By: Dr. Gary Anderberg


December 21, 2023 — Consider this a sort of Rorschach test. What comes to mind when you see the acronym NIH? National Institutes of Health? Good so far, but what about its more subversive meaning — Not Invented Here? That's the NIH we want to look at now. One of our favorite pundits, Joe Paduda, opined in a recent post on Managed Care Matters:

If we didn't invent it, it didn't need to be invented.

That's an expansion of the well-known "not invented here" meme, one far too common among workers' comp insurers, TPAs, health plans and other large organizations.

We recommend reading the entire post, but the essence is sweet and simple: The insurance side of the risk management business has been far too reluctant to try new ideas, to get outside the proverbial box, to think about fundamental goals rather than all the reasons why nothing can ever be changed. We've seen this up close and personal. Way back when, we developed a brand-new type of policy for long-term disability (LTD), like nothing in the industry. All the wise old heads were quite certain that the state insurance commissions would never approve it. Never, they said. Three months later we had approvals in more than 40 states. A few states needed more explaining, but we got that accomplished in a few more months. Done.

The point is that NIH syndrome can try to stop anything. Don't let it stop you. Our current environment needs more innovation than ever to meet the burgeoning new risks popping up. As Einstein told us, "If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got."

Full disclosure: No AIs were harmed in the making of this Journal.


Dr. Gary  Anderberg

Dr. Gary Anderberg

SVP — Claim Analytics

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