over 700 attendees, which was the largest event to date. DMEC continues to be an excellent resource for education, discussion and debate regarding disability and leave law management, not to mention offering excellent networking opportunities! I found the sessions to be very diverse this time, not one common theme over the course of the few days but instead a diverse set of topics that included:
- disability management
- employee engagement
- digital systems and technology options
- paid family and medical leave legislation
- diversity and inclusion
- returning to work with robots managing claims
- leadership/career opportunities for woman given the #metoo movement
I really enjoyed listening to and learning from the speakers, they all had niche expertise and provided practical hands-on information within the vast disability, absence and leave law space. If you have the opportunity to attend a DMEC Annual conference in the future, I highly recommend it. It would be ideal for anyone in the human resource, benefit administration, third party administration and leave focused roles. DMEC conferences provide a great education for a constantly changing landscape. Not only that, you’ll enjoy an abundance of networking within in this niche space, countless contacts and a friendly atmosphere.
FINEOS is presenting a webinar with DMEC in September about Digital Solutions for Absence. If you’re interested in learning more and attending, click here.