Meridian Medical Management provides revenue cycle management (RCM) and healthcare analytics software to private-practice physician groups and large multi-specialty and academic practices. Meridian serves over 40,000 healthcare providers and processes more than $3B in healthcare claims each year.
Most healthcare organizations and providers recognize that automation streamlines processes, increases efficiency, and yields staffing flexibility, but lack the know-how to justify, establish, and maintain a robust automation capability. RCM leaders know that robotic process automation (RPA) is an excellent fit for manual tasks that are repetitive and processed according to business rules. Each claim processed is an opportunity for RPA to reduce manual intervention and eliminate human error while freeing staff for more value-added activities.
Meridian identified many opportunities to automate individual processes but struggled to build a reliable, flexible, and efficient system to meet their overall needs. RPA implementation partners engaged to develop a solution often make the mistake of focusing on individual processes and fail to take the comprehensive approach necessary to reduce future efforts and increase overall ROI.
Most of the proposed solutions wouldn’t scale effectively and required constant monitoring by expensive IT staff, threatening to counteract much of the promised cost savings. Meridian’s leadership knew they needed to take automation to the next level. Anything less meant their competitive advantage would be short-lived. Meridian sought a collaborative partner with the expertise and RPA knowledge to take advantage of current technology and provide insight into future opportunities.
Meridian selected Symphonize because it’s track record featured several digital transformation projects where Symphonize had built customer trust and a strong working relationship that made the collaboration greater than the sum of the parts.
Symphonize began by organizing the whole project, gathering and prioritizing requirements, documenting specifications, and creating process flowcharts for functional use cases. Their methodology created valuable opportunities for evaluating and improving existing business processes before automating them. By identifying efficiencies and avoiding conflicts in advance, Symphonize quickly developed faster and more resilient RPA solutions that are easier to maintain.
Symphonize designed and developed a scalable HIPAA-compliant RPA solution using the UiPath platform and connected it to Meridian’s systems. By creating a master/helper bot architecture, it became easier and faster to connect multiple practice management systems to the leading claim clearinghouses. The architecture has a queuing mechanism to process transactions at scale with quick turnaround times, further reducing human intervention.
Symphonize migrated 20 legacy processes into the new architecture, improving modularity and code reusability. All protected health information (PHI) is encrypted in the workflows and follows PHI guidelines to avoid logging. The bots extract data from various web and desktop applications and validate it before bulk processing through web service interfaces. By using a common codebase, they achieved better overall design and consistency.
Symphonize used an AWS cloud environment, Microsoft.NET developer platform, and the UiPath RPA platform for the project. Symphonize developed web services for integration with clearinghouses, dashboards for data visualization, fault tolerance, and monitoring tools. A custom-built DevOps pipeline moves code from development to the code repository and then to the test and production environments.
Meridian’s RPA solution, which the company refers to as Microbots, is a catalog of digital assistants that replace mundane, repetitive processes, allowing scalability and increased production in a HIPAA compliant environment.
By working with Symphonize to implement an intelligent automation solution, Meridian has reduced costs, increased processing speed, improved customer experience, and achieved the flexibility needed to survive uncertain times. The Microbots work 24/7 to process large volumes of patient transactions while ensuring the accuracy and security of documents and patient health information.
"Symphonize provided an exceptional group of project and development professionals to work alongside our team, ensuring stable product builds, solid communication, and excellent results.
Caryn Kleckowski, Senior Director, Business Process Automation & PMO, Meridian Medical Management
While the original project scope focused on automating claim status and denial management, the results were so positive that Meridian continued to work with Symphonize to build a complete catalog of SaaS technology-enabled automation solutions. Meridian also uses the Microbots in their own billing offices and has seen the following benefits:
"A lot of off-shore partners ‘yes’ you to death. They’ll agree to anything to win the business, but they don’t deliver once they’re under contract. The Symphonize team asks tough questions upfront, makes sure whatever solution they build will actually fix your problem, and then gets it done."
David Jones, former CIO, Meridian Medical Management
Symphonize has experience helping clients in a wide variety of industries take advantage of the latest technologies to deliver innovative services and products to their customers efficiently. Whether you know the exact process you want to automate or are just starting to explore what automation can do for your business, Symphonize can help.