COVID-19 has dramatically impacted the way we all do business. For health plans, the critical moment occurred when many employees were forced to work from home. While most organizations rely on mailed communications to efficiently drive their businesses, health plans do so for an even greater degree. Time sensitive documents, especially those with regulatory oversight, require a much higher level of handling and management. As with many workflows in the age of Covid, the mailroom has been reimagined.
The impact of Covid has required health plans to be creative in their approach to business continuity. Interestingly, the solution many plans have embraced is not only a better approach during Covid but has proven to be a better solution moving ahead permanently.
Before understanding the benefits of this approach, we must first identify the current challenges that health plans face with their mailrooms. They include:
Limited automation for receiving and sending mail. Manual efforts are still a big part of managing a mailroom internally.
Inadequate capabilities for tracking and reporting activities.
Inability to leverage significant postage discounts.
Labor costs and managing schedules to ensure proper coverage.
Hard and soft dollar costs of managing equipment leases, maintenance, and staying up with the latest software and machine capabilities.
Simply put, health plans are not mail houses, nor should they be. One benefit of this rapidly changing environment is that it forces business to get creative. The choice to outsource a mailroom was initially an act of desperation. It quickly became evident that this solution provided tremendous efficiencies as well as improving a health plans ability to communicate effectively and securely.
THE ADVANTAGES OF OUTSOURCING YOUR MAILROOM ARE CLEAR:
For inbound mail:
The outsourced process eliminates all mail handling internally, reducing labor cost.
Internal digital printing machines and mailing equipment lease costs may be dramatically reduced or eliminated.
All inbound mail (envelopes and inserts) is saved, categorized, and stored which serves as an archival repository for future access.
Scanned and uploaded mail is a swifter approach to manually processing mail internally giving your team the ability to respond quickly.
For outbound mail the benefits are even more dramatic:
An outsourced mail specialist can deliver mail to the USPS later in the day allowing plans to mail faster and often in the same day.
Health plans can take advantage of Saturday mail.
Postal savings using presort and commingled services provide significant savings across the board.
DETERMINING THE BENEFITS OF OUTSOURCING YOUR MAIL IS A SIMPLE PROCESS.
An ROI analysis will help define the critical variables. Which include:
Reviewing labor costs and equipment leases.
Assessing the space your mailroom utilizes that will soon be available for more productive use.
Confirming that there is a plan for increased capacity for growth and flexibility.
Sharing automated processes for scanning, distributing, and tracking mail.
Planning for digital storage and organization.
Evaluating current address correction and return mail strategy.
Ensuring that all mailings are meeting regulatory timeframes.
As we move into a new era of managing member communications, opportunities abound for process improvement. With member engagement and retention as critical as ever, be sure that your organization is maximizing its resources.
WITH AN OUTSOURCED MAILROOM YOU CAN DO SO MUCH MORE, FOR LESS!
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