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News

CAQH outsources key services to ACS

Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) : 24 March, 2008  (Company News)
Affiliated Computer Services has been awarded a contract to provide business process outsourcing (BPO), information technology outsourcing (ITO), and customer care services for CAQH, the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare.
The multi-million dollar deal has a five and one-half year term with two one-year options, including a six-month implementation period.

CAQH is a non-profit alliance of health plans and trade associations collaborating on initiatives that simplify healthcare administration for health plans and providers, resulting in a better care experience for patients and caregivers.

Under the terms of the contract, ACS will integrate its state-of-the-art document and customer relationship management systems with web applications to support CAQH's Universal Credentialing Datasource (UCD) service. UCD is a web-based, single-source data-capture solution that eliminates the need for caregivers across the USA to complete and submit multiple credentialing and re-credentialing applications, thus reducing the time and expense devoted to unnecessary administrative functions.

More than 550,000 providers and other health professionals use the service, and more than 10,000 join monthly. CAQH estimates that UCD saves providers more than $81 million annually and, to date, has eliminated more than two million paper applications.

'CAQH and its member companies have a deep commitment to improving the healthcare process for patients and providers,' said Ronald A Williams, CAQH chairman of the board and chairman and chief executive officer of Aetna. 'The Universal Credentialing Datasource is an example of what dedicated industry leadership can do by leveraging technology to support improvements in the healthcare system. The agreement will allow us to strengthen our position as the largest, most accurate repository of provider and credentialing information in the marketplace.'

ACS will begin providing a range of BPO, ITO, and customer care solutions during summer 2008, including mailroom services, document imaging, application processing, and data entry. The company will also provide data centre management, IT operations, applications development, and integration services, as well as help desk support.

'Partnering with an industry thought leader like CAQH allows ACS to continue to play a significant role in helping to streamline healthcare's many administrative processes,' said Scott Mingee, ACS vice president of business development. 'Our robust, cost-effective solutions can be leveraged by industry payers, hospitals, and networks to reduce time and expense, allowing caregivers to concentrate on providing quality, affordable healthcare.'

Along with complementary BPO and ITO solutions, ACS will employ and integrate Contact Workspace, its proprietary customer relationship management application, with UCD to improve the customer experience. Contact Workspace gives ACS customer care representatives a single desktop application to retrieve data and images from multiple sources. The application has endless potential to streamline customer service and business processes for the company's many healthcare clients.

'We have an outstanding record of proven, innovative performance in the healthcare arena. Our services and expertise enable us to support large-scale projects and make us an ideal partner for achieving strategic growth in the healthcare industry,' said Mingee. 'Our team of specialists is dedicated to designing and tailoring solutions that eradicate costs, increase efficiency, and improve service to payers and providers alike. We look forward to putting this array of talent to work for CAQH.'

'ACS has the tools, development expertise, and flexibility we need to meet our growth expectations for UCD and help our participating health plans, hospitals, MCOs, and providers realise even greater administrative efficiencies,' said Robin Thomashauer, CAQH executive director.

CAQH initiatives, such as UCD, help promote quality interactions between plans, providers, and other stakeholders, reduce costs and frustrations associated with healthcare administration, facilitate administrative healthcare information exchange, and encourage administrative and clinical data integration.
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