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FINEOS Claims Summit 2013 - Daily Blog 2

Graham Newman, Product Marketing Manager, FINEOS

The first full day of the 7th annual FINEOS Claims Global Summit opened yesterday.  The morning was devoted to keynote speeches focused on innovation within insurance and how technology has played its part in providing opportunity.  There were keynote addresses from Larry Wilson, Kevin McCarthy and Michael Kelly.  Both Larry and Kevin’s keynotes will be covered in separate blogs by my colleagues, which I hope you enjoy!

Michael Kelly, CEO, FINEOS, took the occasion of FINEOS’ 20th anniversary to bring the clients up to date on recent new deals and new FINEOS clients and discuss the results of the FINEOS Customer Survey 2013. For FINEOS, the highlights include new offices for us in Ireland and Poland.  He highlighted our 10 new-name sales over the last 12 months and took the opportunity to explain the purpose and mission of FINEOS and to reiterate the commitment felt across the company to supply first-class technology that supports the development and re-invention of insurance organisations.

Ian Lynagh of FINEOS then took to the stage to present the first of the Innovation and Excellence awards.  This year awards were presented to Manitoba Teachers’ Society, Manitoba Public Insurance and New York Life.  Teena Hiebner and Alexander Bolanos of New York Life then presented the first of our customer-led case study sessions.  New York Life have not been using FINEOS Claims for long but have already made significant improvements to their claims operations; a testament to their planning and change management skills as well as to the system itself.  Teena noted how they have significantly streamlined their processes, reducing screen navigation and being able to understand up-front the value of a claim and whether it is contestable.  They have firm plans in place to expand the use of the FINEOS business rules to incorporate further automation and reduce the documentation need.  Teena spoke of the dramatic improvements New York Life had been able to achieve and how these free up the claims handlers to use their expertise on claims where they can really make a difference.  She was kind enough to emphasise what a strong business partner they had found FINEOS to be and commended FINEOS for the support they had received.  New York Life has put in a bare minimum of custom to FINEOS Claims, itself a testament to the strength and depth of the business content in the product.

The afternoon opened with a focus on developments in FINEOS Claims itself.  Eoin Kirwan, VP Product Management and Jonathan Boylan, FINEOS CTO, began with a full Product Update.

James Hehir, Product Manager for Life and Health took us into one of the key FINEOS value propositions, that of efficient claim administration.  He described the way in which FINEOS refers to this aspect of claims handling as the ‘science’, i.e. those aspects need to be done in a certain, prescribed way, such as complex payment and tax calculations.  FINEOS has paid much attention to developing software of a high order value that automates these technical processes and eliminates manual effort that is currently devoted to time-consuming and frequently error-prone tasks.

The conference then broke into two streams giving us the opportunity to explore business and technical issues separately.  On the technology side James gave a detailed account on Managing Expenses with FINEOS Provider Manager.  James described the benefits of the Provider Manager that may be used to manage the expenses incurred in any life and health claim.  This is a pre-configured module in FINEOS Claims that manages expenses and requires minimal effort to implement.

He was followed by a technology update from Jonathan Boylan in which he focused on the growing demand for virtualisation and cloud based technologies that allow consolidation of server environments across business units and even across international borders.  He spoke of how FINEOS is taking advantage of private and virtual cloud infrastructure and how we are responding to the multi-tenant capabilities now available.

This stream concluded with Korie Jackson’s session on technical upgrades.  Korie’s session was full of practical advice based on deep experience of what is involved in a system upgrade, how to approach it, how to plan it and what you need for success.

I should declare an interest in the other, parallel stream as it opened with Mary-Christine Nolan and me hosting an interactive discussion session on Organisational Change Management.

We explored the requirements, processes and pitfalls of managing change in claims departments, examining priorities and sought to discover if we could establish a consensus on approaches to change management.  It proved to be a really good format for bringing out ideas and sharing experiences.  We used the ‘World Café’ round-table format for small discussion groups and deployed interactive voting software so that each discussion table could text in their conclusions and major points which were interactively displayed to the whole room.  This assisted in prompting discussion on other tables and enabled us to draw out and develop certain ideas in the plenary session at the end.

David Nicolai, the North American Sales Director then presented on the issues surrounding FMLA and integrating it with disability insurance for the huge American market. He elucidated the benefits of integrating group disability claims and FMLA leave and spoke at length on FINEOS’ partnership with Absentys and their market-leading LeaveLink product that greatly assists insurers in not only gaining better outcomes for their claimants but doing so in an environment of significantly improved customer service.

The business stream’s final session saw Mary-Christine return with a powerful take on the people perspective of claims transformation.  After exploring ideas on the drivers of claims improvement, particularly noting the rise in consumer expectations and the challenges of meeting them Mary-Christine described what she termed the “Trinity of Project Success”, highlighting the vital roles played by an effective Organisational Change Program and carefully planned End-User Roll-Out, not forgetting the third aspect: a good Claims Management Platform.  In order for claims handlers to adapt to the powerful functionality embedded within a new Claims Management Platform it is important that all the stakeholders are of one mind and a structured program is followed that moves from awareness building, through understanding and buy-in to full commitment on everyone’s part.  Mary-Christine outlined the detailed transformation Blueprint that FINEOS has to meet these needs.

The first full day of the summit drew to a close.  We explored innovation and how insurers can capitalise on new changes in technology to create compelling experiences for their customers.  We looked at the continuing developments in the FINEOS Claims product and where our dynamic roadmap is taking us and we heard from clients about their own success stories.  It was, therefore, a welcome break from the intellectual rigours of the day as the evening completed with a well-earned dinner and games night for customers at a popular venue nearby.