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Healthcare payers: Optimize member services with work-from-home agents


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As more and more of the country enforces shelter-in-place policies, healthcare payers and providers are scrambling to set up a remote workforce on the fly. With non-essential and/or corporate employees being mandated to work from home, many payer organizations are left wondering how to best continue supporting their members now that their physical office doors have closed.

Keep your healthcare payer organization running no matter what challenges lie ahead by moving your health plan agents to a remote environment. If you could benefit from support with this transition, learn how RingCentral can get your agents up and running in no time, at no cost.

Healthcare Payer Companies Pivot to Meet Changing Member Needs

As people’s healthcare needs shift from traditional office visits and routine interventions to virtual care appointments and essential services—coupled with numerous questions regarding healthcare coverage—there is expected to be a rise in those members needing support from their healthcare payers. This will directly impact the volume of inquiries and the need to scale contact center operations, including the use of work-from-home agents. But how do you accomplish this and still enable agents to listen—act—and care about each member?

View RingCentral’s Managing Work-From-Home Contact Center Agents Checklist

Develop Work-From-Home Agent Teams 

Healthcare payers can swiftly transition work-from-home agents without disrupting normal operations. Set your employees up to be effective remote agents by preparing them for the requirements of working from home. Cover the policies and expectations you have for their workspace, conduct during shifts, and participation in team efforts. Optimize every part of your call center training to improve your agent retention and customer service results. Companies and managers that are new to remote work in general sometimes find themselves facing an adjustment period, even when agents are thriving in their remote roles. It’s important to keep the larger goals in mind in times like these.

Amidst unprecedented challenges with circumstances that change daily—even hourly—there’s only one thing that payers can do: Deliver consistent and thorough support to both your members and your agents. Keep in mind that many health plans experience 50% or higher attrition rates among their member service agents (during normalized times). Contact center managers should take precautions to manage these rates, especially in times of crisis like the situation many teams are experiencing now.

Much of this has to do with maintaining clear communication and meeting your key stakeholders where they’re at. Your members, providers, and agents are engaged across multiple voice and digital channels, which is why enabling your remote workforce with the right technology is essential for thriving amidst chaos and globally dispersed teams. 

Improve Member Support Experiences

In order to provide the seamless support experience that members expect—from a work-from-home environment—you must equip your distributed agent team with a cloud-based collaborative contact center solution that offers integrated communication and collaboration tools. It also must be highly secure—select a HITRUST CSF Certified vendor to safeguard your provider partners’ protected health information (PHI).

Additionally, there are already many demands on your agents’ time, so streamline the call process with an interactive voice response (IVR) system. When members call, they’ll be routed through a series of automated questions that connect them to the right agent and department. For frequently asked questions, such as queries about office hours and simple billing info, members can get their answers without talking to a live agent and wasting time. IVR systems also improve the member experience by sending them to the agent best-equipped to resolve their problems.

Optimize Member Services with Collaborative Contact Center Cloud Technology 

RingCentral combines communications—voice, video, and team messaging—into one seamlessly integrated platform that works across multiple devices and also includes cloud contact center technology. Service agents can access RingCentral’s cloud-based app from anywhere and on any device—so your remote team can still work together to meet your members’ evolving needs.

Originally published Apr 27, 2020, updated Sep 10, 2021

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