Processing healthcare claims is complex work. But WPS Health Solutions streamlined its processes by replacing 10 legacy desktop scanners with an intelligent data capture solution from ibml. The intelligent data capture solution enabled WPS to increase throughput, reduce costs, improve staff productivity, eliminate manual tasks, streamline document retrieval and accelerate check deposits.
Founded in 1946, WPS Health Solutions is a leading not-for-profit health insurer headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. For more than 20 years, WPS has leveraged its administrative services expertise to process healthcare claims on behalf of other health insurance providers and the U.S. government.
“WPS scans approximately 5 million pages per month across two processing shifts that run five days a week at WPS’ facility in Madison,” said Vince Wittig, director of preadjudication operations and technology at WPS Health Solutions. WPS scans a variety of documents to include claims, correspondence, checks, medical records, etc.
WPS recognized that the in-house scanning solution did not provide the efficiency, turnaround time, or intelligence to move forward with the processes improvement projects meant to transform the operation.
After an extensive evaluation of available solutions, WPS purchased two ibml ImageTrac® high-speed scanners, ibml’s Quality Control software, and ibml’s Connector for seamlessly uploading images and data to WPS’ backend capture software. “WPS selected the ibml intelligent data capture solution based on its proven track record in demanding data capture environments,” Wittig said.
WPS began live production with the ibml intelligent data capture solution in March 2016.
The ibml intelligent data capture solution provided WPS with immediate tangible benefits:
• Better throughput: The efficiency provided by ibml’s ImageTrac scanners enabled WPS to double the volume of paper claims it processes each week (from 70,000 claims to 140,000 claims) while reducing its imaging staff by 50 percent and adding no staff to its mailroom. What’s more, WPS’ imaging staff now has time to perform additional quality control work as well.
• Improved staff productivity: For audit purposes, WPS previously required that each employee write their initials on each document in the batches that they processed. With the ibml intelligent data capture solution, employees now place an employee ID barcode atop of each stack of documents they process. The system automatically links the work that follows each barcode sheet with the appropriate employee. Eliminating the need for staff to write their initials on each document saves WPS 6,000 hours per year, while ensuring WPS can track the work performed
by each employee across the entire process.
• Fewer manual processes: Previously, WPS had to strictly limit the number of documents in each batch of work to 100 documents or risk crashing the 32-bit architecture of its capture software; requiring staff to manually count batches of 100 documents. The ibml solution allowed for rules to be created which would utilize ibml auto-batching functionality to automatically create batches based on claim count, date change, or document type change. Automatically batching documents eliminated piles of documents across WPS’ operations as well as the 6,000 hours a year that staff spent counting documents.
• Streamlined document retrieval: The ibml intelligent data capture solution prints two control numbers on each document that it processes (one for departmental purposes and one for its internal customer). Each control number is linked to a barcoded records storage box that the scanner operator fills while operating the scanning equipment. “Capturing the barcode information for each box of work,as well as the control numbers for each document, makes it easy for WPS to physically retrieve an original document in the event of a request or need to pull the original document”, Wittig explained.
• Faster check deposits: Legacy scanners used a center feed mechanism to ingest pages for scanning, which required special prepping techniques, and excessive taping to support documentation that was small in size. The ibml intelligent data capture solution’s left-justified document feeder enables WPS to scan checks and associated documents co-mingled without the need to tape smaller documents to a carrier sheet. The ibml solution automatically identifies checks, captures the MICR data from each check, and generates an image of each check that is ready for electronic deposit. WPS reduced the time required for each batch of checks from 30 minutes per batch to five minutes per batch.
• Reduced costs: The in-line document recognition and sorting capability provided by ibml’s ImageTrac scanners enables WPS to out-sort the patch sheets that staff inserts for document separation. Wittig estimates that WPS is reusing 1 million patch sheets per month, translating substantial savings to the organization. WPS is also is using fewer ink cartridges for its scanners since deploying the ibml solution. In the past, WPS staff “indiscriminately” changed the ink cartridges on each of its 10 scanners at the end of each shift. Staff now change the ink cartridges
on the ImageTrac scanners just twice a week.
Wittig is so impressed with the ibml intelligent data capture solution that he plans to purchase another ImageTrac scanner with three pockets, and upgrade his department’s existing ImageTrac scanners from two pockets to three pockets, to provide additional throughput and sorting flexibility.
The success that Wittig’s department has achieved with ibml’s intelligent data capture solution has captured the attention of WPS’ customers. Wittig said his department is now the most-toured department in the company, receiving weekly requests from existing and prospective customers.
The impressive results provided by the ibml solution is proof of, “the art of the possible,” Wittig concluded. “Without ibml’s solution, WPS could not have achieved the same results,” he said.