Leveraging artificial intelligence for claims management

Published: April 18, 2023 by Experian Health

Leveraging artificial intelligence for claims management

Healthcare claims management is getting a much-needed infusion of technology. Artificial intelligence (AI) is the key player, utilizing vast amounts of data related to human behavior and health to forecast patterns in disease outcomes with greater precision than ever before. The same analytical power can be applied to claims data to predict and prevent denials. Using artificial intelligence for claims management is now more crucial than ever.

By rooting out errors, evaluating trends and predicting payer behavior, AI helps reduce the likelihood of denied claims and maximize revenue opportunities. Staff can spend less time “treating” the effects of denied claims. But even when denials occur, AI still plays a role, quickly triaging high-value denials so staff uses their time efficiently. This two-pronged, proactive and reactive approach is captured in Experian Health’s AI Advantage solution™. Using AI-powered analytics and automation, this technology helps providers predict, prevent and process denials to improve claims management and increase revenue.

It’s time to update claims management systems

In Experian Health’s State of Claims survey, nearly 3 out of 4 healthcare executives said reducing denials was their top priority. Denials are increasing in number, taking longer to process and taking a bigger bite out of provider profits. Traditional claims management strategies are no longer fit for purpose. The volume and complexity are too much for manual processes to handle, resulting in errors, time-consuming rework and lost revenue.

Many providers are using automated claims management platforms to code and edit claims before they are submitted. Automation is ideal for these highly repetitive processes. Faster and more efficient claims processing increases clean claim rates and speeds up reimbursement. Experian Health’s automated claims management solutions are designed with these outcomes in mind, with ClaimSource® and Contract Manager named among the best-performing claims management products in 2023, according to a KLAS report.

Artificial intelligence builds on the benefits of automation, providing insights and recommendations to drive better decision-making. While automation frees staff from time-consuming, process-driven tasks, artificial intelligence allows them to perform remaining tasks at a higher level. For example, when it comes to processing denials, staff will often “guesstimate” each claim’s potential for payment. They’ll usually focus on reworking the highest-value denials first. AI removes the guesswork so staff can prioritize denials based on monetary value and likelihood of reimbursement, so time isn’t wasted chasing higher payments that may never materialize.

Using artificial intelligence for claims management can predict and prevent denials

A successful denial reduction strategy starts upstream, to proactively prevent denials before they occur. AI Advantage ­– Predictive Denials uses AI to review claims before they’re submitted and flag any that are likely to be denied, based on historical payment data and payer adjudication rules. The tool detects changes to the way payers handle denials, even if those aren’t explicitly documented. If a claim exceeds the (customizable) threshold for probability of denial, Predictive Denials alerts the appropriate biller, who can then intervene and make corrections prior to claim submission.

The benefits of this “early detection” approach include:

  • Reducing the number of denials to be processed (and staff time spent processing them)
  • Reducing AR days by flagging high-risk claims
  • Improving patient satisfaction by avoiding lengthy appeals processes.

After using AI Advantage – Predictive Denials for six months, Schneck Medical Center reduced average monthly denials by 4.6%. Reworking claims flagged with a predictive alert took 3–5 minutes, which was significantly quicker than before. By frontloading staff time to get claims right the first time, less effort was spent on denials. Implementation was straightforward, with no disruption to the existing claims workflow.

Triaging denials for faster, more effective rework

The second piece of the AI Advantage solution addresses denials that haven’t been prevented. AI Advantage – Denial Triage uses advanced algorithms to identify and segment denials so staff can focus on the most profitable resubmissions. Denials are automatically triaged into five customizable categories based on likelihood of approval. Staff can rework the claims in their work queue without wondering if they’re putting their effort in the right place.

By automating decisions about which claims to prioritize for rework in real time, Denials Triage eliminates time spent on low-value denials and increases revenue by prioritizing high-value claims. As with Predictive Denials, this reduces the administrative burden on staff, expedites AR days, and increases patient satisfaction by reducing time to decision.

Extending the automation advantage

To maximize reimbursements, providers need to look at opportunities to leverage automation and artificial intelligence across the entire claims ecosystem. AI Advantage integrates with existing systems and workflows to leverage the impact of tools such as ClaimSource®. ClaimSource manages the whole claims cycle from a single online application. AI Advantage uses real-time insights generated by ClaimSource to detect patterns and predict future payer behavior.

Other ways to use automation to improve claims management include:

  • Automated claim scrubbingClaim Scrubber uses machine learning to assess which claims have been denied in the past and why. Claims can be tagged for extra checks before being prepared for processing, to ensure likely errors have been avoided. This helps eliminate undercharges, reduce errors and minimize rework.
  • Enhanced claim status monitoring – This helps providers keep track of existing claims. Automated status requests based on each payer’s adjudication timeframe reduce manual follow-up work and allow staff to respond promptly to issues. Gathering insights into potential problems before the electronic remittance advice and explanation of benefits are processed creates time to make corrections.
  • Using a denials workflow manager – This system automates and optimizes the denial management portion of the claims cycle, so staff can improve productivity and speed up reimbursement.

With a single vendor, these tools and systems are designed to work cohesively, so there are no issues with interoperability. Data is reliable, accessible and integrated, so automation can pull from the most up-to-date and complete sources. This data can feed into proprietary machine-learning algorithms to predict and shape future performance. Experian Health’s suite of automated claims management software solutions also comes with support from experienced claims-specific experts, who can help staff optimize their set-up and workflows.

With the rise of AI, the healthcare industry is turning towards a more proactive approach to claim denials. Leveraging artificial intelligence for claims management can improve the overall efficiency and accuracy of healthcare claims processing, leading to fewer denials and a more seamless patient experience. Instead of waiting for denials to occur before taking remedial action, providers can use AI and automation to proactively detect errors and diagnose weaknesses in the claims process for a healthier revenue cycle.

Discover how AI Advantage can help healthcare organizations predict and prevent claim denials.

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