In an effort to enable employers to more accurately identify and prevent claim fraud, Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. (Sedgwick CMS) and Factual Photo, Inc. (Factual Photo) have initiated an agreement whereby a subsidiary of Sedgwick CMS will acquire the operations of Factual Photo.

According to a recent press release, the agreement will be made effective on Nov. 1, 2010. Sedgwick CMS is a large independent North American provider of claim and productivity management services. Factual Photo, a national provider of investigative services for employers, insurers, and claim-management professionals, specializes in workers’ compensation, disability, and other employment-related claims. Factual Photo will continue to operate under the direction of its established leadership group.

Sedgwick CMS says the acquisition represents a step in creating a comprehensive, integrated solution for the claim fraud detection, investigation, and prevention. The skill sets of the approximately 140 investigative consultants and other specialists comprising Factual Photo’s team will be instrumental in addressing employers’ increasing fraud-management needs. These professionals will be engaged on three different fronts:

1. As Factual Photo, they will continue to provide independent, outsourced surveillance, investigative and training services for employers, insurers and independent claim-management organizations using live surveillance methods, social network monitoring, and communications and reporting systems.

2. As members of the internal Sedgwick CMS fraud prevention resource group, they will offer Sedgwick CMS clients advanced in-house options for customized, calibrated responses to potentially fraudulent claims. Clients can benefit from right-level remedies that may be less costly and more convenient than a referral to an outsourced investigative firm. Additionally, the company says that cases requiring assignment for full-scale surveillance can be pre-qualified with a high level of assurance.

3. As key contributors to a Sedgwick CMS product development initiative, they will work with Sedgwick CMS specialists in data analytics, technology, process design, claim management, and other areas to build a comprehensive, integrated fraud prevention solution that offers improved case outcomes, cost containment results, and demonstrated ROI.

“We have always been proud to serve our clients with outstanding techniques, tools and people,” said Factual Photo President George S. Oliver. “Our relationship with Sedgwick CMS will provide additional resources for the expansion of our investigative capabilities and technology; and they share our commitment to training, equipping, and licensing the industry’s best professionals. We can also help shape the next generation of advances in insurance investigation through our engagement with the total Sedgwick CMS fraud prevention strategy.”

“George Oliver and his colleagues exemplify best practices and high professional standards in the sensitive areas of surveillance and special investigations,” said Sedgwick CMS President and CEO David A. North. “We see this acquisition as an opportunity to enhance fundamentally the value and scope of fraud prevention services for Sedgwick CMS clients.”

Sources: Factual Photo, Sedgwick CMS