BancTec, a global leader in business process outsourcing (BPO) and financial transaction automation, today announced that one of its vice presidents, Michael Alfonsi, will speak during May at two conferences, discussing disruptive trends in operational treasury and the future of outsourcing.
Alfonsi, who is managing director of financial transaction processing services and finance transformation solutions at BancTec, will first speak May 10 at the Windy City Summit, a Chicago-based conference that focuses on delivering the most innovative solutions and efficiencies for treasury, cash management, finance, and banking industry professionals. There he’ll present “Ten Disruptive Trends in Operational Treasury,” which explores possible roadblocks and their impact on finance, their associated risks, and the potential rewards. From cloud computing to digital paper, these trends will affect not only treasury and finance, but accounts receivable, revenue management, accounts payable, and strategic sourcing.
With the physical architecture of computing and processes continuing to decline, cloud computing has become the hot commodity in nearly every corner of the business process outsourcing world. But is cloud computing right for your company?
When cloud computing first became popular, analysts thought it might supercede IT outsourcing and BPO, diminishing the field’s relevance. General thinking held that if customers could rent IT capabilities over the Internet — which is what cloud computing is, essentially — why would they need to outsource their records management or payment processing? Over the past five years, though, it’s become clear that these two fields will likely grow together. Companies have learned to combine the two processes, rather than have them work in competition.
“Cloud technology is a big buzzword today,” BancTec chief technology officer Mark Fairchild said in an interview. “It’s a bit like people running around saying they’ve seen Elvis again. It’s all over the place.”
The major advantage of cloud computing is time, according to Pervez Delawalla, CEO of Net2EZ, a data center company. Startup businesses you can get up and running reasonably quickly and with minimal investment because they no longer have to buy servers, he told Smart Business.
The global BPO market is expected to grow more than 5 percent in 2013, buoyed in part by increased finance and accounting outsourcing worldwide and the growth of BPO in new corners of the world.
Finance and accounting BPO could climb 8 percent, HFS Research and KPMG concluded in a recent study, after posting a 13-percent increase in deals in 2012. Prior years showed a steady decline of F&A BPO services; the turnaround is a clear sign of the global market’s bounce-back following a string of economic crises. Total finance and accounting BPO is expected to surpass $25 billion this year.
“Motivations to adopt F&A have reverted back to cost and standardization of process,” the report reads. “While enterprises value innovation and analytical value, they want to get the basics right first. With 90% of BPO engagements meeting cost reduction and efficiency goals, there is a host of enterprises now looking to augment of start their F&A BPO initiatives.”
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In healthcare, automating every step of the pre-adjudication cycle – meaning anything that happens before the payment of a claim – allows claims to be processed more efficiently and more accurately. As claims processing improves, auto-adjudication rates rise and the total cost per claim falls.
Healthcare payers and benefit administrators are provided with pre-adjudication technologies that replace error-prone human processes and provides applications for PPO network management, document management, workflow and overpayment protection. These solutions improve adjudication rates, increase payment accuracy and enhance customer service. Simply put, business process outsourcing can provide better, faster and more cost-effective processing than any manual, in-house paper-based method.
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The review, investigation and processing of claims can be time-consuming and prone to human error. By initiating an advanced healthcare claims processing system, you can alleviate many of these issues and ensure the accuracy of all claims processed.
Paper and electronic data interchange (EDI) claims can be imaged and converted to electronic format and transmitted back to integrate with the appropriate claim system. With a special focus on the front-end operations for claims processing, 100 percent electronic claims submission can be enabled to reduce administrative costs and improve auto-adjudication rates.
The most trusted BPO providers have made significant investments in enterprise software and infrastructure development, specifically addressing data security requirements. Annual external audits can ensure compliance; and multisite processing models can allow for superior business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities.
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For years, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) claims submission has reduced payer rejections and administrative costs while increasing the speed of the payment. So why do EDI transactions still have adjudication issues? The reason is that the best data the provider has is simply not good enough.
Payers and providers have natural differences in update cycles, systems and business processes that contribute to adjudication errors. Payers contract with providers at longer periods than members – and members often update their information only annually.
More often than not, data is never given to the provider until an encounter, so demographic data becomes stale very quickly. This means providers have little opportunity to get patient data corrected. Plus, they have limited resources and capabilities to keep their own demographic data synchronized with every payer.
Customers expect their BPO service providers to be exceptional in what they do, but what do BPO providers look for in their customers? Outsourcing vendors seek partnership and collaboration to achieve optimal business processes.
“A collaboration between provider and client must be a partnership in the truest sense of the word,” said BancTec’s Maria Allen in a recent article on Outsourcing-Center.com. “The industry has matured and the work has moved up the value chain, away from a model primarily focused on reducing the cost of labor and toward a model of collaboration and shared efficiencies and innovation. This is creating new challenges for providers and clients alike.”
As senior vice president and president of the Americas at BancTec, Allen shares that BPO has become more than simply a cost savings initiative. Customers demand solutions, and the outsourcing provider must understand the client’s business to transform the chosen work process and manage ongoing improvement efforts.
Healthcare claims processing can involve expensive and serious consequences if the data is not processed correctly. To address these issues, healthcare payers and benefit administrators are turning to digital pre-adjudication technologies to replace error-prone human processes and increase claim payment accuracy. This involves electronically organizing the data before the payment of a claim is made.
Using technology instead of manual processes allows the solution to be customized to adapt to specific business requirements and improve performance without additional capital investment. Advanced BPO providers can automate the claims process, including claim data cleaning to increase claims quality and reduce overall costs.
With the right technology, healthcare claims can be improved so that they match system files; thus, lowering reject rates and improving adjudication rates all while ensuring HIPAA security and consistency.
Automation Technology Can Advance the Claims Process
The latest automation technology can increase data accuracy, lower costs and bring faster cycle times to the healthcare claims process. The technology can automate and integrate all aspects of pre-adjudication claims processing, including cleaning and enhancing claim data.
Companies often neglect the appropriate planning and analysis that should take place prior to making outsourcing agreements. When choosing an outsourcing solution, a company must manage employee concerns and objections.
Common objections to outsourcing include costs, loss of control, future competition, logistics, and negative impacts on employees. Companies can manage these concerns by developing a process for analyzing outsourcing options.
Before investing time and money into an outsourcing project, you should research, set realistic expectations, and make reasonable, educated assumptions on the benefits your company would receive.
Companies should always account for the best-case and worst-case scenarios ahead of time so CEOs can determine if a specific component is worth the full investment. It is important to be sensitive to the fact that variances may occur, and thinking of solutions in advance is most beneficial. By identifying specific outsourcing benefits, companies can use a quantifiable formula to arrive at the anticipated financial impact.
The operational performance indicator (OPI) is the factor that measures the positive impact of the solution. It’s important to have a clear definition of what OPI stands for within your company, because this is key to developing a benefit formula.
BancTec’s Intelligent BPO (iBPO) is called the smarter way to outsource because it does more than just outsource an ineffective process. The proprietary four-step iBPO methodology addresses the root causes of process inefficiency in a process detailed in the infographic below.
The four steps in BancTec’s BPO process:
- Envision – The first step is process optimization consulting, where BancTec thoroughly evaluates and envisions which financial and back-office processes will benefit most from outsourcing.
- Design – Process design is the second step and is based in industry best practices. Redesigning business processes is a daily pursuit for BancTec engineers, and they understand that every client is different.
- Transition – This step migrates the process to a BancTec iBPO Center of Excellence. The transition can occur all at once or in stages, depending on the circumstances and desired outcome.
- Optimize – The final optimization stage is ongoing, and BancTec continues to manage the process and make improvements.
By choosing the smarter way to outsource, companies realize lower costs, reduced risks, better service and improved business intelligence. Intelligent BPO has enhanced a variety of financial transaction processes and document management processes across the healthcare, banking, insurance, manufacturing, government and utilities sectors.