VillageCareMAX Saves Over 4,000 Hours a Year by Automating HIPAA-Compliant Direct Mail

VillageCareMAX is a provider-sponsored health plan that offers a Managed Long-Term Care Plan, along with Medicare/Medicaid dual eligible managed care options. VillageCareMAX is part of VillageCare, which has historically focused on ever-changing health care trends and has worked to create responses to new and emerging needs for New Yorkers living in the boroughs of Brooklyn, Manhattan, Bronx and Queens. For over 40 years, VillageCare has accomplished this by providing quality health care to older adults and to those with other chronic diseases and conditions who are in need of continuing care and rehabilitation services.

The Challenges of Compliant Communications

As a managed long-term care plan, VillageCareMAX is obligated to send mail, and maintain detailed logs that document the journey of each and every mail piece as part of being HIPAA compliant. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was introduced in 1996 and defined how healthcare and insurance industries should protect a patient’s personal health information. Maintaining HIPAA compliance ensures that VillageCareMAX is protecting their members’ information, which can add complexities when communicating about care plans that contain sensitive health data.

VillageCareMAX had previously executed all of their direct mail needs in-house. One of their direct mailing campaigns is a care plan that gets sent to a new member after they’ve completed all of their intake meetings, which combines data from over 12 electronic health records. Delivering the care plans to members took the mailroom team over 300 hours per month dedicated to preparing and printing the right documents, stuffing envelopes, and couriering it to the post office; all the while documenting when each piece of mail is created and mailed. The process was manual, but necessary for sending 2,500 monthly care plans to all new incoming members.

Unlocking Opportunities Through Automation

Once VillageCareMAX integrated with Lob, they were able to successfully automate several of their direct mail efforts by creating more efficient workflows that surround their offline communications and outreach to both members and partners alike. Using Lob to produce their  member care plan letters, they were able to send mail at a fraction of their previous cost and save the team 4,000 hours a year. In addition to letters, VillageCareMAX uses Lob to send monthly reports to licensed homecare agencies from where members receive services. The letter lists eligible members along with additional data—a unique offering for licensed agencies to receive from a managed long-term care plan. These summary reports allow VillageCareMAX to inform member status changes to agencies quickly and accurately and required no additional time after implementation. This communication enables VillageCareMAX to create material value for their partner agencies, while improving their individual members’ level of care. 

VillageCareMAX continues to explore opportunities to expand upon its experience with automated direct mail firsthand. By connecting their CRM databases to Lob, they are able to continuously identify opportunities to automate and eliminate manual tasks associated with direct mail. Next on the horizon, VillageCareMAX is planning to expand the number of teams that benefit from automated direct mail to include outgoing mail for the complaints and appeals department, or authorization letters for member procedures in the nursing department. 

“Since implementing automated direct mail, we have strong confidence that our members and provider partners are receiving important care plan information in the timeliest manner possible,” says Robert Priest, manager of payor solutions at VillageCareMAX. “Moving to an automated printing and distribution solution was particularly prescient in light of the current COVID-19 health crisis,” says Stuart Myer, Chief Information Officer at VillageCare. “It has been essential in VillageCare’s move to a remote workforce,” he added. 

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