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With new regulatory mandates like the medical loss ratio (MLR) pressuring the healthcare industry to improve efficiency, payers and emerging ACOs are looking at ways to reduce administrative costs.  For many organizations, one of the more obvious areas in need for greater efficiency is the call center.

In the last decade, the increase in provider call volume has become a growing concern (see: “Health Insurance Call Volume Increasing”).  In fact, according to the 2011 Trends in Healthcare Payments Annual Report, call center volume is among the top four provider-related issues for payers.

But if your phones are ringing off the hook, cutting back the number of calls may seem like an impossible task.  Here are a few tips to reduce your administrative costs by decreasing your call center volume:

1. Offer Self-Service Tools

Enable your providers to access pertinent healthcare, payment and claim information anytime they need it in a provider portal.  If your providers can easily access this information, they won’t pick up the phone to ask you for it.

2. Automate Communications

Send your providers automated payment notifications via email so they know exactly when payments have landed in their bank accounts.  With proactive communication, you won’t leave your providers guessing.

3. Get in the Cloud

Connect to your providers through a private cloud secure network.  With a cloud-based portal, providers can run summary reports of all transactions in real-time, so they can find answers to their questions without calling you!

Note: For tips and best practices to protect data in the cloud, click here.

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