SOURCE: Matrix Absence Management

Matrix Absence Management

April 27, 2017 08:00 ET

Matrix Absence Management pioneers ADA Forecaster™

First-ever online tool helps employers predict and prepare for ADA experience

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwired - April 27, 2017) - Less than a year after publishing the U.S. market's first credible snapshot of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation data, Matrix Absence Management (Matrix) has deployed ADA Forecaster™, a tool to help employers understand, anticipate and prepare to manage ADA requests more effectively. ADA Forecaster uses proprietary algorithms and the industry's largest pool of managed accommodation data to predict ADA incidence at the employer level, and benchmark this against market performance.

"The nature of the Americans with Disabilities Act is, every request is unique and the employer is legally required to go through an interactive process to determine if accommodation requests can and should be approved," said Ken Cope, president of Matrix. "If every situation is unique, like a fingerprint, there's no way to plan, staff and budget for compliance, let alone effectiveness. Until now."

Matrix integrates short- and long-term disability, workers' compensation, return-to-work services and personal/family and medical leave programs to help employers realize time, efficiency and productivity gains. An early leader in the outsourced absence management space, Matrix was founded in 1987 as a workers' compensation administrator in San Jose, California.

In 2013 Matrix was first to market with a comprehensive ADA management product, called ADA Advantage®. Since then more than 50 employers across a wide array of industries have adopted the program, which manages both leave and workplace accommodations under ADA. Last year's landmark statistical analysis was based on a review of more than 4,300 accommodation requests collected over a time period of at least 12 months from employers representing a universe of 120,000 employees.

ADA Forecaster leverages a data pool that has continued to grow, now representing more than 185,000 employees nationwide.

The new tool is immediately and seamlessly applicable to Matrix clients: using actual FMLA and disability leave data, the calculator can accurately forecast expected ADA request exposure. But it is also effective for non-clients. A compact demographic census including factors like employee gender, dates of birth, dates of hire and the company's SIC code, will yield both potential and likely ADA activity, and compare these against the broad market -- or, in some cases, against competitors within the same vertical market segment.

"We developed our ADA Advantage product and service model in close partnership with many of our largest and longest-term customers," Cope said. "Being ahead of the curve helped us deliver a more comprehensive product, but it also helped us build a unique warehouse of accommodation data from which we -- and our clients -- can continuously improve. ADA Forecaster is just a smarter, faster and easier way to turn that data into organizational and operational improvement."

Management of ADA accommodation requests gained higher profile following the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2009 (ADAAA), which materially changed disability definitions and standards. Early analysis conducted by Matrix showed accommodation requests were not the primary indicator of organizational impact, as widely thought. Rather, the "event," or the precipitating cause of an accommodation request, is the more meaningful, relevant metric.

"One event often generates multiple requests over the life of an ADA claim, both leave and workplace-related. So the better we understand and can anticipate these events, the better prepared our clients will be for accommodation requests and related activity," Cope said.

While Matrix's proprietary data pool has grown more than 50% since the benchmark study in 2016, leading indicators have remained consistent, Cope said. These include accommodation request incidence by age, gender, work status (exempt or non-exempt), salary and other factors, and outcomes thereof. Baseline data behind the ADA Forecaster tool is updated quarterly.

For highlights of the Matrix market analysis or a company-specific ADA Forecaster report, contact your broker or benefits consultant; Reliance Standard sales representative or account manager; or email salesandmarketingHQ@rsli.com for more information.

About Matrix Absence Management
Based on the premise that employees make up the most costly -- and valuable -- of a company's resources, Matrix focuses on reducing the lost productivity suffered when employees miss work for any reason. This service portfolio, called Absence Solutions®, streamlines benefit delivery, simplifies administration and reduces overall benefit costs for companies nationwide employing more than 2 million men and women. Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, Matrix has service locations nationwide, including Phoenix, AZ; Hawthorne, NY; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Santa Clara, CA; Austin, TX; and Portland, OR.

Matrix Absence Management and sister company Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company are members of the Tokio Marine Group. Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc., the ultimate holding company of the Tokio Marine Group, operates in the property and casualty insurance, reinsurance and life insurance sectors globally. The Group's main operating subsidiary, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire (TMNF), was founded in 1879 and is the oldest and leading property and casualty insurer in Japan.

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