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Navigating your Virtual Workplace: Expert Insights from Carolyn Jarschke

Friday, April 17, 2020  
Posted by: Dave Anderson
As HCAA Members navigate healthcare’s new normal, we interviewed a few experts on how they’ve overcome business challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s feature highlights Carolyn Jarschke, President and CEO of QVI Risk Solutions, where she discusses the importance of expressing empathy in this volatile market.
 
Carolyn, during the past few weeks, what are some of the challenges your organization has gone through during this new reality?

QVI Risk Solutions is actually in a unique position where we’re still working in the office because our industry has been deemed essential. We have less than ten employees in our home office and each one has their own office so we’re continuing to meet all social distancing requirements. For now, it has been business as usual with the fun exception of dancing around a bit to avoid each other like everyone has to do in the grocery store these days. We all use plenty of hand sanitizer, but for the most part, we’re just trying to keep a positive outlook on things. You can often feel the level of anxiety among staff so we do our best to be lighthearted about it. Whether it’s sharing cartoons about toilet paper or having camera fun on Zoom meetings.
 
What challenges do you see coming up for employees over the next few weeks? What do you recommend to the members of HCAA as ideas for helping their employees?

For those employees in our market who have been forced to work from home, it can certainly be a difficult transition. And it is especially a struggle for those doing it for the first time. From the isolation and losing that personal connection with adults, to finding new ways of managing your time, many employees are becoming distracted and are having a hard time with it. We are all employees in one way or another so it is important for us to band together during this time.
 
What are some of the positive things about our new reality?
 
You see a lot of organizations supporting each other across social channels and through phone and email communications. And associations are doing what they can to inform their member organizations about federal updates. For instance, HCAA recently shared details about the availability of the  CARES Act small business loans .

But there aren’t a lot of positives aside from my commute being 10 minutes faster – I suppose that’s a plus.

How are you keeping yourself busy in your time away from work?

Outside of work I’m part of Rotary International where I can network about business and community issues. We just had a virtual happy hour in which everyone poured a beverage of their choice and joined into a video conference call. That was fun.
  
What advice would you give other HCAA members when working with their clients during this time?

As TPAs, it’s important that we provide the best service we possibly can in this volatile market. You need to monitor the size of your employer groups and make constant projections about claim volume. Are your clients going through layoffs? Are they going out of business? As claims levels go down, so do TPA revenue streams. But obviously there’s a delay in claims to actuals so it’s important to watch for any movement there.
 
One of our clients just dropped from 95 to 65 employees. That’s when it’s our job to step up and be a positive resource for them because you never know what the person on the other end of the phone is going through. We try to put ourselves in their shoes, and to be gracious and patient to their needs.

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