NICB: History & Future

At the cross section of history and the future is the present. Over the past few months, we at the NICB have been providing a behind the scenes look at our employees’ roles in the fight against fraud as well as sharing some of our fondest memories and stories around our 100 years of history. By chance, our biennial All Employees Meeting just happened to fall within the same year as our Centennial celebration. Accordingly, some people here at HQ spent the greater part of the last 18 months planning the agenda and organizing the logistics for the meeting to ensure that it was a memorable one.

Day One
The meeting kicked off with a reception at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare. Upon arriving in the foyer, I was immediately immersed in a sea of blue shirts. This was the beginning, a gathering to bring together employees from NICB’s HQ and nine regional offices. These were fellow employees whom I and most others would probably never have an opportunity to meet face-to-face otherwise. Sure. We may have heard their names before, here and there. We may have even been called upon by them for assistance a time or two. But this was our time to put names to faces, talk, and connect. And everywhere I turned, people were talking, laughing, and catching up on all the latest events since the last gathering back in 2010.

Day Two
At exactly 8 a.m., Joe, our President and CEO, stands on the stage and jokingly admonishes all the late comers and stragglers who are just walking through the doors. He’s a stickler for punctuality. After all, he’s a retired Air Force General. Getting down to business, Joe highlights some of our accomplishments from the past year and our focus for where we need to go in the days ahead. HR, Public Awareness, Training and Data Analytics follow suit.

Day Three
Sometimes our colleagues in the Law Department take a ribbing for their advice to include words like “allegedly,” or “may have been” in our write ups and communication. But as our General Counsel pointed out in Thursday’s opening presentation, our choices of words are important.

Next, our nine regional offices presented some of their recent cases ranging from alleged identity theft to possible organized crime. Although there’s a hint of rivalry amongst the regions for bragging rights on who makes the best presentation, ultimately we’re all united behind the same cause – to defeat fraud.

We know the importance of the work that we do. But hearing first-hand from a member company and the Chair of the Board of Governors about the value that we provide is a perfect lead in to Joe’s final words on the need for us to not be complacent about our past accomplishments and to keep looking forward to where we need to be in the future.

Later, three employees were recognized for their outstanding work within their area of expertise with the President’s Award. It’s an honor not lightly achieved.

Yeah. It was a good meeting. But now it’s time to stop looking back, and start looking ahead.

NICB Centennial – Looking Back. Moving Forward – Part I

It seems like yesterday when I began my career at the Insurance Crime Prevention Institute (ICPI). I was hired as a Special Agent “trainee” to introduce some young blood into the investigative operations of the organization. For the first year of my career, I was assigned to a seasoned ICPI Agent named Craig Kennaugh to learn the many intricacies of investigating staged accidents, suspicious slip and falls and medical fraud in Chicago. That was in 1987. The experience I gained from being a field agent was invaluable in providing me a knowledge base on how complex, data intense and time consuming these types of investigations were.

Over the course of the next 24 plus years, I’ve experienced many positive changes that have strengthened our ability to fight fraud. ICPI merged with the National Automobile Theft Bureau (NATB) to create the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) in 1992. Shortly after the merger, I assumed a position at NICB Headquarters where I began a transition from field work to program management to information systems and data acquisition.

During this period of time, information sharing evolved from claim history information being reported by insurers on index cards and stored by regional Index Bureaus in Lecktrievers to online electronic access. NICB led this change and was at the forefront of providing online access to vehicle and claim information via NDBS and later with the launch of NICB Online. In the late 1990’s, NICB information and systems, along with data from the Index System and PILR, formed the foundation of the All Claims Database, ISO ClaimSearch. This consolidation created a one stop solution for claim handlers, special investigators, NICB and law enforcement to query millions of claim and vehicle information to piece together disparate pieces of information to fight fraud.

While data sharing and technology were changing at a rapid pace, NICB leadership was proactive in stressing the value of information driven investigations. This foresight led to the creation of the Strategic and Tactical Information Department (Data Analytics today) whose mission was to analyze information to proactively inform NICB member companies and NICB field operations of trends and patterns of possible insurance fraud or vehicle theft.

Analytically our biggest opportunity to proactively identify medical provider fraud lies within the development of the Aggregated Medical Database. Over the past two years, we have worked with our members to aggregate auto and workers compensation medical billing data in order to process fraud indicators to identify possible fraud, waste and abuse. Early findings have been positive, and we will continue to enhance our capabilities.

As I celebrate my 25th anniversary with NICB this April, I look forward to future changes that must be undertaken to thwart the criminal ingenuity of insurance fraud and vehicle crime perpetrators.

Dan A. – Chief Information Officer