The State Office of Risk Management will provide active leadership to enable State of Texas agencies to protect their employees, the general public, and the state’s physical and financial assets by reducing and controlling risk in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.
The State Office of Risk Management will act in accordance with the highest standards of ethics, fairness, accountability and humanity for both our customers and our employees. Customer service is a cornerstone of our mission.
Programs & Services
The State Office of Risk Management is charged by Chapter 412 of the Texas Labor Code to administer insurance services obtained by state agencies, including the self-insured government employees workers’ compensation insurance program and the state risk management programs.
The Office is administratively attached to the Office of the Attorney General and is governed by an appointed Board of Directors. Daily operations are overseen by the Executive Director, as the Risk Manager for the State of Texas. The agency consists of four internal divisions: Executive Administration, Strategic Programs, Legal Services, and Internal Operations.
The Executive Administration Division is comprised of the Executive Office and two departments, Public Relations and Project Management.
The Executive Office provides strategic and operational oversight for the agency.
The Public Relations Department is responsible for effectively conveying the agency’s expertise and authority through public and governmental relations, branding marketing, media, web services, training, and other creative design solutions.
The Project Management Department is responsible for overseeing all agency projects and initiatives providing a framework to manage and evaluate project workflow.
Strategic Programs Division
The Strategic Programs Division is comprised of three departments, including Claims Operations, Enterprise Risk, and Document Processing.
The Enterprise Risk Department provides risk management, insurance, and Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning services to client agencies. Risk Managers at SORM assist state agencies in establishing and maintaining risk management programs to protect state employees, state assets, and the public served; they also support the insurance, COOP, and workers’ compensation programs. Insurance Managers at SORM develop and administer insurance programs to transfer the financial risk of the state, and provide consultative insurance services to our clients. In coordination with the Office of Homeland Security, Texas Division of Emergency Management, and Department of Information Resources, SORM’s Continuity Planners assist agencies with the implementation of the Continuity of Operations planning.
Claims Operations performs initial file investigations of each reported injury and determines compensability. Claims examiners handle all aspects of claims as required by law and policy.
Document Processing is responsible for the initial setup and data entry of injury claims received, as well as the maintenance of all inactive claim files.
Legal Services Division
The Legal Services Division is comprised of three departments: Litigation Management, Quality Assurance, and Compliance Management.
The Litigation Management department is responsible for presenting and directing SORM’s defenses during various administrative dispute resolution processes. Litigation Management also monitors and assists the Tort Litigation Division of the Office of the Attorney General when it represents the agency in administrative and judicial proceedings.
The Litigation Management department also focuses on subrogation, medical recovery, and fraud investigation and is responsible for the recovery of workers’ compensation benefits, medical costs, and other expenses paid on behalf of state employees injured in the course and scope of employment due to the negligence of a third party. Medical recovery focuses on recovering monies from health care providers due to billing errors and coordinates with our two investigators in identifying fraudulent practices by injured workers and/or providers. They coordinate with various district attorneys across the State to recover these funds.
The Quality Assurance department provide quality assurance by auditing claims for compliance with all statutory and policy requirements, tracking overpayments both statutory and errors.
The Compliance Management department focuses on the review and updating of existing policies and procedures. In addition, the department manages contracts, customer complaint/ethics, and open records functions. They also provide legal and policy assistance for agency-wide issues, as well as decisions that affect covered state agencies. They track relevant legislation and respond to Legislative inquiries, and work with executive management to comment and educate on proposed rules and legislation.
Internal Operations Division
The Internal Operations Division consists of three departments, including Financial Management, Talent Management, and Information Technology.
Financial Management processes and issues approved workers’ compensation medical and indemnity payments to claimants and medical providers, including the cancellation, re-issue, and correction of warrants. This department also administers the assessment program which allocates the amounts to participating state agencies for the costs of operating the agency, including processing workers’ compensation claims. Financial Managment provides all accounting and budget functions for the agency in coordination with the Office of Attorney General (OAG) Accounting and Budget Divisions.
Talent Management serves as a liaison between SORM and the full OAG HR division and the SORM Legal Services Division and is responsible for personnel actions and leave accounting. Talent Management is also responsible for developing and managing a return-to-work program.
Information Technology maintains RMIS, CMS, and other systems and interfaces; monitors and provides data; and oversees and responds to security issues. The support staff conducts all agency hardware and software maintenance; monitors software licensing; maintains user access; maintains passwords; and interfaces with OAG ITS.
Operations & Funding
The Office receives no General Revenue appropriations, carries no reserves, and is financed wholly through interagency contract. This funding program allocates an assessment, like a premium, to all participating agencies based on relevant factors as identified by the Board. To date, this methodology has substantially reduced the total cost of the program to the State.
The average cost of the FY12 state assessment was $.60 per $100 payroll, compared to $1.38 per $100 payroll for other carriers in Texas (TDI, 2012)
Cost Savings & Efficiencies
For FY 2012:
- 21.5% reduction in injury frequency rate since FY02
- 43% reduction in annual workers’ compensation expenditures since FY03
- 53% reduction in final assessment per $100 of payroll since FY02
- 70% reduction in medical billing to actual payments in FY12
For FY 2014: 24% of eligible agencies participating in the property insurance program