For Rob Ashmore, Information Delivery Manager at Bupa Australia, being able to properly manage and analyse data is crucial for controlling Bupa’s claims line.
“Our SAS software system allows us to identify aberrant behaviours, such as over servicing, over claiming and fraud, which in turn allows us a greater degree of control over what we pay out,” says Rob.
“We recoup money by looking for inappropriate payments, claims leakages, fraud, provider over servicing… basically any part of any claim that we have already paid or are due to pay that could be better spent.
“Being able to control our claims line with our SAS system has not only enabled us to reduce the price of premiums for our customers, ensuring they get a better deal with hospitals and pay less of a gap…
… it has also played a major part in enabling our operational team to save Bupa in excess of $150 million dollars since 2009.”
“But we couldn’t have done this without the expertise and experience of Michael Dixon and his team at Selerity.”
In 2009 Bupa wanted to help reduce the price of premiums for their customers by using SAS software to control their claims line. So Rob Ashmore approached Michael Dixon and asked him to come on board as a full-time consultant.
Michael spent the next 18 months consulting full-time within Bupa, setting up the correct architecture for their SAS system, developing their datamarts and building a data warehouse for holding their claims-related information.
“Michael helped us plan at fundamental stage, before we installed our SAS system,” says Rob. “He set a fundamental direction for our software, ensuring that our SAS system had longevity, scalability and flexibility.
“He also worked as an intrinsic part of our small team and brought superb knowledge of SAS processes, which allowed us to control our SAS system from within the business side of Bupa, rather than just the IT department having control.”
“The return on investment of this original engagement has been immense — at least twenty-to-one. Michael’s whole approach has enabled our operational teams use SAS software to recoup in excess of $150 million dollars…and that’s a conservative estimate!”
Bupa already had the SAS system up and running for a while but realised they weren’t really making the best use of it. They simply weren’t populating their own datamarts in a way that made it useful for the end user.
“We called Michael and the team from Selerity in again, this time to help us restructure our databases to make it more effective, more scalable, and ensure it performed better for our needs,” says Rob.
“The team at Selerity also designed our system so that our data was loaded on a daily basis, rather than on a monthly basis. This provided us with near real time data that we could respond to immediately, allowing us to make better informed decisions and quickly identify and respond to any aberrant behaviours.”
The real return on investment for Bupa is that they only have to employ a small team to manage their datamarts and the applications which they use to perform analysis.
“A couple of years ago a staff member who used to maintain our SAS server left the company, which meant we no longer had a specialist in that area. Without Selerity we would have had to employ two people for this role, both a SAS platform admin specialist and SAS application programmer. We tried to find someone who was capable of performing both roles, but we were without success…it was hard to find one person who had that skill set.
“We decided to outsource our SAS admin provisioning to Selerity because, quite frankly, they can do it better, faster and cheaper than we can. It costs a lot to train and retain internally, and keeping on top of SAS knowledge needs is also extremely difficult.”
For the past two years Selerity has been engaged as a service provider on a permanent basis to manage Bupa’s SAS system for them.
Selerity’s service provisioning for Bupa encompasses:
• Installing any updates and SAS version upgrades
• Understanding, configuring and implementing SAS version upgrades from A-Z
• In-house knowledge transfer to senior SAS specialist in the Bupa team
• Explaining admin functions in Bupa’s SAS system and how to do day-to-day admin
• Testing to make sure any installation is installed successful and working smoothly
“Now that Selerity are maintaining our SAS system for us we don’t have to worry anymore about what happens when internal staff go on leave, are away sick or are headhunted elsewhere. We’re not paying super, sick leave or annual leave, and Selerity perform the same admin function with more skill and expertise (and at a fraction of the cost!) of employing in-house staff!”
“The team at Selerity are very proactive, really going above and beyond their job description,” says Rob. “Michael also points out new features of our SAS platform which we weren’t currently aware of or using as well as SAS features that are redundant to our purpose.
“Even though we don’t pay them to act as advisors on SAS strategy, they’ve always very good at advising on other matters relating to SAS. They’ve been incredibly helpful in a number of ways, but especially in giving us advice on how to use our SAS software to get to the right solution, more quickly, whilst achieving the correct result.
“The entire team’s knowledge of new developments in SAS software is second to none and they point us at modules, explain new parts of SAS, and show us how to optimise our use of SAS.
“Selerity have enabled us to really maximise the return on investment in our SAS system…something we would never have been able to do without them.”
“The Selerity team also have a very good understanding of our business,” says Rob. “My team at Bupa all have IT capabilities but we work within the business side of Bupa. We sit amongst operational staff, report to same staff—we are not just part of the IT environment…we really understand the business side, which makes us incredibly effective.
“Selerity work closely with our team so they understand we need to focus more on the business than on our SAS system, so what they build for us is far easier for operational people to use, rather than just IT people.
“Selerity have a really really good business model themselves, because not only do they install SAS systems, but they also provide SAS admin and hosting services at the fraction of the cost of what it would cost to employ somebody in-house.
“Without Selerity we would have greatly increased staff costs and our SAS system administration would occupy lot more of my time.”
For Bupa, the ongoing relationship with Selerity has been absolutely crucial in controlling Bupa’s claims line, saving them increasing amounts of money each year.
“Selerity have ensured our SAS software is flexible, reliable and accurate, saving us and our customers in excess of $150 million dollars over 7 years.
“Selerity not only have provided Bupa with a return on investment of at least 20:1…
…they have also delivered peace of mind.”
“We went to Selerity with confidence because they are the market leaders in terms of depth and breadth of SAS knowledge and experience.
“We really do consider Selerity to be the best in the business.”