Humana expands deployment of voice portal technology

By Mike Miliard
12:41 PM
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Interactions Corporation helps plan members enroll in Part D

BOSTON – Interactions Corporation and Humana will expand their partnership, through which Humana deploys Interactions' voice portal technology, to streamline member enrollment for Medicare Part D benefits.

In its first year, the Interactions portal brought positive reactions from Humana Medicare members, officials say, as well as improved efficiencies and cost savings for the company.

Interactions and Humana are now expanding their relationship from one program with a limited set of Medicare beneficiaries to include the support of prescription drug programs around the country, which will all be live with Interactions' voice application – beginning next month, enabling callers to use the automated system when the Medicare open-enrollment period begins Oct. 15, 2011.

Nearly 18 million Americans currently rely on a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan for their prescription drug needs, and officials say the number is expected to grow to 26 million by 2015. Interactions' voice-automated system makes it easier for Medicare beneficiaries to enroll in a Humana Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

"Working with Interactions, we were able to use a highly effective automated system to meet and exceed the high standards of customer care demanded by the complexity of open enrollment for Medicare coverage," said Alan Wheatley, vice president of Humana Senior Products. "Previously, only Humana customer service representatives were able to take these calls. Now, during peak times, with Interactions, people with Medicare are able to enroll more quickly, which provides a better overall experience for our members."

Interactions' technology is based upon an ability to understand spoken language, which allows consumer-focused companies to engage callers in a productive, natural conversation, regardless of complexity or subject matter.

Quick to be deployed – the initial Humana/Interactions program required only four months lead time – Interactions' technology allows automated voice portals to be used effectively for implementations that were once thought impossible, said officials.

"Simply put, we're taking conventional automated interactive voice response systems to a new level; delivering quality service during complex, detailed phone calls, and debunking negative perceptions of IVRs commonly held by callers accustomed to service through live reps," said Interactions CEO Mike Iacobucci. "When Medicare beneficiaries call into Humana, the Interactions voice application will give them the time and responsiveness they deserve, and let them experience a successful, hassle-free call – whether it's for open enrollment or for information about prescription drug programs."