For Portland-based software developer ClaimVantage, chaos, confusion and lawsuits are good for business.
The company, which develops claims-management software for the disability insurance industry, is taking advantage of changes prompted by the Affordable Care Act to attract new clients. Most recently it has added software that helps employers manage absences under the Family and Medical Leave Act in order to avoid lawsuits.
Founded in 2006, ClaimVantage is the brainchild of Irish-born Mainer Leo Corcoran. In addition to its Portland headquarters, the company maintains a software-development office in Dublin.
The company’s products help insurance providers and large corporations manage disability claims, which has become increasingly complex because of stricter enforcement of regulations as well as new requirements and restrictions included in the Affordable Care Act, Corcoran said.
“Obamacare has shaken the whole business up,” Corcoran said, noting that insurers have about 450 state and federal rules they must follow.
The newest ClaimVantage software product, released earlier this month, manages employee absences under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which “entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Employee lawsuits accusing employers of failing to comply with the rules nearly tripled from 2012 to 2013, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
ClaimVantage’s products help employers and insurance providers avoid lawsuits by incorporating all applicable laws into the management process, Corcoran said. In other words, they make it extremely difficult to screw up.
“It’s all built in – it’s all automated,” he said.
ClaimVantage is based in Portland because it is the epicenter of the U.S. disability insurance industry, he said. It is home to some of the country’s leading providers, including Disability RMS and Unum Group, which is the largest by far.
Corcoran said the company takes advantage of relationships and expertise that would be more difficult to find outside the Portland area. Still, the company’s focus is global.
ClaimVantage’s major clients include Montreal, Canada-based Quebec Blue Cross, Dublin-based Irish Life & Permanent, and Portland, Oregon-based Standard Insurance Co. Corcoran said he has plans to expand in the United Kingdom and break into the insurance markets of South Africa, Australia and even China.
“People think I’m crazy because I’m so ambitious about what we want to get into,” he said.
The company has one major client in Maine, Portland-based Professional Disability Associates.
ClaimVantage’s products are cloud-based and sold via a subscription model. Companies pay a setup and training fee, followed by regularly recurring fees to use the software.
Corcoran said about 45 percent of ClaimVantage’s 2013 revenue of $2.2 million was from subscription fees. The company, which has 16 employees, is on track to generate $2.5 million in revenue this year, 55 percent of which would come from subscriptions, he said.
Basing the software in the cloud also makes it easy for ClaimVantage to issue updates when regulations are added or changed, Corcoran said.
It can be challenging to get insurance providers, many of which have been doing business the same way for decades, to embrace new claims-management technology, he said. But those that do will find that they save time and administrative costs while reducing the threat of litigation, Corcoran said.
“We kind of bring them into the 21st century,” he said.