Using Technology to Solve the Most Expensive Problem in Healthcare: Change Management

From Pitchforks to Life Rafts

Having sat in enough sales meetings and heard over and over that IT support and IT resource availability was making it impossible for administrative staff to get access to technology platforms like VALER to solve labor cost and labor shortage issues, while my initial reaction was around something that involved pitchforks, I eventually settled in around an idea that involved life rafts.

 

The life raft we created is a true technology partnership, a new hybrid business model including cutting edge intelligent technology with automation workforce, and the rapid change management processes to go with it.
 
Born out of a deep understanding of the manual Prior Authorization problem – VALER is actually a service, truly, Software-as-a-Service, or perhaps, Software-on-Demand-as- a- Service.

 

VALER solves the hardest problem in healthcare: delivering a positive ROI to providers around the manual labor associated with prior authorizations. We do it with brute force, by automating every single transaction in a single platform, in whatever form the transaction takes.

 

Extreme execution velocity is what provides buoyancy to the life rafts because execution velocity dramatically reduces change management costs. VALER deployments are fast, and support costs are so low that Voluware can offer continuous change management, on demand, in near real time, over the lifetime of a VALER deployment.

 

VALER as a true technology partnership, offers a new hybrid business model that includes both cutting edge automation technology and the technology workforce and rapid change management processes to go with it.
 
At Voluware, we combine ephemeral programming™ and hyper iteration™ to create VALER platforms that solve the most expensive problem in healthcare: change management.


“The VALER deployment was the most successful IT project
we’ve ever done.”
 
“The Voluware team is the best vendor we’ve ever worked with.”
 
“I wish all vendors were like Voluware.”


To learn more about how VALER could improve staff retention as well as clinician satisfaction, get in touch with the VALER team
today.

VALER makes AVIA Connect’s Top Prior Authorization Companies Report

Best in: Prior Authorization

Voluware Named to AVIA Connect's Top Prior Authorization Companies

News Provided by 
Voluware, Inc 
Dec. 21, 2022, 9:07 ET

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., Dec. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Voluware, Inc. announced today it was recognized as a Top Company in Prior Authorization upon conclusion of extensive research and company outreach by AVIA Connect, the leading digital health marketplace.

Voluware was founded with a mission to ensure patients receive the care they need without unnecessary delays created by today’s manual administrative workflows. Voluware provides health systems, hospitals, clinics, and payers a cloud-based platform, VALER®, to streamline, manage, and automate prior authorizations. Voluware’s workflow-centric, customized approach to each client’s unique needs accelerates time to results and reduces barriers to access.

“We’re honored to be recognized by AVIA Connect as a top Prior Authorization vendor,” said Steve Kim, MD co-founder and CEO of Voluware. “The pandemic and staff burnout has increased the need for innovative technology like VALER that delivers real results. We take pride in working closely with clients to help take back control of prior authorizations for better patient care.”

The Top Prior Authorization Companies Report represents analysis of health system implementation data across the country and highlights broader industry trends. Given the complexity of prior authorization, the report helps define the prior authorization landscape and how these solutions best support patient care.

“The Top Companies report provides health systems with insights and clarity into the complex prior authorization space and how that fits into larger revenue cycle challenges.” said Dhiraj Patkar, SVP of Digital Health Solutions at AVIA. “We are thrilled to help health systems understand and identify solutions that can enable providers to obtain approval from payers before delivering care, in order to prevent lost revenue and reduce expenses.”

Access the full report findings from AVIA Connect’s Top Prior Authorization Companies list here.

About Voluware

Voluware provides health systems, hospitals, and clinics powerful custom workflow automation solutions for today’s manual prior authorizations and referrals. Voluware’s proven VALER® platform delivers staff efficiency and avoids costly denials by providing one place to streamline, automate, and continuously optimize administrative workflows. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter.

Contact Steve Kim, CEO & Co-Founder
626-344-2005
steve.kim.md@voluware.com

About AVIA

AVIA is the nation’s leading digital transformation partner for healthcare organizations. AVIA provides unique market intelligence, proven collaborative tools, and results-based consulting to help solve healthcare’s biggest strategic challenges. Learn more about AVIA and AVIA Connect, the industry’s premier marketplace for digital health innovation, at aviahealthinnovation.com. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

AVIA Press Contact
Sean Chase
schase@ariamarketing.com
(603) 307-9428

SOURCE Voluware, Inc

How Do I Calculate My Organization’s Prior Authorizations Burden?

Need Help Calculating Your Organizations Prior Authorization Burden, Get our downloadable spreadsheet.

“How big is your organization’s prior authorization problem?”  More often than not, when I ask this of patient access teams at medical practices, hospitals, and health systems, there is a long pause followed by a “we don’t know.”   If you find yourself in this position, you are not alone.  A few organizations have been able to properly quantify their prior authorization problem because the workflows are so fragmented, manual, and siloed across multiple functional areas.  We’ve spent a decade carefully listening, distilling, and characterizing all the various prior authorization workflows across organizations and want to share some thoughts on how to quantify not only the extent of the problem, but also how to focus on where to start.   As a former academic healthcare outcomes researcher, – Peter Drucker says,  “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

 

Who’s doing what part of the prior authorization? Part of the difficulty in quantifying the burden of prior authorizations lies in the hyper-fragmented and highly dispersed nature of the workflows themselves.  At some organizations, the initiation or submission of prior authorizations is done in the ambulatory clinics, but verifications for the facility are done by a central authorization team.   With others it is highly centralized across the organization by a large central team.  Additional challenges arise when the initial submissions is dependent on independent community provider offices that refer in cases who are frequently on different EMRs that don’t talk to each other.  Much of these workflows are dependent on faxes, emails, and phone calls.

 

How do you begin to estimate something that is so manual?  So many organizations struggle with how to quantify exactly how much time is spent on prior authorizations by their staff.  Because over 80% of the today’s prior authorization workflows require manual processing (fax forms, phone calls, typing into web portals), it can be a challenge to come up with a number. 

Over the years, we have spent a considerable amount of time working with patient access teams to estimate the amount of staff time that various prior authorization workflows take, and we typically recommend this as a good way to begin formulating some initial estimates. Here are some of the basic inputs that we find useful in helping to quantify current staffing requirements:

  1. Estimated volumes of monthly/annual prior authorization transactions (can further be broken down into specific service types or service areas depending on your organizational needs)

o   Diagnostic Imaging

o   Surgeries/procedures

o   Chemo/Infusion therapy

o   Medications

o   Notice of Admissions

o   PT/OT

o   DMEs

 

  1. Estimated average time spent on processing particular prior authorizations by workflow type (fax forms, clinical survey-based web portals, standard web portals, etc).  Estimates of processing times should be inclusive of the following: gathering info from EHR, identifying requirements, submitting prior authorizations, checking on status to verify prior authorizations, and inputting of data back into EHRs. 

Although estimated times can vary by organization, by authorization modality (fax, web portal), by payer, and by individual staff member, our experience has been that the average staff processing time per authorization is generally between 16-25 minutes.  According to the most recent CAQH Index report, the average time for prior authorizations is 20 minutes.

  1. What is the number of current staff working on processing prior authorizations?   This can be somewhat tricky to  come up with headcount depending on whether staff spend a majority of their daily time working primarily on prior authorizations or in conjunction with other front-end activities (eligibility verification, scheduling, etc.).  For some organizations, it can be relatively straightforward with a central authorization team, and for others distributed across various clinics.  

 

With these basic estimates in place, you can begin to understand what your organization’s overall staffing requirement needed to process current prior authorization volumes.   It’s also a good way to understand if your teams are indeed understaffed (particularly with worsening staffing shortages) to reasonably handle increasing volumes.  With this data, we can begin to estimate not only the average authorizations/FTE/day, average annual authorizations/FTE, and ultimately what total organizational staffing costs look like.

 

An additional methodology for quantifying the burden of prior authorizations beyond staff time calculations is denied claims payments related to prior authorization errors/issues.  Metrics such as first pass authorization denial rates can be useful to identify the scope of the financial impact that can be quite significant and variable depending on your organization’s revenue cycle processes and performance.  Much of the denials attributable to prior authorizations may be avoidable errors and write-offs due to front-end activities (e.g. putting in correct authorization tracking numbers into claims).   

 

If your organization has access to 835/837 via your clearinghouse provider, you can get an estimate of not only the total volumes (what volume of claims had the prior authorization number populated on 837s), as well as what the volume of prior authorization denials are on 835s, and total denied dollar impact.   Depending on the service lines and the performance of your revenue cycle teams this can add up to a significant financial burden above and beyond your staff’s time processing authorization on the front-end. 

 
Let us help you calculate your organization’s prior authorization burden with this FREE downloadable spreadsheet.

3 Key Components to Improve Prior Authorization Workflows

Looking to Improve Prior Authorization Workflows?

There are 3 basic things to consider when striving to improve prior authorization workflows; The What, The How, and the The Who. Let’s first talk about the what.

 

The What-

The first thing to consider when setting out to improve your prior authorization workflows is understanding the what of the submissions. One of the first steps to help you begin to understand the workflow is to get a handle on what services require prior authorizations for which payers. I know that this can be incredibly daunting, but those organizations that at least begin to create internal rules, often done in a spreadsheet, can have a place to begin to work with. By getting your leads and your staff on various access teams, this can help identify problem areas and define rules to help both existing and newly onboarded staff have an idea of what services require authorizations. We know that this can be a bit of a nightmare since payers are always changing the rules, but you have to start somewhere and build “tribal knowledge” that can be shared and updated.

 

The How-

Knowing how your payers want to receive authorizations, whether it is fax forms, a phone call or a specific web portal for the submission is crucial in having a more efficient prior authorization submission workflow. There are a variety of methods that people have figured out over time that work for them, but all too often we have staff resorting to faxes and phone calls even though there is a potentially faster submission and approval process via a web portal.

 

The Who- 

Given that 80% of prior authorization submissions and verifications are manual, we see a substantial amount of delays and errors that occur. More importantly, where there are different teams that are responsible for different workflows, for example authorization initiation / submission vs verification, there can be lack of clear delineation of roles and responsibilities and poor accountability. This often leads to gaps in hand offs which further delays approvals and care. For complex organizations especially, we recommend having collaborative discussions between teams to define roles and expectations and be sure that they are working together. Of course, having a centralized platform like VALER that provides real-time visibility can help tremendously.

Steve Kim, MD

Steve Kim, MD

CEO & Co-Founder Voluware, Inc.

5 Components of Effective Prior Authorization Implementation

Automated submissions of prior authorizations and referrals is more achievable than you might think.

In today’s environment, the future for prior authorization automation is critical, and has become essential for healthcare systems to deliver timely care to patients. Automated submissions are changing healthcare with insights that help identify missing required patient information, clinical data, and payer turn-around times. Key decision makers are able to proficiently stay on the cutting edge by collaborating and creating revolutionary modules. Want to get caught up and hear how implementing VALER will help you to see big gains and results? Success starts with a clear definition and understanding the accompanying workflow processes.

1. Vision

     The first step is the vision of the organization’s leaders and stakeholders. Outlining the objectives of what’s possible, how to make it happen, and how to understand all the details of current processes. Success starts with a clear definition and understanding the accompanying workflow processes and tailoring VALER to support patient care, and a more satisfying work experience for clinicians and staff. What is needed to create, implement, and sustain your instance ofVALER – workflow; And the reason workflows are so important is that it drives the build to deliver efficiencies as well as accurate and reliable insights.

2. Workflow

      Workflow determines everything from integration to every aspect of VALER that is deployed. This is why the number one component needed for successful implementation is understanding the workflows. Configuring and tailoring VALER to ensure the solution supports effective clinical processes and complements efficient workflows requires input from SMEs, Superusers, and the employees they report to to be intimately involved in every detail of shaping VALER. Together we observe everything that happens before and after where VALER is going to be slotted in. We do detailed observations of the customization features in VALER: authorization fax forms, authorization portals, NOAs, eligibility, referrals, as well as whatever is contracted. In summation, we take the hive mind knowledge that exists in scattered papers, PA “bibles” and user’s brains and put as much in the design and build as possible. When staff feel included in the development process, the adoption is faster and optimized. Identifying insurance portals that yield the highest value to build-out technology and take advantage of the automation submission time-saving features will help recognize ROI during pre-launch.

3. Portal Integrations

     To boost productivity and improve outcomes with technology we do a deep dive into the vagaries and different paths the portal authorization submissions take and integrate that into your instance of VALER.  Because we know it can be a struggle to keep up with the changes to insurance portals, our software is specifically designed to help you accomplish connectivity reliably and efficiently. That’s what VALER is all about—maximizing productivity of each user while staying apprised of changes to portals. Our technology is not confined to incremental change and it is why fine-tuning and constant feedback is on-going throughout the design phase and entire implementation.

4. Interior Design Phase

     This phase is what we refer to as the first version of their instance of VALER, and as they start providing more and more input into what to name specific fields, which order they want to see these fields, what they want in their VALER grid view, and even what colors they want certain things to be. The goal is to make VALER as intuitive as possible for each client. While workflow tentpoles are the same across the board, the details in the workflow are all as different and unique as each department and each organization. We have yet to see two workflows look the same even within the same facility.

5. Continuous Iteration

     One way to drive trust in automated submissions is by giving end users the ability to be intimately involved in the refinement and to provide consistent feedback. First, this allows them to see more into the inner workings of VALER, which helps with the adoption. Second, it will inevitably improves and tailors the tool to their processes. Third, when users feel included in the development process, the better their experience and partnership for creating new modules in VALER.  In a recent interview titled “OHSU – When great isn’t good enough” two leaders in this space share their excitement on the key components needed for an effective implementation and ongoing collaboration.

 

Learn More – – If you would like to hear more about VALER we encourage you to check out what our partners are saying. Automated submissions of prior authorizations and referrals may seem like a tall task to implement, simply stated with the right vision and direction—it’s more achievable than you might think.

VALER Voices: How OHSU is Setting Industry Benchmarks in Prior Authorizations

When Great Isn't Good Enough; VALER creates customized approaches for each of their clients

Spend any time around Ryanne Laurence or Joe Whipple from Oregon Health & Sciences University’s patient access team, and you’ll quickly sense that these two are passionate, talented individuals who are creating the curve in the industry. It’s been two years since OHSU implemented VALER, and we got a chance to sit down and talk through their discovery process, the optimization they’ve experienced, and what’s next.  

 

OHSU was already at the front of the pack when it came to streamlined processes, well-trained teams, and high levels of output. But they weren’t immune to the staffing challenges that so many have faced, nor were they complacent, as Ryanne puts it, “Patients aren’t going to stop coming, insurances aren’t going to stop making new policies…how do we, as the employer, as the manager, as the innovative IT world…how do we make it easier for the end user?” They wanted more automation, more visibility, and even further reductions in manual errors.

 

When Ryanne first came on board with OHSU, she was tasked with finding a software solution to optimize their prior authorization workflows. “What it came down to was who was willing to really collaborate with us…I wanted someone who would hear our pain points and be able to work with us to find some type of solution,” says Ryanne. Creating customized approaches for their clients is one of the hallmark traits of VALER.  “We’ve been able to work with the VALER team to build it to the specifications of what our team sees and feels is appropriate,” Ryanne further explains.

 

After two years into their journey with VALER, they have some impressive stats to share. When it comes to lead times, they were sitting at a respectable 4-5 days. That quickly jumped to 7 days and yet, when they most recently pulled their numbers, they saw an unprecedented average lead time of 13 days. This increase in lead time is building the margin that benefits the patient access teams, the providers, but most importantly, the patients.

 

How did they achieve these lead times? Through increased productivity. “I’ll speak specifically to our diagnostic specialty. In reviewing their productivity, we have a standard of 45 authorizations a day that we expect our team to touch and work through, and when we recently pulled our numbers, we saw that our average was actually 54 a day..so an increase of 9 per day.” Ryanne says. She also went on to explain that they saw a 11% increase in diagnostic orders which they were able to accommodate without a staff increase.  

 

“There’s very much tangible results, but there’s also results that we’re seeing that we can’t pull a report and show you, but we feel it,” Joe shares in relation to how VALER has improved staff morale.  “Using the VALER tool has given [our employees] more transparency in their own work. They go in and can specifically see the authorizations they’ve submitted and see the outcome,” Joes says. “We all want to know that we are being successful.” Ryanne agrees and says, “When you talk about empowering employees, you can empower these folks who are already wonderful, great employees working as hard as they can, but it just shows you when you give them a tool that can make their work streamlined or more efficient, it’s going to benefit you and benefit your patients.”

 

Joe and Ryanne also feel that VALER and OHSU ultimately have aligned goals. “As a company, VALER is very much in the exact same mindset as we are, that patients come first,” Joe says. This points back to the genesis of VALER, co-founded by a pediatric surgeon fed up with the barriers in prior authorization and committed to finding real-world solutions. This alignment in goals creates a partnership atmosphere. “There is no better word for it; it’s definitely a partnership instead of a vendor relationship. It’s very much, ‘we’re in this together, let’s get it right together,’” says Joe. Steve Kim, VALER’s CEO agrees, “We very much see it the same way. It’s the only way to get work done.”

 

What does the future hold? Is touchless authorization on the horizon? Watch the full interview to see where VALER is headed.

VALER Voices: A New Approach to Optimizing Referrals and Prior Authorizations

Watch Video

Adam Basua, of Community Memorial Health System, breaks down his process for optimizing the complexities of referrals and prior authorizations

In a recent interview, Adam Basua, Community Memorial’s Healthcare Management Leader, shares how he approached the challenges of optimizing referrals and prior authorizations for his team, and offers advice for those navigating the complexities of both.

         When Adam first joined CMHS, he knew they had a significant problem. They faced a lack of structure across their 15 locations with everyone, he describes, “doing their own thing”.  Without a centralized system, the lack of visibility made it challenging to identify, much less isolate, problematic processes. “So, who suffered? The patients,” Adam says with a heaviness. 

           Like so many others, Covid exposed weaknesses that couldn’t be ignored any longer; in many ways, Covid became the catalyst for change. With staff out sick on top of ongoing shortages, CMHS needed visibility across their clinics. Leaning on his background in IT, Adam sought a centralized, technology-based solution that would provide them with the automation and visibility they needed. After onboarding VALER, CMHS saw a night and day difference. They finally had an overview of productivity across their multiple locations, as well as the ability to  measure how much energy employees were putting into their roles. “All these intricate parts of the process can now be documented, and can be easily gathered with data,” Adam says.

         When asked what else has changed since CMHS brought VALER on board, Adam boasts cutting their referral submission time from 15 days to four, three, even two days. “Unheard of, we weren’t even close to this,” he remarks. That metric alone translates directly to better patient care. “Patients love the response time,” Adam explains and admits with a chuckle that their problem now is that “our doctors are spoiled.”  

         You might expect that these wins would be Adam’s favorite aspects of VALER, but when asked he smiles and says, “You’re going to laugh, but it’s just working with you.” Adam goes on to explain that his relationship with VALER isn’t like that of a typical vendor. “I feel like VALER is part of our organization,” he says. This is no accident; VALER intentionally cultivates the attributes of a partnership with their clients. In the words of Steve Kim, Voluware’s CEO (VALER’s parent company), “We consider ourselves part of the team. We are on the same team.”

         Before the interview wraps up, Adam shares his advice for those looking to implement a software-based solution to their referral or prior authorization process. He poses three core questions you should ask of any application you’re considering:

  1. Can the software talk to insurance portals? This is a must to removing the burden of manual processes.
  2. How well does the software integrate with your EHR? This is a critical component for streamlining.  
  3. Can it grab productivity data that allows you to hold staff accountable, reward high achievers, and properly assess staffing needs?

         The interview ends with Adam’s final statement, “If you take VALER away from me, I’ll quit.” We think he’s joking, but then again, maybe not. You can watch the full interview and other VALER Voices interviews HERE.

2022 NAHAM’s Prior Authorization Roundtable Recap

Hear insights from our CEO

I had the honor of being asked to participate at NAHAM’s Prior Authorization Roundtable in October 2022 bringing together stakeholders from provider, payer, and vendor communities in an effort to stimulate discussions around potential solutions.  

 

Having spent time as a front-line provider requesting prior authorizations for my patients, a value-based healthcare researcher developing and implementing evidence-based pediatric surgical care pathways, and now as an entrepreneur looking to build technology infrastructure to automate prior authorizations, I found this discussion interesting from an unique vantage point of understanding all 3 sides. 

 

Several key points that were highlighted:

·        Payers are frequently constrained by either CMS defined coverage guidelines (NCDs – national coverage determinations, LCDs – local coverage determinations) and/or by contractual decisions made by employers in their sponsored plan choices.

·        Despite a desire to have standardized clinical guidelines across all payers, plans and their medical directors consider this as an area of competitive differentiation and/or a grey area where medical judgment is applied to the best of their abilities and within compliance with NCQA and URAC requirements.  

·        There is frustration on the part of payers on what is considered unnecessary care requests that are not justified by evidence-based guidelines and literature.   

·        For providers, each payer has its set of opaque prior authorization/pre-certification rules for different service lines, which all seem to be continuously changing.  Maintaining and managing all the different, shifting payer rules seems to be a Sisyphean task, one certainly not capable of being supported by today’s EHRs and practice management systems.

·        There is a need for a national clearinghouse for prior authorization transactions.  One that can seamlessly integrate into EHRs/PMS and act as a single interface for all payer prior authorization transactions.  Most agreed that the existing x12 278 standard does not adequately cover all the data elements necessary in a prior authorization transaction.  This is why there is little to no adoption outside of a limited set of notice of admissions workflows today.

 

There were several ideas that I took away from the conversation that I feel merit additional discussion:

·        Transparency on authorization requirements – a standard, machine-readable format from all payers to provide their established guidelines around specific sets of services.  This would include info on ICD-10, CPT/HCPCS/RxNorm, as well as any delegated benefit manager (eg AIM, NIA, eviCore, etc) and specific product information.  This would allow for providers to develop and maintain rules that can help better guide prior authorization requests and eliminate unnecessary errors/work.

·        List of which services do NOT require authorizations (“no auth required”) –  this would save a tremendous amount of time, cost, frustration, and delay for patients waiting for care.  This is an area payers can easily agree to as there is substantial cost generated from unnecessarily submitted prior authorizations, which still require review for compliance reasons.

·        “Open enrollment” period for payer authorization rule changes – create specified windows/periods of time during the year when payers can make changes to prior authorization rules.   This would help address the highly variable rule changes that frequently do not get recognized by provider teams.

·        A national clearinghouse for prior authorization data exchange.  This is the holy grail and what Voluware has been methodically building with our VALER all-payer, all service line payer network.  One place to 1) seamlessly integrate with EHRs/PMs, 2) comprehensively cover across legacy fax forms and web portals, 3) rapidly update and maintain changing payer rules.  

 

Certainly, we all hope that NAHAM and other organizations can keep the momentum going when it comes to offering practical, workflow-driven solutions to prior authorizations.  I hope that the spirit of collaboration and interest in real-world validation of innovative solutions continues.

Steve Kim, MD

Steve Kim, MD

CEO & Co-Founder Voluware, Inc.

Why Are Prior Authorizations So Manual?

So why are prior authorizations such a manual process?  Whether it’s the joy of filling out paper fax forms, the carpal-tunnel inducing manual entry of data into payer web portals, or being on endless hold on the phone, prior authorizations today remain the bane of most practices:
  • The American Medical Association estimated that $31 billion is spent annually on prior authorizations by providers.
  • The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated 868.4 million hours are spent annually obtaining prior authorizations.
  • According to Milliman, manual prior authorizations cost $10.78 per transaction vs. $2.07 for an electronic transaction.  That’s $8.71 in savings per electronic transaction.
So one would think that in this day and age, that prior authorization transactions should be as easy as paying bills on your smartphone.  Guess again.  So why are prior authorizations still stuck in the  world of 1980’s fax tones?
 
1) Like politics, all healthcare is local.  Each geography has its own unique mix of providers, payers, and plans.  What that means, is that it is impossible to have any semblance of standardized workflows.  Each payer has its own fax form or clunky home-grown web portal that maps to its own internal workflows.
 
2) Local business requirements are always changing.  There are constantly changing forms or payer web portals.  Keeping up with change in today’s EHRs or practice management systems is impossible.  (How fast does your EHR vendor make changes? months? years? at all?)  Remember, these systems were never designed to manage change at the pace of the real world.
 
3) Everyone has their own system. None talk to each other today.   Whether it’s siloed provider EHRs or ancient payer systems, none meaningfully transacts electronic data with all their business partners.   It’s hard enough to get Cerner systems to talk to each other, let alone with say an Epic, Allscripts, or NextGen EHR.  And don’t even think about interoperating with a DOS payer system.
 
So, all healthcare is local, local business requirements are constantly changing, and none of our systems talk to each other.  What you get is $31 billion of last mile work-arounds to get anything done. We pay people to transcribe data on paper fax and type data into outdated systems.
 
This. Is. Insane.  As a physician working in the trenches, this is appalling and offensive.
 
This is why we have spent years studying the prior authorization problem. This is why VALER delivers automation today for prior authorizations, referrals, and eligibility.
 
To learn more, shoot me an email or message me: www.voluware.com steve@voluware.com @steveskim @voluware

Customer Love

Customer love is a key metric for our company. All that (somewhat cheesy) stuff about loving your customers, who love you back, thereby creating a virtuous cycle: it’s true. It’s also one of things that powers Voluware. We passionately assert that we aren’t just software; we are truly software as a service.

 

So here’s what we do to feed the virtuous cycle of customer-Voluware love. It basically boils down to 2 main principles: (1) capitalize on VALER’s unique qualities and (2) cultivate customer communication.

 

  • Everyone in the company is on the customer support emails: from the CEO to sales and marketing to every last engineer. Because we customize our software to each client, it’s critical that we try to understand what it’s like to be in the user’s shoes.
  • A corollary of the above: no robotic email reply or ticketing system. We will put off a ticketing system for as long as we can because we want each user to feel the personal touch. This isn’t just benevolence on our part. It’s how we have a finger on the pulse of the customer and learn about new pain points that VALER can solve.
  • We insist on feedback. We tell our customers over and over again, “We can’t get you to where you want to be unless you talk to us.” We insist on it because, over 90% of the time, we can innovate or problem-solve right away. We don’t have to wait for a software release in a few months. We don’t have to put it into a queue. We can execute while the users are on the system. That’s the beauty of liveware – what we call a run-time changeable system. (For more on liveware, see our CEO’s blogpost from July 2018 on it). It’s ridiculously powerful and I can’t imagine doing it any other way.
  • Customizing VALER. The process of customizing VALER means we learn the workflows intimately. From kickoff to implementation and well into deploy, we have to maintain great communication or else the constant iteration to arrive at the ideal VALER won’t happen.

 

Recently, one of our customers was asked by another healthcare vendor to rate the implementation process in comparison to other software implementations. Our customer told another vendor and happened to tell me later as an afterthought: “We’ve never felt more supported with any other place company or vendor than the VALER team. VALER is all in and all they want is to for us to be as successful as we can while using their software.” I could not have asked for a better testimonial of customer love.