The vision of a paperless claim process has evolved to meandifferent things to different organizations. In the rudimentarystages of converting to a paperless environment, many organizationssimply scan documents into their claim systems, often retaining thepaper to be copied, faxed, or filed, not considering howinformation can be more conveniently shared throughout the entireclaim enterprise.

For Federated Department Stores, which operates more than 950stores under the names Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and May, the visionof a paperless paradigm is much more sophisticated, with theultimate goal being that a paper file is never generated in thefirst place. Since the early 1990s, Federated has covered itsgeneral liability and workers' compensation claims through aself-insured and self-administered program.

In the past, due to the nature of disparate systems, informationoften had to be keyed in multiple times, resulting in redundantdata entry and the waste of valuable resources. In order to savetime, costs, and labor, Federated strives toward a single-keystrokeapproach, meaning that information is entered only once. Anindividual might type in the date of injury or a claim number, butno one else would need to re-enter that data for the life of theclaim.

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