Toronto, ON (Mar. 30, 2015) – Benchmark Independent Medical Examinations was represented at the 2015 Insurance-Canada.ca Technology Conference (ICTC2015) at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, where we unveiled and launched our new ExpeFlow software technology product to the general public for the first time. ExpeFlow is a proprietary software solution that has been designed natively for the management of medical claims and Independent Medical Examinations (“IME”).
The annual ICTC is a very high-level conference, with primarily insurance executive/senior management level employees in attendance. We were the only IME vendor that was present at the conference with a booth, video presentation, and a speaking engagement.
While we were not, at first glance, the typical type of vendor one would expect to see at an Information Technology conference, we were met with a warm reception and everybody who visited our booth over the course of the two days was impressed with how we were able to make the transition from IME to technology and spin-off a company designed to service the AB/IME requirements of an insurer from a technological perspective.
In essence, we have become vertically integrated because we can provide the software to expedite the process and also provide the IME as well. In fact, as people discovered from talking to us, we were, perhaps, in the best position to achieve this goal because we are not only the developer of the software but both ourselves (Benchmark) and our customers (Life and P&C Insurers, Employers, Government, and the private sector) are also the end user of the product and, due to this, nobody understands the requirements more intimately or takes the quality more seriously than we do.
However, one of the questions that was repeatedly posed to us is why did we decide to pursue this ambitious and costly software initiative which is certainly an atypical corporate strategy for an IME company. In short, our core company is a provider of IME but after the 2010 legislative changes within Ontario we made the commitment at that time to aggressively reinvest and spend in technology in order to deal with the challenges of the price cap so that we could utilize this technology to keep our quality high yet remain efficient enough to continue delivering our previous level of service instead of consolidating or modifying processes to cut costs.
What we found as we continued to refine our internal process for so many years is that it began to take on a life of its own and while we realize we can’t be a preferred vendor for all insurance companies, we could leverage our investment of capital and time in perfecting/refining our internal processes and commercialize a software system based on all the intelligence and quality process we had developed over the years.
As a result, we took this knowledge and launched our ExpeFlow software platform, which is a brand new, private cloud-based AB/IME workflow system – the first of its kind in North America. What we discovered, as intuitive as it may seem, is that any company utilizing the ExpeFlow system whether it be an IME, Insurance Company, or a Law Firm will be able to realize the same type of results that we have been able to achieve.
At a high level, the system will make the IME/AB process more transparent by:
- Standardizing the process based on the desired workflow and enforcing it with cloud based business rules.
- Providing a real-time window into the full file at each main stage (adjuster/practitioner[s]/lawyer/IME) which has never been done before.
- Keeping all users in the same secure, encrypted private cloud ensuring complete accountability at each workflow milestone. (cross platform, multi-device, or bring your own device policies are no longer a technical issue, support burden, or security issue.)
- It must be noted that this also applies to all users where experience has proven it is much harder to control the device usage and in-house security and so ExpeFlow greatly enhances compliance with privacy legislation such as PIPEDA of all parties within the AB ecosystem.
ExpeFlow turns the traditionally very reactive AB IME/claims management process into a proactive one:
- Step-by-step workflow driven clinical system that guides all of your users down the same best practices approach and, in particular, helps junior and mid-level users make the appropriate decisions proactively at the beginning which can greatly influence the ultimate outcome of any file.
- Cycle time management engine that prompts all users on the file to stay on track and will alert them and automatically escalate, if required, if any step in the process starts to deviate from the pre-determined timelines.
- Each file is distilled into a series of steps that are tracked in the task list/tracking sheet and they turn red and an abeyance is triggered if a task is late or has been missed and managers can have their own customized view and alerts associated with this monitoring system.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing benefits is that now that the traditional file metrics have been tied to the workflow/process all in the same system, previously hard to get (if not impossible) data analytics are now available even including elusive cycle time reports and performance reports.
For many reasons (to many to describe here ranging from human error to fraud) AB has been a massive source of “leakage” for insurers and ExpeFlow provides an insurer with the ability to eliminate many of the common issues upfront and more clearly and quickly identify the previously hidden sources.
Last, but certainly not least, efficiency and quality of all users on the system is greatly enhanced due to the automated workflow and processes, reduced typing, and working with source documents, thus only handling them once.
When it was time to conduct our 20-minute presentation at the conference, we were asked to address the security perils of the claims communication workflow and so it had a very narrow focus and this was by design. As a result, our presenter – Sean Cassidy – attempted to convey why the current methods of communication can be risky from a security and privacy perspective and also leave a lot to be desired in terms of efficiency. The final conclusion was that, with today’s technology, all participants in the claims circle of communication are far better communicating within the confines of a secure private cloud based workflow platform such as our ExpeFlow product. If you are interested in learning more about the security and privacy issues inherent with traditional claims handling, please click here to download the slides.
In summary, it was a very valuable experience attending ICTC2015, we were pleased to be the only IME in attendance, and it was exciting to see the level of interest and genuine excitement about our new ExpeFlow product and how surprised the attendees were to see the level of sophistication we have integrated into our IME processes over the course of the past 10 years.
Canadian-based, privately owned and operated by a Regulated Healthcare Practitioner, Benchmark is a national provider of Independent Medical Examinations.
Benchmark’s core competencies are the provision of IME through the development and use of our strategic proprietary technologies, all custom-designed to support quality in each step of our process driven workflow – this is what differentiates Benchmark.
Our revolutionary, paperless, efficient, and accurate processes have been validated through ISO 9001:2008 certification.
Source: Benchmark IME