5 questions with…Tara DeMoura

This month, we sit down with Tara DeMoura, our new vice president of operations, to get her thoughts on how Blue Cross is redesigning the service experience to be more consistent, accountable, and efficient for our customers and brokers.

Congratulations on your new role! Tell us about some of the changes you’re leading to improve servicing and operations.

Throughout my 17 years at Blue Cross, providing our customers with personalized service and flawless operations has been our most important goal. As our industry continues to change with the rapid emergence of digital and mobile technology, our members are becoming more active healthcare consumers. And with new regulations on employers, there is a tremendous opportunity to evaluate our approaches to better suit the future needs of the market.

Through stronger integration of our account management, product configuration, membership, provider claims processing, quality improvement, and testing teams, our operations and service offerings will continue to lead the market as they have for over 75 years.

What are the customer benefits of moving operations within the same division as sales, marketing, and customer service?

Alignment of our product design and sales and account management teams provides a greater opportunity to improve communication, both internally as well as with our customer and broker partners. This will help us be more efficient and ensure everyone has shared expectations about implementation and delivery timeframes.

It’s also beneficial to have operations one step closer to our brokers and customers so we can receive timely feedback and incorporate it into our implementation activities much faster than the traditional methods we may have used in the past. We know technology has changed our customers’ and employees’ lives and we need to stay ahead of it.

What are your 2017 goals for operations?

Quite simply, we need to focus on getting back to basics. This means consistently performing essential operational functions well in a faster-paced world. Ensuring our foundational operations—like enrolling members, paying claims, and billing customers—are being done effectively each day is critical to providing a consistent experience for our employers and members.

Beyond getting the basics right every day, we are also expanding the ways we make life easier for our members. These include innovative new offerings like retail stores located in Bristol, Lincoln, and Warwick, our new Your Blue Wire messaging service, and Your Blue Touch, our mobile application. All of these help our members stay healthy, access services the way they want to, and better control their healthcare costs.

What’s the most important thing we will deliver to help brokers provide better service to their clients?

We have already started making improvements that allow us to provide better service to our brokers, such as bolstering and realigning our internal sales account management structure. This has helped us give more consistent service to customers and brokers of all sizes, and we hope that has made it easier to do business with us.

We’re also hoping to make available a unique portal for our brokers soon through Salesforce.com. It will give them access to critical information about their BCBSRI book of business, like tracking where their clients are in our onboarding process as well as their clients’ and members’ interactions with our customer service team. Providing this line of sight into their BCBSRI business will give them new tools and resources to be successful.

If you weren’t in healthcare, what would you be doing instead?

This one’s easy…hands down, I would be a pediatrician. That’s something I always wanted to do when I was younger. Besides the fact that it would be great to work with children, this would allow me to still be in healthcare but in an entirely different way. I’m a firm believer that healthcare starts at a very young age, and I’d want to help parents and their children understand how to be and stay healthy throughout their lifetime.