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Three Key Challenges for Healthcare Client Onboarding

Client onboarding challenges are far too common in healthcare today. Payers struggle to onboard new employer groups, TPAs struggle to onboard payers, health IT vendors struggle to get client data into inflexible templates, and providers struggle with complex credentialing requirements. As a result, healthcare organizations incur costly onboarding delays, damaging new and existing customer and client relationships. In an increasingly consumer-centric—not to mention competitive— healthcare environment, customer and client satisfaction are more important than ever.

So what’s so difficult about client onboarding?

  1. Traditional client onboarding processes are largely manual. This time- and resource-intensive approach results in basic yet critical errors—inputting incorrect plan effective dates or dependent names, to name just a few. Because onboarding isn’t a one-time occurrence, these errors compound, leaving healthcare organizations to struggle with managing unique plans and employee identification. The result? Flooded call centers, a major drain on enterprise budgets.
  2. Client onboarding is a data-intensive process. Payers, providers, employer groups, and TPAs exchange various types of data in high volumes on an ongoing basis during client onboarding. Data modeling and mapping during traditional client onboarding processes is a slow, inefficient endeavor, resulting in increased interdependencies and missed opportunities to enhance customer experience.
  3. Most healthcare organizations manage a dizzying array of compliance requirements, all of which are critical to performing basic care or business functions. Client onboarding is no different. With the slow pace of traditional client onboarding processes, healthcare organizations struggle to identify and fix data quality issues or inaccuracies. As in any industry, burdened compliance processes leads to heightened enterprise risk.

It’s up to key stakeholders across business units to evaluate the weaknesses in traditional client onboarding processes. It’s also up to them to explore new approaches.

Healthcare organizations overwhelmingly rely on a toxic mix of manual processes and relational technology to meet these core client onboarding challenges. According to Forrester Research,”[d]ata is the lifeblood of an effective onboarding campaign, and while data is generally available for onboarding activities, the timeliness and robustness of the data can hinder success.”

As with so many challenges in healthcare today, organizations need to “follow the data” to uncover the costly weaknesses in their current approaches. Unlike traditional approaches, healthcare organizations should consider adopting a flexible architectural pattern to easily integrate and operationalize the various data sources commonly handled during client onboarding processes. What’s more, being able to link this data and contextualize it by semantically relating it to other sources automates and streamlines a previously manual and error-prone process. This approach marries observe-the-business and run-the-business functions, which is crucial for accelerating enterprise goals around improving customer service and easing compliance pains.

If you could effectively tackle just one of the above client onboarding challenges, what impact could it have on your organization?

Solutions Marketing Manager, Healthcare & Life Sciences

Nick develops market strategy and messaging for MarkLogic's healthcare and life sciences business. Before joining MarkLogic, Nick worked in advisory and consulting capacities at the MITRE Corporation and Booz Allen Hamilton, respectively, where he supported the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services with policy and operational challenges around implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Nick has deep subject matter expertise across the health care domain, with particular strengths in health law, bioethics, and public health. His work has appeared in law reviews, leading peer-reviewed journals, and popular media outlets. He has taught health care ethics at the university level, lectured in both medical schools and schools of public health, and appeared multiple times on MSNBC as an expert in public health law.

Nick studied philosophy and theology as an undergraduate at Georgetown, law at Charleston Law, and bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently finishing a master of laws (LL.M.) in global health law at Georgetown Law, where he also serves as an Articles Editor and member of the Article Review Committee for The Food and Drug Law Journal.

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