Improving the customer experience through technology

Deltek Analyst Amanda White reports.

This year’s 44th Annual IT Solutions Management (ISM) for Human Services Conference focused heavily on the importance of customer experience. During a federal panel discussion, Rick Friedman, director of State Systems for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Systems, talked about what Medicaid consumers can expect by 2014. He said a new business model, a coordinated set of rules, and a single, streamlined, one-stop shop for determining eligibility are all in the works. It can no longer be a case where the client may be at the “wrong door.” It is crucial for future solutions to illustrate an interoperable model and emphasize data sharing. Friedman holds a “one size should fit all” outlook, and believes rules that are being applied should be the same for everyone; you cannot expect to have different rules and expect the same outcome. He later defined shared services that Medicaid, CHIP and insurance exchanges can benefit from. These services include portals, business rules systems, interfaces, customer service, technology support and case notes. Fortunately, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is beginning to move toward a more holistic approach since no customer needs only one service.

Richard Evans, director of eligibility automation and data integrity for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, gave a presentation on innovative service delivery solutions in his region. Prior to modernization, it took 20 days for eligibility to be determined for a client. Now, it takes only 20 minutes. The department’s goal was to empower and equip members, develop multiple program applications, and expand enrollment to service locations. Evans encouraged the “no-wrong-door” policy by removing barriers in order to increase effectiveness. Moreover, Oklahoma was able to make these modifications to the system without changing the eligibility policy much. Oklahoma’s new, streamlined Web application for online enrollment is state-sponsored and launched in September 2010.

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