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Streamlining Data Capture in the Age of COVID-19 with FormSuite for Structured Forms

insurance claim form automation


When it comes to the COVID-19 crisis, the only constant is change. As noted by Insurance Business Magazine, this creates a “growing opportunity” for insurance firms to embrace digital transition and improve their processes — provided they can quickly embrace insurance claim form automation to underpin underwriters’ efficiency.

This is no small task. From legacy systems that were never designed to live on cloud networks to proprietary processing solutions that are struggling with handprinted forms and multiple file formats, health insurance agencies now recognize the need for efficient, accurate, and complete forms processing — but often lack the backend infrastructure to make remote data capture a reality.

Accusoft’s FormSuite for Structured Forms can help bolster digital backends and build out insurance data collection capacity with efficient information capture, reliable structured form field recognition, quick data verification, and multiple form identification to both streamline forms processing and support the “new normal” of health insurance operations.

Managing Healthcare Data Analytics During COVID-19

Crisis conditions are rapidly evolving. From dynamic case variables to emerging equations that govern policy and coverage requirements, it’s critical for insurance companies to have systems in place that allow for capture and routing of this data quickly and accurately, in turn empowering actuaries to create cutting-edge risk models.

This is especially critical as healthcare costs continue to rise. According to a recent data brief, uninsured patients could face medical bills of more than $74,000 if they experience major complications, while the International Travel and Health Insurance Journal (ITIJ) reports a rising demand for more comprehensive employer-sponsored healthcare policies to help offset out-of-pocket COVID-19 costs.

As a result, it’s critical for companies to focus on the certainties of the current claims continuum: the crisis isn’t static, customer satisfaction is paramount, and comprehensive forms capture across four key functions defines the first step toward improved data analysis and risk modeling.


1) Efficient Information Capture

On-demand information capture underpins effective analytics, in turn empowering agents with the critical information needed to provide best-fit coverage recommendations and ensure high customer satisfaction. Even prior to the COVID crisis, 61 percent of consumers said they wanted the ability to submit and track claims online. But nine out of ten firms lack the in-house ability to process these forms and capture this data at scale, let alone empower staff to do so at a distance. 

FormSuite for Structured Forms provides a software-driven solution to this challenge with the ability to automatically capture forms data using a combination of OCR, ICR, and OMR technologies, making it possible to quickly and accurately record everything from phone numbers and signatures to hand-printed text fields. For actuaries, agents, and underwriters this reduced reliance on manual processes shortens the distance between data information and insight, allowing staff to better serve customer needs with custom-built health policies.


2) Reliable Form Field Recognition

Poorly-constructed fields represent a real problem for insurance data capture and accuracy. Consider common form characteristics such as comb lines or character boxes. If comb lines are too close together or too short, they will not be recognized. They should be at least half the height of any expected character. Accurate, automated reading may be difficult. When it comes to character boxes, meanwhile, rectangular boxes higher than they are wide can result in compressed characters that are challenging to identify. Even paper thickness and bleed-through can cause form field frustrations, in turn reducing overall claims throughput.

Solving this problem starts with improved form frameworks. Insurers are often best-served by leveraging the latest ACORD standards to ensure claims documentation construction is both current and comprehensive. But in a world driven by socially-distant technology solutions, companies must also account for the expanding volume of new forms used by clients and third-party providers alike. Recent PWC data found that “clunkiness and redundancy” remain common across insurance forms. As a result, it’s critical to deploy SDK solutions capable of streamlining form recognition to ensure staff spend less time checking and re-checking paperwork and more time writing new policies. 


3) Confident Data Verification

Data confidence is critical for success, especially when it comes to capturing data from hand printed or scanned insurance forms. Even small errors can cause big problems — if applicant data is incorrectly entered or policy values aren’t accurate, insurance companies lose the information confidence required to drive strategic analytics at scale. 

Confidence values provide the critical connection between OCR assessment and data output. Described on a scale from 0 to 100, higher numbers represent greater likelihood of character accuracy, while lower values indicate a “suspicious” character that may require secondary analysis. FormSuite for Structured Forms allows developers to customize key confidence thresholds that trigger notifications — if characters are deemed suspicious, they can be flagged for further review to ensure data is completely accurate.


4) Multiple Forms Identification

According to the World Insurtech Report 2020, the shift from corporate operations to home offices has accelerated digital insurance innovation, with 60 percent of firms launching in-house innovation teams to help embrace the need for technology-first, customer-facing processes. 

The caveat? These initiatives are only successful with backend processes support, specifically in the area of forms recognition. As noted above, while industry-standard forms remain the ideal iteration for claims processes, pandemic priorities have compelled rapid adaptation as both staff working environments and consumer expectations evolve. To meet emerging demand, firms must be prepared to regularly create, vet, and verify new form templates on-demand. 

Advanced optical character recognition is critical to bridge the gap between scanned forms and current templates by ensuring correct formats are quickly identified and efficiently routed. Formsuite for Structured Forms also takes this process a step further with the ability to accurately detect and align form templates even if they’re rotated, skewed, or scaled.


Solving for Structural Integrity

Structural integrity is essential for insurance success in the age of COVID-19. To achieve this goal, firms can’t simply focus on front-line functions. Other critical steps include needing to bolster back-end forms processing and bridge functional gaps, empowering staff to capture data, identify form fields, achieve higher character confidence values, and identify document formats on-demand. Ready to streamline claims processing? Download your free trial of FormSuite for Structured Forms.