We live in a world where computer time is eclipsing face-time. Where technology, tools and regulations that were supposed to make us more efficient at times seem to bog us down. Where the use of our “human” brain isn’t always saved for the more complex or personal tasks required of us.

The benefits of using robotic process automation (RPA) to streamline processes isn’t anything new, however it can help healthcare organizations make a significant contribution to cutting costs and providing better care. A KPMG study shows that robotic process automation can increase savings up to 50 percent. More and more CIOs are turning to RPA to eliminate tedious tasks freeing up their staff to focus on higher value work. By 2020, automation and artificial intelligence will reduce employee requirements in business shared-service centers by 65 percent, according to Gartner.

What is robotic process automation?

Robotic process automation enables organizations to effectively automate tasks, streamline processes and increase employee productivity. RPA is computer coded software that replaces repetitive or rule-based tasks across multiple systems and/or applications. It’s not walking/talking robots or a virtual assistant. Rosie from the Jetson’s won’t be entering the workforce or taking your job anytime soon.

Using RPA tools, an organization can configure software, or a “robot,” to capture and interpret applications for processing a transaction, manipulating data, triggering responses and communicating with other digital systems. Robotic process automation is capable of automating activities that once required human judgment.

It is an autonomic, self-learning and self-healing system and should be viewed as a competitive advantage, not replacing humans but enabling them. It’s the evolution of automation: the automation of automation.

Use Cases in Healthcare

Healthcare organizations can use RPA to streamline manual, transactional tasks, benefiting internal personnel and the patients they serve. According to the statistics available in McKinsey Quarterly, 36 percent of the healthcare tasks — mostly, managerial and back-office — are amenable to automation. There are many areas where RPA can be applied to healthcare including account management, claims processing, underwriter support, customer support, billing, collections, reconciliation and reporting and analytics consolidation.

  • Claims Processing: We can estimate that a claim takes about 30 days to complete the cycle. Imagine if RPA could shave just five days from the cycle, not only would it generate revenue but it would improve cash flow by five days.
  • Provider Enrollment: Depending upon the position (doctor, therapist, doctor’s assistant, etc.) and state, the processor, in order to set up a provider, has to go to multiple websites. Imagine how much faster and less error prone the activity would be if RPA handled these transactions.

Peter B. Nichol also makes the point that “the conversation has expanded beyond cost reduction to quality, engagement and innovation”.  The surface hasn’t even been scratched yet on the clinical operations side of what this technology can do for the healthcare industry.

RPA in Action

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for RPA. Each organization must consider their unique needs, existing technologies, data, processes and ability to drive and adopt change. As the healthcare industry is just beginning to adopt automated technologies, at emids we’ve worked with several organizations to implement an RPA solution designed to their specific needs.

RPA for a Leading Patient Care Solution Provider

Challenge: A leading patient care solution provider was looking to replace manual processes with automation to submit CMS records on their Healthcare Application.

Solution: emids implemented a one-click solution to complete the manual process within a three-week timeframe. A bot was created to submit CMS records including all permutations to satisfy the client’s requirements. The bot developed was able to read data from a spreadsheet, access healthcare web application and submit the records by validating the data based on various conditions like data mismatch, records not available in spreadsheet and duplicate records.

Business Impact:

  • Productivity increase of 75 percent as compared to manual efforts per record
  • Huge reduction in time to complete the process from 15-person days to 2 hours
  • Improved process with 100 percent accuracy and efficiency
  • Annualized saving of about $250,000

RPA to Improve Invoice Processing for Finance

Challenge: A Finance Department wanted to replace manual process with automation to process about 80 percent of invoices to their SAP system.

Solution: emids created a bot to process invoices and send emails for approvals in a 13-week end-to-end implementation timeline. The bot was able to read invoice from emails with PDF, spreadsheet and Word attachments and process invoices to SAP system.

Business Impact:

  • Improved process with 100 percent accuracy, 80 percent efficiency and compliance
  • Utilizing the bot on monthly basis provided the department with a huge reduction in time to submit each month with around 4,000 records being submited in six days compared to 84 days with the previous manual process

RPA for Medicaid Edit Research

Challenge: A team was spending a significant amount of time in manual comparison of medical records, annotating key words and searching medical dictionary for key word definitions.

Solution: In a four-week implementation timeline, emids developed a bot to complete the existing manual process steps. The bot was able to compare documents using UiPath and look up keywords in medical dictionary and annotate with its meaning

Business Impact:

  • Solution significantly improved process with 100 percent accuracy, 70 percent efficiency

RPA for Claims Entry

Challenge: Claims entry is a manual intense, and error-prone process which can cause claim rejections mainly due to human error when converting claims from paper to electronic format.

Solution: emids implemented RPA in a two-step solution with a bot built-in that leveraged the payer claims processing validation rules with the capability to decipher the CMS1500 & UB04 paper format enabling seamless data entry operation accurately to the relevant fields in the claims entry application.

Business Impact:

  • Automating the most time-consuming, manually intensive, and error-prone processes enabled the client to achieve an increase in operational efficiency by 90 percent
  • Quality improved reaching 99.97 percentage by eliminating data entry errors and claim rejections
  • Reduced operational cost by 40 percent
  • Created quicker turnaround processing time

RPA requires proper design, planning and governance to bolster your business. emids deep understanding of the healthcare industry, contact us today to see how we can help you take the most important first step to figure out which use cases could be best solved by RPA.