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Microsoft in Health

Productivity and Collaboration: Streamline processes and content

28 February 2014 | Sam Robinson, National Director, U.S. Health Plan Industry, Health and Life Sciences

Improve healthcare and trim medical costs across the care continuum. Be ready to enter new lines of business, and take on partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions seamlessly. These are among the many challenges health plans face that make streamlining business processes essential.

Microsoft solutions for productivity and collaboration can help. For example, your health plan can automate and manage processes, content, insights, and collaboration within and beyond your enterprise using solutions based on Microsoft Office 365.

Case in point: Independence Blue Cross (IBC) increased its renewal rate and eliminated US$2 million in benefit booklet production costs by improving document management processes and workflows across teams using Microsoft SharePoint (which is now a part of the Office 365 suite).  It automated labor-intensive processes in a way that not only provided immediate savings in its annual print costs, but also enabled IBC to close renewals and get new business faster than its competitors.

Office 365 solutions can help your organization transform into a collaborative, information-driven enterprise with efficient processes for improving the health and experience of your members while continuing to reduce medical costs. In addition, the highly secure, streamlined collaboration offered by the Office 365 suite allows you to be agile and responsive to new business opportunities such as mergers, acquisitions, and new partnerships.

Manage people-driven processes and content

There are a number of processes within your organization that can benefit from Microsoft solutions for productivity and collaboration. These include: sales proposal, policy and procedure life cycle, care management, referrals and authorizations, coordination of benefits, provider contracting, overpayment discovery and recovery, plan installation, shared risk and employer reporting. 

Using Office 365, you can streamline shared business processes through out-of-the-box workflows and easy-to-use electronic forms. Your people can take advantage of these capabilities via familiar tools that are consistent across applications, devices, and services. You can gain comprehensive control over the entire electronic content life cycle including contracts, documents, web pages, Portable Document Format (PDF) files, and email messages. This can help you realize more value from information assets and simplify regulatory compliance.

Connect productivity and care processes to line-of-business applications. To improve productivity and care management, you need to bridge the gaps between disparate applications and real-world business processes, connecting people and data to virtually any back-end application. For example, most claims processing systems don't fully support claims post-payment audit, discovery, and recovery processes. Office 365 enables you to close these gaps while minimizing total cost of ownership.

Extend business processes across and beyond the organization. Using Office 365 to automate and streamline workflows based on your specific needs, you can free up your employees, teams, providers, and partners from time-consuming administrative tasks so they can stay focused on your organization’s strategic imperatives. You can also help drive down operational and medical costs by integrating and simplifying the collaborative business and care processes for your consumers, providers, partners, and employers. For example, Office 365 makes it faster and easier for sales teams to collaboratively prepare a benefit plan proposal and deliver the proposal to agents and benefit administrators, regardless of their location.

Centrally store, manage, and access documents. To improve information management efficiency, your organization can store and organize all business documents and content, such as policies, procedures, and credentialing, in one central location using Office 365. Your people can use a consistent navigation mechanism that allows them to find relevant information quickly and easily. Default repository settings can be modified to add workflow, define retention policies, audit access, and add new templates and content types as your business changes. 

Designed to work with the technology investments you have now and may have in the future, Office 365 can be quickly and easily implemented in the cloud, on-premises, or a combination of both. To learn more, visit Microsoft Office 365 for Health Organizations.  And keep checking back as I will continue to share examples of how health plans are streamlining processes across the health ecosystem.

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Sam Robinson
National Director, U.S. Health Plan Industry, Health and Life Sciences

Microsoft in Health Blog

About the Author

Sam Robinson | National Director, U.S. Health Plan Industry, Health and Life Sciences

Sam Robinson is the National Director, U.S. Health Plan Industry, with Microsoft Health and Life Sciences. In this role, Sam is responsible for Microsoft’s strategy, execution, and public presence... Read more