The Future of the Digital Mailroom

Posted by Susan Berndt on November 17th, 2020
Author
Susan Berndt
Susan is a creative marketing professional with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Susan joined Smart Data Solutions in 2016 focusing on marketing strategy, campaign execution and creating an inbound marketing funnel. She has over 10 years of marketing/advertising experience and over 12 years of customer service experience.

A mailroom is a key component of traditional healthcare claims and correspondence processing. As advancements continue to be made, mailrooms continue to digitize with the help of automation. What is a digital mailroom, you may ask? Let’s find out.

 

What is a Digital Mailroom, and How Does it Work?

Mailroom management is a unique sector in healthcare where medical claims documents, explanation of benefits, and other specific healthcare documentation get funneled through a mailroom where it gets organized, vetted, and processed correctly. This helps manage the influx of claim forms that go through hospitals, clinics, insurance providers, and more.

A mailroom provides services like claim intake, automated checks processing, data capture, and more. Digitizing processes in the mailroom has helped completely streamline claims processing. Using special optical character recognition (OCR) software and machine learning, claims can get processed almost immediately. A robust mailroom is more than equipped to handle any number of different types of forms and documents when run efficiently.

 

Who Uses Mailrooms?

Those looking to save money and time by outsourcing claims processing or other administrative duties will hire other entities to assist. In healthcare and insurance, many businesses will seek out a mailroom to funnel their claims through to keep processes streamlined and organized outside of the organization, rather than processing in-house. Hospitals, clinics, private practices, and insurance providers are the majority of health care businesses that will require the use of a digital mailroom.

 

The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Mailroom Services

There are dozens of benefits to outsourcing mailroom services to an outside organization. The obvious one is saving on time, money, and other resources. Having an in-house mailroom can bring higher operational costs, including costs associated with hiring and training additional mailroom employees. 

There are many benefits to outsourcing beyond saving time and money. By hiring a professional mailroom solution, you meet higher security and compliance standards as well as receive better reporting and analytics, higher productivity, and faster turnaround time for claims processing. Not to mention, the physical space taken up by an in-house mailroom can be repurposed for more applicable departments and operations.

You also get undeniable expertise by hiring an experienced team focused on mailroom services. They are knowledgeable experts on mailroom processes and can alleviate the burden brought on by managing additional software updates and IT. Your outsourced vendor has all the equipment you could need and follows all current trends to stay up to date with processes in the industry, saving your team from having to do so. 

 

Are Mailrooms Dying Off as Paper Turns Digital?

The shift from paper to electronic documentation has been happening for years, across all platforms and industries. As medical offices become more efficient in their practices using updated systems and electronic medical records, where does that put mailrooms?

Despite more Providers choosing to move towards digital systems and electronic records, paper mail is still a very widely used and efficient method of processing claims throughout the healthcare industry. The difference, though, lies within the mailroom itself and how advancements in technology and digitization of processes have made mail processing far more efficient and up to date.

Robust mailrooms aren’t going away but are embracing more automation around digital aspects of the process, such as optical character recognition, machine learning, auto-scanning, and auto-adjudication. These are all processes that still utilize paper mail but make it a much more robust and efficient process through the use of automation. It takes paper mail and puts it in digital format, making it easier to translate and share. So, the short answer is no, mailrooms are not dying off as paper turns digital, but they are transforming the way they do things to keep up with industry standards and hit important KPIs.

 

The Benefits of Going Digital.

We’ve already discussed many of the benefits of going digital, but in today’s world, automation is one of the biggest. We see digital mailrooms continuing to invest in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. 

Advanced AI will take a paper bill, scan it, read the document, and do one of a few things. It may auto-adjudicate the claim or deny it due to data errors. When adjudicating, it can combine bills and records into one account based on any number of data points. No longer will “Jenny Johnson” and “Jennifer Johnson” be accidentally considered two people due to patient submission variations.

The digitization of records can also bring advanced data security. The data files within the system are processed through very secure software programs, protected by passwords and authentications. It also makes accessing data amongst Providers, especially in varying locations and entities, much easier. 

 

We will continue to see improvements to data security, data collection speed, higher auto-adjudication rates, and incredible cost savings for Providers that utilize mailrooms with highly automated processes. Smart Data Solutions provides advanced mailroom services that fully utilize technology and automation. We are always here to help businesses thrive by supporting them as their outsourced mailroom vendor. For more information and to get started enhancing your business through outsourced solutions, reach out to us here.

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