|By Mat Rider||
|February 26, 2014 02:49 AM EST||
Contribute article by: Julie Dunham of Wellmark
What comes to mind when you think of health insurance? If you’re like most Americans, your immediate response may be negative. People today often perceive health insurance companies as being heartless or greedy; interested less in the health of their customers, and more in the depth of their pockets. While I can’t speak for every organization, I’m proud to say that my employer – an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association – is constantly looking for ways to keep premiums low for our customers. Wellmark, Inc. is a mutual and member-owned health insurance company serving people across Iowa and South Dakota. Our organizational goal is to not make a bundle of money, but to provide the best value possible to our policyholders. As a result, we have among the lowest per member per month administrative costs in the industry.
As we strive to keep administrative costs low and value high, the company is continually looking for innovative ways to change and streamline processes that will make a difference. It was 2011 that the Vice President over Contracts and Procurement was searching for that ground-breaking tool to automate the signing process of our business contracts. This led him to have conversations with DocuSign and other e-signature options and we chose to implement DocuSign in 2012. But before we get into the success story, let’s back up and give you a glimpse at the process that was in major need of an overhaul.
Prior to implementing DocuSign, the process for preparing, routing, signing and storing our contracts was time consuming, paper intensive, and very inefficient. Documents were prepared by our negotiators and placed in a file folder for signature by the Vice President, Chief Procurement Officer or CFO. The goal was to have the partially executed documents, (2 original copies sent out with one to be returned by the vendor and the other kept for their records), ready to go to the external party within 24 hours. This was not always feasible based on other priorities; out of office instances and any rework required on a contract. Once the contract was signed, another copy was made to keep in the office as a tracking mechanism. This second copy was crucial – acting as a “back-up” in the event the first set of contracts sent were “lost”. Initially, the contracts were sent to the external party via US Postal Service, but that process was changed to utilizing UPS to give us visibility in to the whereabouts of the documents. The turn around time to receiving the fully executed contract back in-house was anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, and was returned to us in a number of manners: e-mail, mail, fax and on rare occasion, hand delivery.
This may sound like the end of the process, but there was more. The same team was also responsible for storing the contract. The paper copy of the contract had barcodes prepared for it, and was then sent to our in house scanning department. After 24-48 hours the scanned image was then uploaded into our contract management system and finalized. Whew!
Then, along came DocuSign! Our processes were immediately streamlined, excess paper usage was eliminated, and postage costs plummeted. Today when a negotiator routes a document for signatures, it takes them a matter of minutes to upload into the DocuSign console, tag and route. We have improved our process of gathering required approvals by having them each approve via DocuSign prior to signatures. Fully executed contracts are generally received within 24-48 hours and the process for tracking anything outstanding is instantaneous via a look at the routing progression in DocuSign. Our Contract Administrators receive a copy of the fully executed contract (electronically), and are able to upload that to the contract management system for finalization.
One of the first contracts that we utilized DocuSign for was a $2.7M contract that required signature of Wellmark’s CEO. The CEO was out of state on business, but was able to complete the signing of the contract within 2 hours time on his mobile device. That was the first, of many, DocuSign success stories for us, and leads the way for additional positive progress!
Where do we go from here? Since Wellmark’s implementation in 2011, we have seen many opportunities to expand the DocuSign usage to other areas of the company. We are currently utilizing DocuSign to contract with our Broker network (those that sell our insurance) and their appointed agents. Customer and Member facing teams utilize DocuSign to obtain signatures on documents from benefits agreements to financial agreements. The Human Resources department at Wellmark began using DocuSign to obtain signatures on applications from potential new employees - enabling the required background checks to begin. Areas that we are targeting for expanded use of the tool in 2014 are Provider Contracting, Internal Compliance, Sales and Process Excellence. This is just the tip of the iceberg. I am confident there are additional areas of the business that we will be introducing DocuSign to and watching their processes transform for years to come.
Join us at DocuSign MOMENTUM 2014 to learn how Wellmark and others are using digital transation management to create a better experience for customers.
Connect with Wellmark on socail media and learn more about how they are using digital transaction management.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Feb. 22, 2017 02:00 AM EST Reads: 12,921
"A lot of times people will come to us and have a very diverse set of requirements or very customized need and we'll help them to implement it in a fashion that you can't just buy off of the shelf," explained Nick Rose, CTO of Enzu, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 22, 2017 01:45 AM EST Reads: 5,991
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and micro services. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your contain...
Feb. 22, 2017 01:30 AM EST Reads: 3,469
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Feb. 22, 2017 01:30 AM EST Reads: 4,074
"We host and fully manage cloud data services, whether we store, the data, move the data, or run analytics on the data," stated Kamal Shannak, Senior Development Manager, Cloud Data Services, IBM, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 22, 2017 01:15 AM EST Reads: 5,477
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, discussed the impact of technology on identity. Sho...
Feb. 22, 2017 12:30 AM EST Reads: 5,280
Information technology (IT) advances are transforming the way we innovate in business, thereby disrupting the old guard and their predictable status-quo. It’s creating global market turbulence. Industries are converging, and new opportunities and threats are emerging, like never before. So, how are savvy chief information officers (CIOs) leading this transition? Back in 2015, the IBM Institute for Business Value conducted a market study that included the findings from over 1,800 CIO interviews ...
Feb. 22, 2017 12:30 AM EST Reads: 1,591
"Operations is sort of the maturation of cloud utilization and the move to the cloud," explained Steve Anderson, Product Manager for BMC’s Cloud Lifecycle Management, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 21, 2017 10:45 PM EST Reads: 1,786
Due of the rise of Hadoop, many enterprises are now deploying their first small clusters of 10 to 20 servers. At this small scale, the complexity of operating the cluster looks and feels like general data center servers. It is not until the clusters scale, as they inevitably do, when the pain caused by the exponential complexity becomes apparent. We've seen this problem occur time and time again. In his session at Big Data Expo, Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ...
Feb. 21, 2017 10:00 PM EST Reads: 8,746
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 21, 2017 09:45 PM EST Reads: 639
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new da...
Feb. 21, 2017 09:30 PM EST Reads: 666
"We got started as search consultants. On the services side of the business we have help organizations save time and save money when they hit issues that everyone more or less hits when their data grows," noted Otis Gospodnetić, Founder of Sematext, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Feb. 21, 2017 09:15 PM EST Reads: 5,637
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Feb. 21, 2017 09:15 PM EST Reads: 647
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Feb. 21, 2017 09:00 PM EST Reads: 1,103
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the...
Feb. 21, 2017 08:30 PM EST Reads: 4,574