Integrated healthcare and insurance provider HealthPartners uses Lexmark solutions to streamline and automate accounts payable (AP) processes. Today, HealthPartners is driving fast, accurate invoice processing, doubling the efficiency of AP teams—increasing the proportion of invoices paid within term to 80% and absorbing the constant increase of volume while keeping staffing levels flat.
HealthPartners is an integrated, non-profit healthcare provider and health insurance company located in Bloomington, Minnesota. HealthPartners employs more than 22,500 people and serves more than 1.5 million medical and dental health plan members nationwide.
Kofax Capture™, Kofax Analytics for Capture™, Kofax Import Connector™, Kofax Transformation™, Perceptive Content™, Perceptive eForms™
Accounts Payable Automation
As healthcare transforms to become more patient-centric and outcomes-oriented, providers must work harder than ever before to ensure exceptional care and patient experiences—all against a backdrop of intense cost pressures and regulatory scrutiny.
Karen Pierson Accounts Payable Manager, HealthPartnersBy working with Genus Technologies to introduce Kofax software, we were able to maximize the value of our existing content management landscape.
As a non-profit organization, HealthPartners has long maintained a focus on running its operations as cost-effectively as possible, from front-line hospitals and clinics to back-office functions such as accounts payable (AP).
Karen Pierson, Accounts Payable Manager at HealthPartners, elaborates: “Our AP department processes around 300,000 invoices from our suppliers every year. These vendors provide equipment and services that are critical to the delivery of care across our network, and ensuring that we pay their invoices accurately and on time is a top priority.”
In line with its drive for efficiency, several years ago HealthPartners targeted AP for a major operational transformation. The aim was to replace costly and cumbersome paper-driven processes with more productive ways of working.
Karen Pierson continues: “As our business grew, we found that our existing approach to invoicing—built largely on manual processes—was driving up costs and making it difficult for us to keep pace with our rising workload. Turnaround times were not as fast as we would have liked, while reliance on paper files incurred significant cost and created a risk of key documents getting lost in the shuffle.”
HealthPartners embarked on an initiative to streamline AP operations—digitizing documents and automating workflows to support faster, more accurate invoice processing and payment.
As a first step, the organization introduced Perceptive Content document capture and workflow to automatically extract key information from vendor invoices, transforming them into rich electronic content. The shift to automated document capture and electronic content considerably accelerated invoice entry in the AP department. And its success has encouraged many other areas of the business to adopt Perceptive Content software to enhance their own content management activities. Today, Perceptive Content is truly an enterprise-level solution, used at HealthPartners clinics, where it is integrated with Epic electronic health record systems, as well as in Insurance Credentialing, Medical Policy Review, and Disease and Case Management functions.
Enhancing document capture was just the beginning for the AP team. In late 2015, the department decided to expand the solution, adding a new electronic form to enhance workflow capabilities, while tightening integration with their Infor ERP system.
Karen Pierson comments: “In the past, staff spent around 8 hours every day manually entering data from vendor invoices into our ERP system. We recognized that we could significantly accelerate cycle times and free up valuable time for data entry teams by automating this process, as well as other manual touchpoints across the invoicing lifecycle.
To drive a successful implementation, HealthPartners worked closely with Kofax Diamond Partner Genus Technologies.
Karen Pierson Accounts Payable Manager, HealthPartnersThanks to the productivity gains delivered by Lexmark solutions, we have significantly accelerated processing times, so that 80 percent of all invoices are now paid within term—keeping our suppliers satisfied.
Karen Pierson notes: “Genus Technologies is a fantastic partner. The team is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to Kofax solutions. They took the time to understand our requirements and delivered a solution that helped us achieve exactly what we wanted. By working with Genus Technologies to introduce Kofax software, we were able to maximize the value of our existing content management landscape.”
By integrating Perceptive eForms and a suite of Kofax solutions from Lexmark with its existing content management landscape, HealthPartners can take advantage of straight-through processing and automated workflows to drive fast, accurate invoicing.
Today, paper invoices are scanned into a Kofax Transformation Module process and the captured data is validated by staff before being used to pre-populate an electronic voucher, which contains all the information that AP needs to process a vendor invoice for payment. The voucher is then automatically routed to the relevant manager, who simply has to review the form, complete the relevant fields and approve the document before routing it back to accounts payable for payment.
“We are well on our way to transforming invoicing into a zero-touch process,” remarks Karen Pierson. “Staff no longer have to manually key invoice data into our ERP system and we can even auto-route invoices to the relevant accounting unit manager for approval,
For suppliers who choose to use electronic invoices, HealthPartners offers a dedicated invoice inbox. Here, the organization uses Kofax Import Connector software to, touch-free, start the Kofax Transformation Module process to automatically classify, extract and validate the invoice data, and deliver it to Infor ERP for processing.
“Kofax Import Connector is a wonderful solution,” states Karen Pierson. “It makes it much easier and quicker for us to process invoices sent via email. We particularly appreciate the solution’s classification capabilities, which allow us to automatically sort invoices and ensure they are routed correctly–preventing unwanted or irrelevant content from getting into our ERP system.”
In the future, HealthPartners will make use of Kofax Analytics for Capture to gain deeper insight into AP processes. “At the moment, our approach to measuring productivity and tracking KPIs is still quite manual. We are looking forward to taking advantage of Kofax Analytics for Capture to build a better picture of process efficiency and identify further areas for improvement.”
The new approach to invoice capture and processing has supercharged the productivity of AP teams at HealthPartners—reducing turnaround times for invoices and operational costs.
Karen Pierson notes: “We have doubled efficiency in the AP department since introducing Lexmark solutions. Take our data entry team, for example; in the past, they were able to process between 13 and 15 documents per person per hour on a good day. Now, they can process 25 documents per hour on average. They’ve gone from spending most of their time performing manual data entry to focusing on reviewing and validating invoice data, which helps us to ensure that we are working with high-quality information.”
She adds: “What’s more, thanks to the productivity gains delivered by Lexmark solutions, we have significantly accelerated processing times, so that 80 percent of all invoices are now paid within term—keeping our suppliers satisfied.”
Greater efficiency is helping the AP department to deliver a more responsive service to suppliers, even as business continues to grow.
Karen Pierson concludes: “We recently took on the AP processing for two new corporate entities. Thanks to the process enhancements that we have made, we’ve been able to absorb the increased volume without hiring additional staff or impacting our turnaround times.
Karen Pierson Accounts Payable Manager, HealthPartnersLexmark solutions have completely changed the way we work in AP. We can handle a significantly higher volume of work while keeping staff levels flat, and guaranteeing a very fast, reliable service to our suppliers.
“Lexmark solutions have completely changed the way we work in AP. We can handle a significantly higher volume of work while keeping staffing levels flat, and guaranteeing a very fast, reliable service to our suppliers. All of this is helping us to fulfil our corporate mission of providing exceptional care at an affordable price.”