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State Selects Third Party Administrator to Review Oil Spill Claims

Releases solicitation for Technical Assistance Providers to help individuals, businesses through claims process

The state of Louisiana has taken the first steps in implementing a community outreach and technical assistance plan to ensure the effectiveness, transparency and efficiency in the British Petroleum (BP) claims process resulting from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Today, the state announced that Cannon Cochran Management Services, Inc. (CCMSI) has been selected to serve as the state's independent administrator to implement a comprehensive review of BP's oil spill claims process. The state also issued a solicitation for proposals for community organizations to assist individuals and businesses with the claims process.

As the third party administrator, CCMSI, will also look at the effect of social, human and workforce development services on the claims process and provide technical support and consulting for negotiations for BP claims information, reviewing the claims processes and assisting in the development of requests.

"By retaining an objective third party administrator, the state's claims process advisory team will assure integrity and quality of the claims process," said Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services (DSS) Secretary Kristy Nichols. "CCMSI brings experience with a variety of claims processes, ranging from workers' compensation to disaster recovery."

CCMSI is a privately held company and a leading third-party administrator for property/casualty self-insurance and workers' compensation programs. Since 1978, CCMSI has provided claims services, loss control, managed care, internet claims analysis and reporting services to insurance carriers, group self-insurance groups and individual employers in a wide range of industries. CCMSI has offices across the country, including one in Metairie.

As third party administrator, CCMSI will be part of the state's three part approach to addressing BP's flawed claims process. A Unified Command Group (UCG) will include state agencies, federal entities, BP and parish designees to oversee the BP claims process and aid for families. Today, the state requested that the federal on-site coordinator, U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral James Watson, create that UCG and engage federal and state partners.

Additionally, the state will select up to 15 organizations to provide education on the claims process, as well as assist individuals and businesses in analyzing and preparing needed documentation for claims. Louisiana today released a solicitation for proposals to coastal organizations with the capacity to provide community-based assistance with the BP claims process and other government or philanthropic support programs to individuals and businesses in the impacted coastal region.

"The state wants to address what we see as a great need to assist claimants with proving the net worth of their assets, loss of business and actual damage in order to successfully recoup losses due to the oil spill," said Nichols. "Additionally, the technical assistance providers will advise the state's Technical Assistance Advisory Team on how to simplify and strengthen the claims process."

Technical assistance providers will be announced in July and will be funded by $2 million granted to the state by BP. Technical Assistance Provider solicitations must be received by July 2, 2010, at 8:00 a.m. Click here to view the full solicitation

The state also announced today that Tulane University, the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and the Louisiana Public Health Institute will conduct the state's comprehensive needs assessment. The goal is to determine the impact of the oil spill on individuals, families and communities and to identify critical needs due to temporary or prolonged loss of livelihood or community infrastructure in impacted parishes.

The survey will allow the state to provide guidance for short-term, coordinated delivery of services and resources to impacted individuals and businesses.

"The state realizes how important it is that recovery from the oil spill be local," said Nichols. "We want to provide parishes and communities with as much information and as many resources as they need to make lasting decisions for their people. We are also ensuring that the needs assessment pays special attention to unique populations in our state, including the Vietnamese and Native American communities that rely on our coastal resources for their livelihoods."

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