April 19, 2019

Six Ways to Turbo-charge Your Claims Workflow!

Backlog is the bane of any claims office or operation. It doesn’t matter whether you work for a TPA, insurance claim department or a corporate self-insured. Here are six ways to lose unnecessary steps to tame backlog in your claims operation:

Extreme Productivity

1. Assess why adjusters leave their desks or work areas to perform tasks. Identify which tasks they repeat most often. For each one, find a way to complete it without having the adjusters leave their workstations. Doing this may save five minutes per task. This adds up over a day, a week or a month.

2. Bring activities to the adjuster’s workstation. If company claim procedures are available in an electronic format, for example, adjusters need no longer get up to find and consult hardbound manuals. Ditto for lists of approved vendors, body shops, IME physicians, appraisers, rehab vendors, surveillance outfits, etc. Electronically scan insurance policy forms and endorsements so adjusters can retrieve them quickly to analyze coverage situations without leaving their chairs. This will boost productivity. This applies also to references such as statutes of limitations in various states, states that do/don’t allow recovery for punitive damages, states that do/don’t allow insurability of punitive damages, etc.

3. Let adjusters access a high-speed Internet connection to send and receive faxes without getting up from their chairs. Your claims unit will reap significant time savings from this. It eliminates the need for adjusters to get up, march to the fax machine and manually input the data.

4. Move to a paperless environment to let adjusters quickly retrieve claim materials electronically. You can gather background material for an outside counsel assignment in a fraction of the time it would have taken to stand over a photocopier for a half-day (or more) prepping a file to go to defense counsel or a coverage attorney.

5. Electronically scan claim department phone lists and other lists of frequently called numbers. Store them where the claim staff can easily retrieve them. Use speed dial whenever possible. In Microsoft Outlook, adjusters can create contact lists by company or law firm to make email more efficient.

6. Let adjusters have their own “dedicated” printers at their workstations. Ideally, the adjuster should be able to retrieve claim documents from a paperless filing system, print them if needed and forward them to insureds, defense attorneys or doctor offices via email or fax without leaving his or her chair.

Multiply each of the preceding activities by the number of times adjusters perform them daily. Then, multiply that total by five minutes to see how much time you can save. You will likely find that your claims operation can improve efficiency enough to dent – if not eliminate – inefficiencies.

Claims backlog is a never ending nemesis. Increasingly, though, technology provides tools to eliminate or reduce repetition of daily adjusting tasks, improve accuracy and increase claim efficiency. Use these tech tools to shed needless steps, streamline your operations and send inefficiency packing once and for all!

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