Senior vice president, clinically integrated medical programs
Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc.
Jersey City, New Jersey
Andrea Buhl is using her hands-on nursing background to help lead an emerging team of specialized nurse case managers for third-party administrator Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. tasked with helping an injured worker facing an anxiety-producing event: surgery.
“We go over the little things that most people don’t think of and the physicians don’t have time to go over in the office,” said Ms. Buhl, who oversees several of Sedgwick’s managed care solutions including telephonic case management, field case management and clinical consultation services. “It’s the what-to-expect. (The knowledge) can help reduce anxiety because that’s what we see with people going in for surgery … It can be so overwhelming for a patient to be in a hospital.”
The idea grew out of a need to uncomplicate the lives of injured workers already navigating what can be perceived as a tough system, especially for someone who may have never been injured or operated on before, she said.
“We wanted to ensure that we had nurses that were very well versed in the surgical process and offer tips that would be valuable to the injured worker,” she said.
She embarked on a career in insurance after working in the field as a nurse starting in 2006, with long days and a child to care for at home. “I had no idea nursing jobs existed in the insurance/claims management industry,” she said.
“A lot of people will ask me, do you miss practicing (nursing)?” Ms. Buhl said, adding that she still feels that she is “hands-on” in the field “when I look at these types of services that make a difference in people’s lives.”
Ms. Buhl is an “inspiring leader,” said Marijo Storment, Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based CEO of medical case management firm The Alaris Group Inc., which partners with Sedgwick in nurse case management programs.
“She has built an incredibly capable team that produces a very high quality product,” Ms. Storment said. “She is generous with her knowledge and fair to her partners. I feel privileged to have Andrea as a colleague and a friend.