(Photo credit: Hans Braxmeier.)
Discovery Benefits LLC’s (DBI; Fargo, N.D., a WEX company) business grew, the firm knew it needed to introduce greater efficiencies to cope with the case management challenges of a larger book of business. Already a user of Hyland Software’s (Cleveland) OnBase enterprise information platform, the benefits administrator used the solution as a platform for a holistic approach to case management to rationalize complexities, eliminate IT sprawl, and master client information to provide better service for customers.
An OnBase user since 2008, DBI used the application to make workflow changes within separate organizational units, according to Dean Johnson, OnBase manager at DBI. Employer users followed a Service Request process of submitting service requests using an e-form and workflow capabilities within OnBase. Sometime after submission, users would receive notification that the request had been completed.
The Challenges of Growth
The process was simple and effective initially, but as DBI grew rapidly, the procedure was burdened well beyond its original design limits. In the period between 2014 and the present, DBI has gone from less than 7,000 employers to nearly 13,000, and from about 450,000 participants to about 1.6 million.
As changes proliferated in proportion to the rapidly expanding user base, it became increasingly difficult to organize and report on data, and to deliver high-quality services to users. “It became a maintenance nightmare as we grew, and our employers did not have a way to create a view of their status without receiving an update from a DBI employee,” he says. “We wanted to find a better way of tracking our cases and allow our clients to create them from our employer portal to speed up time of answer and resolution.”
While OnBase was functioning as an enterprise application, it wasn’t used at DBI in an enterprise fashion, Johnson explains. While the e-form submission process was a very effective solution, it was deployed and managed within different departmental teams. Also, the data within a given bit of work was locked, exclusive to the users within each departmental silo. DBI identified the emerging management problem as early as 2016, but it wasn’t until mid-2017 that the company identified a solution that could be implemented not only effectively but very rapidly.
The key to enabling better reporting, eliminating the need for cross-departmental communications and speeding resolution was to use OnBase’s WorkView data modeling tool to unlock all the data across enterprise users. “Essentially, we decided to take an enterprise approach to using OnBase, one stop shop for everybody instead of working within separate areas and then communicating separately, and WorkView enabled us to do that,” Johnson explains.
Better Reporting, Tracking and Speed of Resolution
In creating a new enterprise Case Management capability, DBI identified the overarching objectives of better reporting, tracking and speed of answer/resolution of cases and used OnBase to build multiple case-driven applications across the organization. Target departments and capabilities included:
- Claims department, helping process nearly 15,000 claims a day by providing instant access to the information analysts need to process a claim.
- Human resources department, which leverages the solution’s integration with UltiPro, pulling information daily to keep employees’ most relevant information up-to-date for review, to run reports and to build cases tied to specific team members.
- Sales department, using the SalesForce integration, to open a new customer account as soon as a new deal is signed. Once the account is created, managers can assign processes and cases – which are routed to specific team members.
- Legal department, leveraging OnBase’s DocuSign integration to streamline the contracting process with new clients.
- Customer management department, to track customer interactions, client notes and phone calls.
- Online self-service platform, giving customers control of their policy renewal, account information and services requests.
Leveraging the Power of WorkView
In July 2017, DBI embarked on the implementation of the Change Management application. Despite the significant efficiency and service gains of an enterprise approach, the initiative amounted to simply taking the existing Service Request process and applying the power of WorkView. “It only took us two months because the initiative essentially consisted of taking the e-form and workflow process and converting it to a WorkView application inside OnBase,” Johnson comments
Nevertheless, undertaking work on an enterprise scale presented certain challenges. Among these were routine project disciplines, such as gathering requirements from all the relevant teams within the organization, including the effort required to get all the parties to agree on any pertinent updates or changes before an application’s initial release.“Bringing on change is sometimes harder to do than you would think but all the employers were very glad to see our current Case Management and went full speed ahead,” Johnson comments.
To address deficiencies in reporting capabilities, DBI added new reports based on criteria requested by the business units, Johnson relates. “We use Crystal Reports heavily to track and monitor all data points within the company,” he says. “We continue to add or improve on those reports to continue the success we’re enjoying with the enterprise capabilities we’ve built.”
As with any large change to service procedures, success is measured not simply in the efficiencies and functional improvements made to applications, but in the extent of adoption. “We also experienced a few challenges in the means of providing our employers with education and use of the new system from their portal as well as the interaction from our employer portal and OnBase for the creation of the cases,” Johnson acknowledges.
Competing Against Large TPAs
However, despite the education/training challenges, DBI has enjoyed excellent adoption of its new capabilities, according to Johnson. Since DBI went live with its enterprise Case Management capabilities on Sept. 1, 2017, the company has logged 613,515 new cases created. “That is around 32,300 cases created per month,” Johnson notes.
“Taking a holistic, enterprise approach to information management has helped us break down data silos, eliminate IT sprawl and gain greater control of our clients’ information to offer the best services possible to our customers,” Johnson adds. “Our OnBase case management solutions have allowed us to increase the volume of output and compete against third-party administrators much larger than us.”