Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long is an online demonstration?
Depending on the number of attendees, an average demonstration will take about two hours, or as long as you have questions.  Demonstrations can be scheduled to begin as early as 7:00 am Pacific time and up to nine (9) persons in nine (9) separate locations can participate. ERIC Systems utilizes GoToMeeting by Citrix Systems to conduct online demonstrations.

2. Do you offer onsite demonstrations?
Once an online demonstration has been provided, if a more in-depth review of Risk Manager is desired, we'd be happy to provide a demonstration at your site for all persons interested in knowing more details. Selecting a claims administration application is a big decision. We believe all persons who would be working with Risk Manager, in any capacity, should have an opportunity to learn how it might affect their job function.

3. Will Risk Manager work with SQL Server Express Edition?
Absolutely!  SQL Server Express Edition has some limitations, like a maximum data base size, but for smaller organizations, it's ideal for getting started at the least possible cost.

4. We have existing data we want to save. Can you import it into Risk Manager?
We certainly can. There are standardized file formats that are used to exchange data between different computer systems. We haven't met a data set yet that we couldn't import. If the data source contains: claimant data, vendor information, financial transactions, notes, documentation of coding schemes used, and the organizational structure, we can create a Risk Manager database that will have you operational within as little as 30 days. Data conversions can be a one or two-step process. Two-step is recommended. We suggest budgeting a minimum of $9,500 per data source for this service.  A successful, cost-effective conversion depends as much on the cooperation of the organization providing the data to be imported as the quality of the data.

5. Is Risk Manager web-based?
Risk Manager is a client-server application written using Microsoft VB .NET. The main program modules do not run from within a web browser, they are installed on local workstations.  A browser-based application would require us to sacrifice one of the most important features of our program design, our user interface. We also believe opening your company's network for access by the world is just inviting trouble. The better question is... Can Risk Manager be accessed via the Internet?  The answer to that question is absolutely yes.  In two ways.  First, Risk Manager is very compatible with terminal services and popular third-party applications that provide remote access to centralized databases. Many of our clients use software by Citrix Systems for this purpose.  Second, ERIC Systems offers a customizable, stand-alone module that has been expressly designed to accept FROI’s and property loss/damage reports via the web, in the most secure manner possible.  Is ERIC Systems an Applications Service Provider (ASP)?  No, we are not. An ASP is an organization that leases software by providing remote access to an application installed on a server located in the provider's location.  If you're interested in working with an ASP to implement Software as a Service (SaaS) we can recommend one of our business affiliates.

6. Can Risk Manager handle the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) reporting requirements that are mandatory for the States we do business in?

Risk Manager supports EDI for a variety of purposes. For example:

  • IAIABC Release 1 and 3 standards as required by many States
  • Proprietary State electronic reporting standards such as SIEDRS for the State of Washington.
  • Positive Pay files to enhance check security.
  • ACH (Direct Deposit) payments for claimants, spouses, other payees, and vendors.
  • Import and export of third-party bill review data.
  • Import and export of claimant eligibility files and payment information for pharmacy benefit plans.
  • Import of State Medical Fee Schedule data.
  • Import of leased Preferred Provider Network (PPN) contract data.
  • Special extracts to meet specific client requirements.
  • Form 1099-MISC Electronic Filing.
  • Import of the US Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Specifically Designated Nationals (SDN) list for comparison to payee files.

7. Which Risk Manager version is right for my company?
An answer to this question would requires a good understanding of the nature of your organization and its policies and procedures for administering claims.

All versions of Risk Manager have the same set of features and capabilities. The differences between versions are based on five (5) primary factors:

  • The type of claims to be administered.
  • Number of organizational levels needing to be defined.
  • The ability to customize claim and financial data coding schemes.
  • The need to comply with HIPPA privacy regulations.
  •  Regulatory reporting requirements.

Type of Claims - The implementation of purpose-specific claim modules requires a determination of what type of claim will be administered at the enterprise level.  A single enterprise can be configured to administer a single type of claim, either workers' compensation, P&C and General Liability, Professional Liability, or Retrospective Rating Group.  Organizations that administer more than one type of claim will require a multi-enterprise version of Risk Manager.

Organizational Structures - The design of Risk Manager provides an extremely simple and flexible mechanism for grouping business units for reporting.  ERIC Systems uses the generic terms “enterprise” and “employer” to identify the top two levels of organizational structure that may be defined. In a workers' compensation environment, an employer is generally defined as the smallest business unit authorized to be self-insured by a State agency. In a general liability and P&C environment, an employer would be the smallest business unit to be issued a policy.  For governmental agencies, like cities and counties, for maximum flexibility, the employer level would be assigned to major departments.

Within an employer, six-sub levels of organization are possible. Not all levels need to be used. Levels within the employer can be bricks and mortar based (hierarchical, like an org chart) or used to combine claims by referencing a common activity.  For example, within a school district, one level 4 could be used to identify the activities of food services, janitorial, and transportation with org levels 5 and 6 defined as campuses and individual schools providing these functions.  Then, using a standard report designed to support org levels, specifying that a grouping by level 4 would provide statistical summaries for each activity regardless of campus.

In the private sector, an enterprise will most likely be a collection of one or more related self-insured employers grouped together for financial reporting purposes. In a public agency, an enterprise would be defined as the city or county, with the first level departments defined as employers. In states allowing retrospective rating groups, an enterprise would be the association.  In states where workers' compensation insurance is provided by private carriers, an enterprise would be equivalent to the pool formed to fund and administer claims.  In general liability and property & casualty environments, an enterprise or insured would be a holding company of related employers or locations grouped for combined loss reporting.

ERIC Systems offer a variety of optional modules to expand the capabilities of Risk Manager and to meet the advanced requirements of larger organizations.  For example, not all clients involved with administering workers' compensation claims do fee adjusting in house.  Therefore, the fee adjusting module and state fee schedules are offered as options as are data import modules for files produced by third-party bill review companies.  Other differences include:

Number of Organizational Units Supported - The multi-enterprise version of Risk Manager is the most flexible version, offering the ability to define an unlimited number of enterprises, each with an unlimited number of associated employers or locations. The single enterprise version provides for only one enterprise with an unlimited number of employers.  The single-enterprise, single-employer version is the entry level version of Risk Manager. It’s also the best choice for an organization that's self-insured and self-administered.  The number of possible organizational levels by program version:

        Multi-enterprise = 8
        Single-enterprise, multi-employer = 7
        Single enterprise, single employer = 6

Access rights to view claim data is both function-based and employer-based.  Program logins can be limited to one, many, or all employers and then to only specified rights assigned by the system administrator. In all Risk Manager versions, logins can be limited to one organizational unit at one organizational level. This includes all units subordinate to that unit.

    Claim and Financial Data Coding Schemes - In order to standardize the collection of information for groups of related employers, all but two data coding schemes are defined at either the enterprise or system levels. The multi-enterprise version is required for mixed workers' compensation and P&C environments because of the differences in data collection needs and to allow reserving and accident/injury codes to be tailored to the specific requirements of each function.

    HIPPA Privacy - Although the administration of workers' compensation claims is exempted from HIPPA regulations, consideration must be given to privacy when administering both workers' compensation and property & casualty claims within the same database. Since security is implemented primarily at the employer level, workers' comp and non workers' comp claims should be managed by defining a different enterprise for each. This will both maximize flexibility and allow user security log-ins to be configured to restrict those responsible for P&C claims administration from viewing medical data associated with workers' compensation claimants.

    Regulatory Reporting Requirements - Many State and Federal agencies now require claims information to be submitted periodically, by electronic means, for a variety of purposes.  Since every agency wants the data for a different purpose, they all define unique standards and coding schemes to meet their individual objectives.  Given that classifications of business units cannot be “free form”, consideration of how organizational structures will affect reporting requirements must be a factor in choosing the right version of Risk Manager.

8. What operating systems and versions of SQL Server is Risk Manager compatible with?
Risk Manager is compatible with and currently used in production environments in both 32 and 64 bit installations of Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.  SQL Server versions 2005, 2008, 2008R2, and Express Edition 2008R2 are currently supported.  Devices using operating systems other than Windows, such as iOS and Android, can access Risk Manager by installing client-side a desktop virtualization application like XenDesktop published by Citrix Systems.