Small law firm turns to IBM analytics when paper-based claims process can't keep up

The solution enables LaVan & Neidenberg handle a significant increased number of disability claims for veterans, while speeding the filing time by 66 percent.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Several years ago, disability claims law firm LaVan & Neidenberg had the sort of dilemma that many small businesses would love to face: it was growing so fast that the firm's partners knew it was only a matter of time before its paper-based claims-management processes would get in the way of its ability to scale.

So over the past two years, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company has worked with IBM business partner Group Business Software to transform its workflow into a digital form that has helped speed filing times, reduce errors and provide a more standardized way of accepting new claims.

Ken LaVan, founder and president of the firm, said the transformation has helped the organization settle on common criteria for accepting new clients and standardize other workflows. That has helped it increase the number of claims that it can handle, while during the same timeframe, the firm's revenue has increased by 80 percent. "We quickly knew we had a winner from a return on investment standpoint," he said.

The solution is based on several IBM Software products including Lotus Notes and Domino collaboration applications, IBM Symphony desktop productivity tools and IBM Sametime instant messaging software.

This was not an insignificant investment. LaVan said the solution required thousands of hours of programming time; Group Business Software worked with him and his teams to define how certain answers during the client intake process would affect the workflow. There are roughly 40 documents associated with every claim, LaVan estimated.

"The software is looking for the answers that I would personally expect or look for," LaVan said. "It helps standardize the decision-making process.

When you consider that LaVan & Neidenberg has more than 10,500 clients, managed by approximately 120 employees, you can see how its investment has paid off in scale. Despite that rapid growth, LaVan & Neidenberg is now filing claims 66 percent faster than was previously possible, according to LaVan.

Editorial standards