Insurance & Technology is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


04:15 PM
Connect Directly

A Tight Schedule

OSF HealthPlans eliminates manual errors in batch and claims processing with Advanced Systems Concepts' ActiveBatch Job Scheduler.

Lacking automated business processes, Peoria, Ill.-based OSF HealthPlans' (90,000 total members) operators spent eight to 10 hours a day manually running batch COBOL and Unix jobs for customer memberships, eligibility, paychecks, billing, ID cards and claims on the carrier's core administration system -- TriZetto's (Newport Beach, Calif.) Facets Extended Enterprise health plan administration software running on a Sybase (Dublin, Calif.) and IBM (Armonk, N.Y.) AIX server architecture. "There were quite a few problems" with the manual processing, relates Adam Carlton, application manager for OSF HealthPlans. "Sometimes we would run the batch twice, and other times it would be missed or sometimes aborted."

In April 2005, to increase productivity and reduce batch errors, OSF sought to update its core processing system and add automated batch scheduling software. Since TriZetto's system was moving to a Microsoft (Redmond, Wash.) Windows platform and application server that would no longer support Unix and COBOL, explains Carlton, OSF researched cross-platform job schedulers. "We needed something that could run jobs, both Unix and COBOL, off Windows," Carlton says, "as well as a product that had a SQL back end to meet our technology standards."

By the end of April, Carlton narrowed the search to two products: Computer Associates' (Islandia, N.Y.) Unicenter and Advance System Concepts' (Parsippany, N.J.) ActiveBatch Job Scheduler. After running both products in a test environment for five weeks, OSF selected ActiveBatch. "We liked that ActiveBatch provided the technician with a user-friendly environment," says Carlton.

ActiveBatch schedules jobs 24/7 based on calendar, event and on-demand triggers. It includes a graphical interface for managing jobs, and can create an embedded script as part of a job and compose e-mails to deliver job results, according to Advance System Concepts. The solution is compatible with Windows, Linux and AIX operating systems, and Sun Solaris and HP servers.

OSF purchased ActiveBatch in July 2005 for $18,000 and upgraded its Facets platform in August. When the upgrade was completed, Advanced Systems Concepts installed the ActiveBatch software. Next, an Advanced Systems Concepts consultant teamed with OSF technicians to create a list of the dependencies and set up the batch programming. "The most difficult part of implementation was finding dependencies between the jobs," says Carlton. "Past operators would just make everything sequential in a job run, but with ActiveBatch we could run several jobs at the same time."

The entire implementation was completed in two weeks. "We went through a pretty extensive testing cycle in which we ran the full batch cycle several times, so when we went into production it was as simple as throwing the switch on and just activating the jobs," Carlton notes.

OSF HealthPlans went live with ActiveBatch in September 2005. "We have had a dramatic reduction in errors because the system is automated," says Carlton. "We now have eliminated 70 percent of the support calls we used to have from technicians running batches." Furthermore, as processing time has been reduced to three to four hours, OSF has freed up 70 percent of its staff's time and reallocated the resources to other projects, Carlton adds.

Business Process Automation


OSF HealthPlans (Peoria, Ill.; 90,000 members).

lines of business

Healthcare insurance.


Advanced System Concepts' (Parsippany, N.J.) ActiveBatch Job Scheduler.


Automate scheduling of batch and claims processing.

Register for Insurance & Technology Newsletters