Health Insurance Call Center

CLIENT: Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute


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The Challenge: Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute faced a conundrum related to its consumer assistance services – many of the people in the most need for help obtaining health insurance, were faced with the immediate need of securing health care and hadn't yet figured out that they would have to look for insurance help too. And, the organizations set up to help them find doctors, clinical information, and support groups, were frustrated by their inability to guide callers who needed insurance help as well.

Working with its institutional partners, Georgetown conceived the idea of an online call center assistance database, that could be used by organizations like the American Cancer Society and the Multiple Sclerosis Society, in their own call centers. Based on its ongoing successful relationship with on the website, the Institute asked us to tackle this new, ambitious project.

The Solution: tackled the problem with relish, drawing together a team of technologists including the ColdFusion and Access database developers at NetPoliticsGroup and the network security experts at Technical Support Resources. This evolving project, begun in late 2002, has been very successful for Georgetown and its partner organizations.

The web-based database allows call center personnel to collect data from callers in a structured questionnaire. The complexity of the problem and all its technical details are logged, and many callers are helped immediately through answers provided by the specialized call center software. Georgetown's staff of insurance experts can also step in and collaborate on assisting in more difficult situations, and all the activity is recorded in the shared database, providing constant feedback on the system's performance.

Working with focussed, prepared professionals and using readily-available industry-standard computer programs, this was an almost embarrassingly inexpensive solution to a fairly complex problem. And yet every week we save lives by helping ill people get the insurance they need so they can see their doctors and buy their medications. I'm so proud of this project, and am delighted to continue this work in progress with an awesome team.

SERVICES: database development, project management

INDUSTRIES: health, universities