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Healthy Industry Growth for TeleTech

TeleTech recently briefed NelsonHall on its growing healthcare sector business. A few years ago, TeleTech shifted its go-to -market strategy from being capability-led to sector-led. One of its key target sectors is healthcare, where TeleTech’s focus is U.S. tier 1 health insurance payers, providers and life sciences companies, also the personal health products sector.

TeleTech has licensed and unlicensed agents conducting Medicare enrollment. Last year was the first year for enrollment under the new U.S. government programs, and this year will be the first involving both new enrollment and re-enrollment under the new programs. This will mean very high volumes of seasonal calls. TeleTech is seeking to address this seasonality, in part, through use of Work at Home Agents (WAHAs) and has recently secured one large WAHA deal, though some healthcare organizations remain hesitant to use WAHAs because of concerns about data security.

Major Agent Recruitment Programs Underway

Over the past few months, TeleTech has been hiring an additional 1,150 agents to provide support to healthcare industry clients. Centers where TeleTech is hiring include Jonesboro, AR; Sherwood, AR; Melbourne, FL; Hopkinsville, KY; Paducah, KY; and Ennis, TX.

Most of TeleTech’s current healthcare business is for customer care services. It is also promoting its eLoyalty cloud platform, which in July 2014 received HIPPA and PCI compliance.  The platform has yet to be used by a healthcare payer client but it is being used by a large laboratory supply and distribution company.

Digital Marketing to Increase Enrollment for Healthcare Payer

One health insurance client was experiencing disruption as its enrollment was being impacted by the introduction of increased competition through HIXs. The client looked to TeleTech to deliver more enrollments for every marketing dollar spent. TeleTech expanded the client’s digital marketing program to additional media channels including mobile, display, and email campaigns, and placed advertising on selected web sites. The new campaigns increased click-through rates and phone calls for information, but the focus was on increasing enrollments. The data was further analyzed to understand how each piece of media contributed to acquiring new members. Analytics models were also created to test new ideas to make the campaigns more effective. The program then delivered a 150% increase in leads and a 56% increase in enrollment over the previous year’s online efforts. Cost per enrollment was reduced by 12%.

Improving Turnaround Time for a Specialty Pharmacy Client

Chronically ill patients are often referred to multiple pharmacies. When this occurs, the first pharmacy that responds tends to retain the business. With some customers representing $100k in annual revenue, a quick response by a pharmacist is clearly important. This client, however, had an average TAT of fourteen days and looked to TeleTech to provide assistance in improving that number.

TeleTech created a cross-functional improvement team representing all elements of the referral-capture process, including managers, nurses, pharmacists and non-operational staff. The team tracked every process in detail. It became clear that the staff lacked appropriate technology and that inconsistent processes were slowing down the order processing. The following improvements were implemented:

  • Standardization of both clinical and non-clinical work processes
  • Implementation of order tracking protocols that enabled resources to be scaled up or down according to demand
  • Reconfiguration of work spaces for better efficiency
  • Streamlining of approval steps
  • Engagement of staff-level associates to drive adoption of new processes

As a result, the overall process went from 151 to 40 steps, and the number of handovers from 44 to four. The mean lead-time (TAT) for referrals decreased from 14 days to 6 days. As a consequence, the volume of retained referrals doubled and the cost per referral was decreased by 56%.

Ramping Up to 1,000 Agents at Speed to Handle Enrollments for one Client

A health insurance payer serving multiple U.S. states and ~14m members needed assistance responding to increased enrollments as a consequence of the Affordable Care Act. 

TeleTech performed a volumes analysis to validate the client’s volume estimates and determine staffing needs. It then applied its integrated talent and learning innovation program to the client’s agent training program, reducing the new agent training time from ten weeks to six weeks, a savings of ~$5m. Its team identified agent knowledge, process, and behavioral gaps that extended hold times and after-call work such as documenting call discussions. Implementing real-time documentation processes and time management procedures reduced hold times and after-call work.

As call volume increased for this client, TeleTech opened a new 800 seat contact center in Texas, and also utilized 200 additional seats in Kentucky and Florida. The client was able to extend its hours of customer support by staggering the hours of operation across the various locations.

Current activities for his client include training agents to handle additional questions including processing medical claims, and the analytics team identifying opportunities for additional time saving opportunities.

TeleTech has been winning new clients across different segments of the healthcare industry. In 2013, healthcare represented 7% of TeleTech’s revenue. With volume expansions in existing clients, and additional new signings in 2014, that proportion looks to become significantly larger very soon.

Are you looking to learn more about CMS in healthcare?  NelsonHall will shortly be launching a research study on CMS in the healthcare sector.

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