Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont Saves Nearly a Half-Million Dollars with a Microsoft Partner Compensation Management Solution

Thursday, November 20, 2008 General News
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REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 19 Microsoft Corp. todayannounced that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT), Vermont'slargest private health carrier, has saved nearly a half-million dollars with aMicrosoft partner compensation management system. Implemented to overhaulincentive compensation and agent management capabilities, Computer Solutions &Software International's (CSSI) VUE Compensation Management, a Microsoft .NETFramework-based application, will also enable BCBSVT to decouple brokercommissions from insurance premiums, reduce manual interventions by 97 percentand go paperless with broker commission statements.

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"Since the start of the implementation in March 2007, VUE CompensationManagement has enabled us to examine every broker compensation arrangement inplace, identifying out-of-date incentive programs and recognizing cases wherebroker commissions were not leveraging the desired business result," saidEllen Yakubik, marketing director, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont. "Asa result of this data cleanup and improved processing controls, BCBSVT hassaved nearly half a million dollars. Over the next few years, we expect VUECompensation Management to help us further refine our broker payment processesand focus our commission costs on maximizing the value from our distributionchannels."

Before it used VUE Compensation Management, BCBSVT paid brokers apercentage of insurance premiums, and as these premiums rose, commissionpayouts increased from $3 million to more than $10 million. Now, BCBSVT hasthe flexibility needed to curb these rising costs by structuring commissionson the basis of subscriber contracts or pay-for-performance agreements, ratherthan having commissions tied only to medical premiums.

In addition, VUE Compensation Management has created a single data storefor all broker information and has facilitated BCBSVT to disburse 85 percentof broker payments electronically. By next quarter, BCBSVT expects to process50 percent of the commission statements electronically. The time spentprocessing commissions has gone from 65 hours per month to only six, and asthe organization continues to go paperless, it expects further savings.

Based on the Microsoft .NET Framework, VUE Compensation Management hasdelivered a solid platform to streamline BCBSVT's complex commission andincentive programs. The solution integrates with Microsoft SQL Server 2005, ascalable and highly secure database providing the capabilities needed to storeand access large volumes of data present in BCBSVT's commission and incentiveprograms. BCBSVT utilizes SQL Server Reporting Services to providecomprehensive reporting and the intelligence needed to efficiently run theirorganization.

"Processing broker commissions in a favorable way is one of the biggestchallenges plaguing the payer industry today," said Dennis Schmuland, plan industry solutions director at Microsoft. "The implementation ofVUE Compensation Management exemplifies the need for health payers to driveout administrative inefficiencies to free up the capital needed to focus onwhat the market is demanding: healthier members, affordable care that'sconsistently high-quality, and a first-class customer experience."

"We're very proud of the results we've delivered with the BCBSVT project,"said Stephen Bruno, president and chief executive officer of CSSI. "Its storyunderscores the operational challenges of commissions and incentives inherentin the health insurance market. Since insurance is our focus, we were able tobring business expertise and deep technical knowledge to secure a successfuldeployment. As a result of VUE Compensation Management, the BCBSVT team nowhas the system flexibility and business intelligence to build stronger, moreeffective partnerships with its producer channel."

About BCBS Vermont

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state's oldest and largestprivate health insurer, providing coverage for about 180,000 Vermonters. Itemploys over 350 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin and its full-servicefield office in Williston, and has offered group and individual health plansto Vermonters for more than 60 years. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont isan independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, anassociation of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.

About CSSI and VUE Software

VUE Software(R) is the product division of Computer Solutions and SoftwareInternational dedicated to providing industry-specific business technologysolutions to companies in the insurance, healthcare, and constructionverticals. Because they are tailored to the needs of these particularindustries, our solutions are different from one-size-fits-all performancemanagement and compensation suites such as enterprise incentive management(EIM) and sales performance management (SPM) solutions. VUE Software'ssolutions allow companies to manage strategic incentive plans, automateproducer administration and organize complex data and contractor policies,resulting in greater administrative efficiency and improved sales performance.For more information about VUE Software, please call 1-877-4-VUESOFT or visit

CSSI and VUE Software are registered trademarks of Computer Solutions &Software International, Inc. All other registered trademarks, trademarks orservice marks belong to their respective companies.

About Microsoft in Health

Microsoft is committed to improving health around the world throughsoftware innovation. Over the past 12 years, Microsoft has steadily increasedits investments in health, with a focus on addressing the challenges of healthproviders, health and social services organizations, payers, consumers andlife sciences companies worldwide. Microsoft closely collaborates with a broadecosystem of partners and develops its own powerful health solutions, such asAmalga and HealthVault. Together, Microsoft and its industry partners areworking to advance a vision of unifying health information and making it morereadily available, ensuring the best quality of life and affordable care foreveryone.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader insoftware, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize theirfull potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

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