Mike Giarrizzo of DCR Systems said making shop employees negotiate through the supplement process has become “almost cruel and unusual punishment.”

Everyone in Collision Repair Process Plays a Part in Solving Problems with Supplements (article continued)

He said after working with hundreds of insurance companies and thousands of shops, each with their own processes, some standardization across the industry would help.

“We’re caught in the middle most times on the supplement process,” he said. “We don’t get paid in general to write supplements. When we have to come back, that’s a cost. It’s factored into our cost of doing business, but when there’s not documentation, or if we can’t find the vehicle or there’s nobody there to walk through the vehicle with us, we almost have to start over.”

Documentation Should Help

Aaron Schulenburg of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists agreed shops that aren’t providing adequate photos, OEM procedures and other documentation to support the supplements they submit need to start doing that.

“But a big part of the problem is that if the repair industry does a better job of meeting those expectations, there should be a change in outcome,” Schulenburg said. “I think where the frustration rises is there are so many shops who have prioritized doing exactly that, and are doing it very well, and instead face almost a more difficult challenge” in getting supplements approved.

Shop owner Dorn agreed shops should provide good documentation supporting the supplements they submit.

“But I think that needs to be a two-way street when there’s a denial,” Dorn suggested. “If we have to fully document why we are doing something, I think the other industry stakeholders need to document why they’re not [paying for] it.” 

Dorn said he sees the industry at a turning point in terms of supplements.

“We can’t continue to go down this path,” he said. “Fundamental change has to happen. We have to get away from the archaic ways that we’ve been doing things for 30 years. Everyone is frustrated. No one is winning. No one is happy about this. So let’s agree we have to change the process.”

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