Invoice review is a critical but time-consuming task for corporate legal and insurance claims departments. Legal bills can contain hundreds of line items, so review takes hours of time for in-house staff. But legal billing guidelines exist for a reason – they ensure that each firm is helping achieve your outside counsel program goals and providing reliable data for analysis while keeping costs down and communication open. The importance of billing guidelines is why Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions offers LegalVIEW® BillAnalyzer.
BillAnalyzer combines artificial intelligence and human legal expertise to help transform and improve the end-to-end legal bill review process for corporate legal departments, insurance claims organizations, and law firms. BillAnalyzer clients can experience a reduction in their legal spend up to 10% compared to their existing invoice review processes. More importantly, the solution helps augment staff resources and drive sustained billing guideline compliance that supports more actionable insights, increased efficiency among outside counsel, and better visibility into how matters are being handled.
Why engage external reviewers?
Invoice review itself is not optional, but legal and claims teams have several alternatives when it comes to how to execute it. For example:
- Many choose to have in-house attorneys or claims managers review bills. These professionals have an excellent understanding of their matters and the work done, but bill review takes time away from their core responsibilities.
- Some companies employ central bill review teams. This allows claims and legal professionals to stay focused, but keeping central review teams on staff means incurring significant overhead without the flexibility to ramp up or down as the need arises.
- Third-party review is the best option for many organizations because it assigns dedicated outside experts to invoice review. Their laser focus means that no invoice is ever approved without careful scrutiny, and in-house teams don’t need to take time away from more valuable tasks.
The added value of AI
Legal e-billing, with its detailed invoices documenting specific tasks, generates an impressive amount of data. As a result, legal and claims teams can use that data as a resource and leverage AI tools to extract value and drive better long-term outcomes. AI provides a level of consistency that human reviewers cannot because it can absorb learnings gleaned across a huge amount of data and apply that every time to the process of invoice review. It provides standardization and customization that drive improvements much more quickly than a human-only approach could.
By combining the speed and efficiency of AI with the judgment and expertise of human invoice reviewers, BillAnalyzer yields unprecedented results for legal and claims departments. The AI engine directs reviewers to the line items most likely to need closer review. Reviewers focus on these items and deliver savings and guideline compliance over and above adjustments made by human-only review teams. We have seen BillAnalyzer provide up to five times the cost savings of traditional bill review, with 10-20% improvement in guideline compliance the first year.
The customer experience is the proof
On occasion, we have heard skepticism about the concept of third-party bill review from those who worry about outsourcing this workflow. However, legal bill review has been an established outsourced activity for over 25 years. Legal and claims teams have engaged external reviewers to help them run more efficiently and effectively since the early 1990s, with successful outcomes in both spend management and outside counsel programs. Many companies have had such success that they choose to continue engaging these services for decades.
Customers of BillAnalyzer have also been vocal about the value that AI, in combination with experienced bill review experts, brings to their organizations. Here are some recent examples of BillAnalyzer customer experiences:
Senior VP, insurance industry client:
“We found – and there's a lot of empirical evidence out there – that lawyers spend less than three hours a day actually giving legal advice and opinions to their clients. They spend the vast majority of their time doing administrative tasks. And what a horrible waste of legal talent. So we automate the mundane and let the machines do more of that.”
Head of vendor and litigation management for a Fortune 100 company:
“Although we're moving [legal bill review] outside of the company, the task is getting performed as effectively and as efficiently as it previously was – in fact, even more so than it was by our own employees. Again, when we talked about not just the people who are on that bill review team but also the tool they had to review those bills, it was pretty obvious to everyone that it was the right decision to move the whole function to the BillAnalyzer team.”
Scott Schafer, VP, Strategic Partnerships and Litigation Management, Gallagher Bassett:
“Efficiencies you can gain in bill review using human-only solutions have a short runway. But once you introduce artificial intelligence, you're able to focus human time more specifically on those potential bill adjustments with the highest probability of being successful, and we thought that was a great solution.”