Putting a Claim on OCR in the Insurance Industry

By Joe Budelli posted 05-04-2011 13:34


I’d like to invite my colleague, Scott Thompson, senior product marketing manager, to the AIIM Community Blog to discuss OCR and capture use in the insurance industry.

When one thinks about insurance, efficiency is probably not the first word that comes to mind. The word that comes to my mind is paper. Life, medical, auto, and property insurance providers alike all accumulate a staggering amount of paperwork. Whether it is for claims, customer service contracts, account openings or an explanation of benefits, there is an abundance of paper in the insurance industry. All of this paperwork can create daunting tasks that slow down processing times, decrease efficiency and increase overall agency costs.  However, OCR can give insurance agencies the ability to quickly and accurately turn any of their paper documents into editable and searchable digital formats, decreasing the manual effort needed.

With each passing year, insurance providers’ files grow larger and larger as new accounts are opened and claims are filed. Storing and managing paper places a significant financial burden on any company. In fact, it is estimated that a single, five-drawer filing cabinet takes $20,000 to fill with paper. This includes the space set aside in an office, as well as, the time spent manually maintaining those files. With the amount of paper the insurance industry generates, the amount spent on managing and storing documents can quickly get out of hand.

Insurance providers need solutions that can automate document conversion and data extraction, turning their documents into digital formats and alleviating the financial burden. OCR is the perfect fix to the document management conundrum. OCR immediately makes data actionable, and easy to pass between departments or individuals. Not only does OCR make data more accessible and useable, it provides the organization with greater control, allowing for data and documents to be instantly classified and selectively processed. Additionally, extracting the valuable data from a large batch of documents saves companies time and money. The technology, when widespread, can also significantly impact the bottom line.

ABBYY recently highlighted an example of OCR being leveraged in a creative way for insurance providers. Insurance software provider FirstBest introduced AppReader as a solution that utilizes data capture technology to give insurance agents an extremely fast and precise solution for processing and submitting application forms.

OCR is not just applicable to insurance companies to reduce paper processing in house; it can also be utilized as an on-site utility.  A recent article inTMC Net discussed an insurance card scanning solution, Medicscan OCR, which scans medical cards and driver’s licenses on-site to quickly and efficiently identify a patient. This allows healthcare providers to conduct real-time eligibility verification for insurance claims. After verification is complete the system passes the information to the insurance organization’s back-end system for billing and claims submittal purposes, streamlining the information flow between these organizations and reducing the time spent on mundane tasks.

Do you have any examples of how your insurance agency is utilizing technology to improve processes? If you are an agent, in what ways have you used data capture and OCR to increase customer service and enhance forms processing?

--Guest Post by Scott Thompson, senior product marketing manager, ABBYY USA

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