Status Emails Drain Health Plan Productivity

Feb 11, 2019

If your auditors’ workflow depends on email, there’s a more productive way forward.

Confession time, health plans: how much of your auditors’ workflow depends upon email? Are they working claims based upon what they were pinged about most recently? You’re not alone. In myriad industries — health payers included — email is the default business communication platform. But (and there’s always a “but”), even though very useful when used appropriately, using email for status updates and other workflow assistance is not only not the best tool for the job, it may even be unintentionally killing the productivity of your auditors.

Email: Productivity Killer, Stress Inducer

As if your staff doesn’t have enough to worry about, there’s the expectation of maintaining an email inbox which (depending on your position) may spiral into the hundreds of “unreads” each day. Email is killing productivity and increasing stress levels of the workforce.

Top of the inbox does not equal top of the priority list. But it often feels that way to employees who are trying to “quiet” the notifications and unread emails before they get out of hand. “We often feel more productive once we’ve cleaned out our email inbox, despite perhaps not accomplishing anything value-creating for our organization,” writes David Burkus. One particular problem with relying on email (especially for auditors’ workflows) is that it perpetuates data silos. The information in your email often only lives there, instead of global locations.

Created to conquer email inadequacies, chat isn’t any better. In fact, relying on it to dictate project priorities makes everyday communications feel like an emergency. While it mimics a collaborative digital environment, the reality is that chat doesn’t actually increase co-working — it just eats up productivity.


How to Use Email Appropriately

These 4 key tips will help you manage your email and stay productive:

  • Check email when you first arrive to work but only for a few minutes.
  • Check again mid-day, limiting yourself to 10 minutes of email time. Set a timer, if needed.
  • Check again mid-afternoon and at the end of the day, limiting your time to 10-15 minutes.
  • Ex-Google employees offer more tips here — including the idea to actually schedule “Email Time” on your calendar!

Optimize Your Workflow

Email, spreadsheets — we’ve all used them, but they no longer stand up to the needs of complex health plan functions, like auditor workflow. Email inboxes are difficult to manage and contribute to cumbersome administrative processes that create a lot of busy work. This doesn’t get your organization any closer to its goals; it only creates a “treading water” effect which frustrates talented staff as well as health plan members.

Optimizing workflow is about increasing focus and productivity. This is especially true for resource-constrained health plans who need to operate with agility in order to stay competitive. By becoming goal-oriented, progress has a purpose in your organization, and this sense of accomplishment can make people feel more engaged in their jobs. Health plans struggle to find and retain workforce talent, but by offering better digital tools, they can appear more attractive to workers. About 40% of workers said they left a company because they lacked access to state-of-the-art digital tools, and 58% said they would need to work elsewhere to gain digital skills. (Randstad)

Wondering how this activity may affect your auditors? Statistically speaking, at least 23% of your employee’s day is spent on email, with an average of 36 email checks per hour. Another report cites over 50% of employees agree that excessive email gets in the way of work. Chances are, if your workflow relies on email, your auditors struggle to remain productive.


73% of employees who work in a fully-enabled digital workplace reported a positive impact on their productivity, and 70% cited improved collaboration thanks to digital technologies. That figure dives to 55% for those who don’t work in a fully-enabled digital workplace. (Aruba)

Pareo® Increases Auditor Productivity 3x

The Workflow and Analytics functionality of Pareo® can increase auditor productivity 3x by integrating all necessary data onto a single platform. No more emailing back-and-forth or waiting on a spreadsheet to be updated. Intuitive and efficient claims validation lets your auditors audit so they can make overpayment determinations as quickly as possible with minimal clicks. Behind-the-scenes automation makes your ideal-state workflow a reality.

Here’s how Pareo® increases auditor productivity:


Query Library.

Maintain electronic library of all queries, organized by category and tracked by active status. Maximize analytics across all lines of business to gain insights into hit rates and improve accuracy.


Automated Inventory Workflow.

Generate results for audit and validation in real-time with automated processing of all analytics and claims inventory. Enable sophisticated work routing/assignment by audit type, and build profiles by user to expedite efficiencies for pre-pay and post-pay and maximize productivity.


Automate Medical Records Requests.

Reduce provider abrasion, increase nurse auditor throughput and improve provider NPS. Streamlined medical records request process eliminates duplicate requests and auto-routes submissions to the appropriate auditor with smart tagging.


Audit Validation Tools.

Enable robust clinical audit validation by audit type (e.g., inpatient/outpatient).


Real-time Productivity Metrics.

Expand your workforce with smart staffing analysis. Track user productivity in real-time, and better understand metrics that drive efficiency: audit time vs. system time, auditor activity (refunds per hour), average refund value, claims to refunds rate, time-based metrics.

Now’s the time for total payment integrity

See the ClarisHealth 360-degree solution for total payment integrity in action.

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