People get downright passionate about their favorite productivity hacks because they make life so much more enjoyable, so let me introduce you to mine. You probably already use business software, whether it be Outlook, Exchange, Salesforce, or GoToMeeting. And once they become a part of your daily routine, you couldn’t imagine life without them, right? Aside from these well-known heavyweights in the business software arena, there’s a lesser known productivity tool called robotic process automation (RPA).
As opposed to the big box software programs that can be used by the vast majority of offices, robotic process automation is a more specialized productivity tool that is developed for specific uses and can be custom tailored to the needs of the individual user. RPA tools automate the mundane, repetitive tasks that you have to perform weekly or even daily, which essentially frees you up to get more done in less time.
Your Robotic Intern
I like to think of an RPA tool as a robotic intern because you can give them the boring work that you just don’t have time for anymore. Getting those tasks off your plate allows you to focus on fully utilizing your unique skillsets and talents. Not only is that a good time management practice, but it’s also an efficient use of human capital. RPA is all about working smarter, not harder.
If there’s an electronic process that’s both predictable and time-consuming, it’s likely a candidate for robotic process automation. And unlike many interns, robotic technology can be 100% accurate and unbelievably fast. It also won’t call in sick or spend half the day on Facebook. Imagine building an entire workforce of robots with you as their fearless leader. You could schedule them to work around the clock without breaking any labor laws. And you don’t even have to remember their kids’ names or buy Girl Scout Cookies.
How do you get one?
Many industries have been using robotic process automation for years, while others are just now beginning to adopt it. Depending on what you need to automate, you can either buy or build an RPA tool. If you’re in healthcare claims processing, read on. If you’re not in claims processing, check out the Institute for Robotic Process Automation to see what tools are available for your industry. Or if you already use RPA, please share your experience in the comments below.
Robotic Process Automation for Healthcare Claims
Developed in 2001, HCIM’s SymKey® RPA Tool was the first automated healthcare claims processing application to hit the market. Healthcare payer organizations use SymKey® to process their claims quickly and accurately from within their existing claims transaction system, just as their staff would. Using programmed artificial intelligence, SymKey® can touch and edit any field on the claim form according to each client’s unique business rules and can be scheduled to run at any time, day or night. With full reporting capabilities and jaw-dropping productivity stats, you can see how much time you saved and measure your ROI (our clients averaged a 10x return on their investment last year).
The Economics of Robotics
Let’s say your current claims system already auto-adjudicates 80% of your claims (this may sound optimistic to some), SymKey® can be used to bring that rate up to 90% or more. With a cost between $4 and $9 to process claims manually compared to only $1 for auto-adjudicated claims, the savings can be enormous.
Generally speaking, the smaller an organization is, the more expensive it is to process claims manually. To prove my point, the December 2014 State of the Payor Survey indicated that the majority of insurers pay $6 to $9 (or more) to process claims manually. When AHIP cites an average cost of only $4, you have to realize that number was likely skewed by the large organizations that leverage the economy of scale to drive costs down on their high volume of claims. Because of this, most SymKey® clients are small to mid-sized payers looking to streamline their processes to stay competitive with larger organizations.
For more math and stats, Health Data Management published a great article earlier this year on How robots could lower claims processing costs.
More about SymKey®
Director, Sales & Marketing
HealthCare Information Management, Inc.
925-265-4113, ext. 126
What’s your favorite productivity tool? Please share in the comments section below.