Robotic Process Automation
Healthcare provider and Healthcare Insurance company – Bupa are a global organisation with devoted to helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.
Lean Consulting was engaged by Bupa to deliver a range of process improvements across their different lines of business.
The Insurance arm of their business enrols hundreds of thousands of new corporate members each year and also manages the update and removal of these members as they leave their place of employment. It’s a critical function but one that is labour intensive and prone to errors.
We helped select and implement Blue Prism as the RPA provider and worked on the delivery of a Proof of Concept (POC) and then a full implementation of several processes.
During our improvement delivery, we identified an opportunity to introduce RPA technology to quickly and effectively automate some key tasks.
We were making a series of improvements to the management of corporate membership when we identified that this process could potentially benefit from
Robotic Process Automation as part of the solution.
But the existing process wouldn’t have worked for RPA. We had to redesign how the processes were executed to make it more effective and to enable the automation to work.
“We’ve seen an 84% reduction in effort in administering our corporate customer records” – Director Customer Services.
With 5 processes live, they were able to not only transform their SLA performance, virtually eliminate errors whilst operating with a reduced headcount against their operating budget.
As an insurance provider, it’s important to understand when there is more than one insurance company liable for any claims paid. This practice allows Bupa to claim back money from other providers. Customer Service Representatives were missing opportunities to refer a 3rd party claim to the appropriate claims team. On average, Customer Service Representatives were referring less than 1 lead per year.
We determined that the root cause for the low volume of referrals was the lack of awareness and knowledge of both the Team Managers and the Representatives. There was no reporting, unclear training and no objectives set for staff to complete this activity. Most people were unaware that it even existed. We developed a robust suite of MI to give visibility to the performance right down to an individual level. We also refreshed the training and communication of the process as well as having it formally included in staff objectives.
Instead of just sending a new MIR report, we worked with each Manager and coached them on how to use the MI and what it meant in terms of performance. We worked with the Managers to create individual tailored actions plan by individual staff, to support them in how to uncover a potential referral and increasing their delivery of leads. We created visual displays that showed how people were performing along with some team-based incentives to further drive performance. All staff were retrained in the process and we embedded this approach in new inductee training.
Before this piece of work, the average number of referrals per week was 45. After this project was completed, the average weekly referral rate was 80. More than double the previous performance. This average performance was sustained across 12 months of review, ensuring the benefits continued to be delivered year on year.
This increase in a performance delivered an extra £1M in claims revenue each year.
Lean Consulting was commissioned by Bupa to help them identify and deliver improvements within their UK claims department. A total of 150 FTE process complex claims & adjustments, deal with the fall-out from straight-through processing at an outsourced supplier, address challenges from providers and undertake compliance checks.
Lean Consulting completed a comprehensive review of the department and identified a range of issues. There was a highly variable work-flow and lack of multi-skilling meant that many advisors were not fully utilised. Productivity measurement was brought in to identify and address across all processing teams.
We also identified overworking of claims, such as checking previous work without identifying changes to reduce errors. There was also unnecessary investigation where screening meant an invoicing error shouldn’t be possible. Finally, we found significant time wasted due to unnecessary hand-offs, walk-ups and failure demand (e.g. mailboxes checked infrequently, leading to a call).
Once process timings had been made, Team Leaders were positively engaged to manage productivity on a daily basis. Within 2 weeks, it was possible to identify standard workload, how many FTE was required to run the process and an indication of the spread of performance within the teams.
Repeat checks and unnecessary investigation were addressed by identifying the impact on process time against the benefits accrued. In addition, there had been no feedback loop to address root causes & prevent recurrence of the problems. With improved training, upstream checks have been shown to be sufficient and we reduced the number of walk-up discussions.
Overall, the benefits added up to 33 FTE through a combination of improved productivity and reduction of unnecessary activity, a 20% reduction in overall FTE. Lean Consulting engaged with leadership to identify new work, transfers to other teams and no replacement of any staff attrition. As a result, the department was able to successfully restructure without redundancy.
In addition, procedures are now in place to capture errors and feedback into the automated claims checking rules.