Interoperability has been a popular buzzword in the healthcare industry in the last few years. The ability for unrelated systems to connect, access, and exchange data has opened up an abundance of opportunities, from improving patients' ability to share their health information to streamlining the pre-authorization process between providers and carriers. We're seeing interoperability changing healthcare for the better and paving a path for more innovation in the future.

But in the employee benefits industry, true interoperability is in short supply. Much of the industry's information and data is siloed between various systems. So-called integration between these systems still requires human intervention. Processes remain manual and time-consuming, and errors that can cost millions are a fact of life for carriers, brokers, and their employer clients.

At ThreeFlow, we see interoperability as the foundation for collaborating. But what does that foundation look like and how can it be implemented? Let's explore.

Disconnected and disappointed

One area where we see the opportunity for improvement is in the RFP process. Typically, carriers receive an enormous number of opportunities through unstructured channels and formats. These opportunities are loaded into one or more systems that various internal stakeholders require in order to generate a quote. Those quotes are then typically re-entered manually into another system and shared with the broker.

In the best-case scenario, a benefits placement system helps streamline this process so carriers can focus on their pipeline of opportunities and brokers receive accurate and on-time submissions.

But without this system, collaboration is split between email and spreadsheets. Data and plan design errors can go unnoticed until post-implementation, or worse until a claim is processed, causing employees and employers stress, and costing brokers and carriers resources to correct.

When a benefits placement system can seamlessly share and receive information with other systems, that’s true interoperability. By creating a flow of information, manual work, human intervention, and the possibility of errors are reduced, if not eliminated.

For the carrier workflow, this means that broker RFPs can be ingested directly into their underwriting systems, notifying the correct team members to take action. Then, approved rates and plan designs can be transferred back to the broker, helping eliminate any errors or inconsistencies in what gets implemented.

With more manual work done by connected systems, carriers and brokers can focus on providing valuable insights and consultation to the clients.

The connected carrier journey

For the employee benefits industry to move forward, interoperability is critical. That's why we recently introduced ThreeFlow Connect—a new way for carriers to integrate with ThreeFlow, by either a direct API or file feed. 

Our data integrations further automate efficient information sharing between brokers and carriers, accelerating carriers’ chances to win more business.

The bottom line

The accuracy that interoperability brings helps to inform more intelligent benefit decisions as a broker seeks to determine the best plan design for their client. Processes are streamlined, the potential for errors is reduced, and time to submit and receive a quote is cut down dramatically. Brokers and carriers are able to have deeper collaboration on ThreeFlow.

The only question that remains is: what will you do with all your extra time? Find out how ThreeFlow Connect can streamline your RFP workflow. Request a demo.