N.Y. agency automates complaint system

A new automated document management system in the Consumer Services Bureau of New York state's Insurance Department will track and manage nearly 70,000 consumer complaints this year, easily outpacing the capabilities of the previous manual system.

The system, called the Consumer's Information and Imaging Management System (CIIMS), currently handles 75 percent of the department's complaint workload and is on pace to manage it completely by early next year, said bureau chief Salvatore Castiglione.

The system is based on Culver City, Calif.-based Datamax Technologies Inc.'s VisiFLOW integrated document management solution, which provides document processing, routing and storage applications.

"Our goal is to establish a system-to-system process with the insurance companies so that after the original compliant is scanned in, we never have to touch that paper again," Castiglione said. "Two or three companies are doing it already, and we're trying to bring in others gradually so that if we fail, there is a fallback."

The process will save the bureau money on paper, stamps, stapling, sorting and man hours, said project assistant Sandra Anderson. The system faxes necessary documents to the insurance companies or brokers involved and also sends a confirmation letter to the complainant, she said.

The bureau has four offices and 105 staff members, about two-thirds of whom are professional examiners and investigators.

Since originally designing the system last November, new legislation has pushed more responsibility on the bureau, Castiglione said. "[The legislation] broadened the scope of our work, so we need some modifications to bring everything onto CIIMS by early next year."

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