Myths Debunked

The truth about going digital for your ANOCs and EOCs

There are so many misconceptions about what digital ANOC and EOC document preparation can and can’t do. With more than 15 ANOC seasons under our belt, we thought we’d help those who are relatively new to the process. Perhaps a decision still needs to be made on whether or not to go digital. Let’s debunk some myths with real world experience, not sales hype or scare tactics.

Myth #1: Going Digital is EASY.

Honestly, nothing could be further from the truth. It takes more time to build the data/variables and program the template. Many would argue that building the books and directories traditionally might take less time in a head-to-head comparison. Where digital excels over traditional is in subsequent years when you only have to update the sections that change, and not the whole book or directory from scratch over again.

Myth #2: The books come out of the tool ready to go to the printer.

Don’t count on it.

One of the top health plans in the US spent hundreds of thousands of dollars going digital one year. They had to hit the panic button and called us at the 11th hour. Why? A very important lesson was learned: ANOC/EOC documents can’t be built 100% correct using only a digital solution each year. Approximately 90-95% of the books can be done in the digital tool. It is faster and more cost effective to just do that last 5-10% by hand. 100% compliance or bust.

Myth #3: I don’t need to QC or proofread the documents or grid.

Sure…if you are okay with errors.

The name of the game in going digital is proof, proof, and reproof. It starts with proofreading the variable grid for accuracy and formatting. Then you proofread the merged document, note errors and issues, and correct them in the grid or programming. You will do this over and over again until you have clean merged documents.

Myth #4: Digital is much cheaper and faster than building ANOC/EOC or directories traditionally.

Yes and no.

As for directories, going digital could not be a more cost effective and time saving way to build these documents. See our last blog about this topic. [link to blog #2. URL TBD. See Sari for anchor point] As an added bonus, they don’t need to be rebuilt each and every time a doctor or drug is added.

For ANOC and EOCs, the first year is NOT cheaper than building traditionally, however, the subsequent years after initial investment year are cheaper.

Myth #5: Digital is so easy it is my back-up plan if my own staff is not going to make our print deadline.

You might be in for a big surprise…

If you think you will build a whole ANOC/EOC on the fly, and at the last minute, you are either A.) going to miss your deadline; or B.) you have already resigned yourself to send errata notices.

Going digital takes some of the burden off your staff by automating specific chapters. The printer can then assemble those chapters with what your staff was able to digitally output at time of final print. If you are in this situation, give TRAFFIK a call at 877.769.1921. We have ANOC/EOC SMEs on site and experienced staff to help build books, chapters, and sections traditionally. This could be the most cost efficient and time saving method than trying to turn to an all-digital solution.

Myth #6: One staffer is all I need to go digital.

Mostly correct.

This really depends on the experience and aptitude of the staffer, not the digital process itself. TRAFFIK always recommends designating one project lead, and having that person work with your internal SMEs for confirmation that benefit data are correct and language is spot on for their respective sections.

Myth #7: Digital can only be used for regulatory materials. WARNING: TOTALLY NOT TRUE.

Digital is actually a great thing for plans that have multiple lines of business such as Medi-Cal, Commercial, as well as Medicare. This allows the plan to reap the benefits of digital processing across the whole organization, and thus allows for economies of scale to better spread the cost across multiple departmental budgets. This fact has brought a digital solution into the realm of possibility for many smaller organizations.

We hope this has helped you to better understand what is fact and fiction in terms of going digital. If you are on the fence about going digital, or just feel overwhelmed this regulatory season, give TRAFFIK a call at 877.769.1921 and we can diagnose your needs and troubleshoot the best solution or mix of solutions that will get your pieces out on time and error-free with your staff still talking to you. (Sounds like a myth, right?)

Call 877.769.1921 to discuss your options. You can also email questions to Brent Shoji at brent.shoji@traffikonline.com