OnBoard: A recap and preview of what's to come

OnBoard: A recap and preview of what's to come

The NYS Workers' Compensation Board (Board) is pleased to announce future enhancements coming to OnBoard! The first major component of the OnBoard program has been up and running for nearly a year and has made quite an impact already. Before delving into the new enhancements coming to the system, we wanted to share a quick recap of what’s been accomplished.

Where OnBoard is today

OnBoard: Limited Release

Since the launch of the first phase of the program, OnBoard: Limited Release, last spring, health care providers and payers have been using OnBoard to submit, review, and approve prior authorization requests (PARs) for medical treatment. Providers have also been using OnBoard to submit Requests for Decisions on Unpaid Medical Bills (Form HP-1.0). To date, more than 700,000 PARs have successfully flowed through the system, in which nearly 95% are resolved within 1-30 days (depending on PAR type) without escalation to the MDO. Over the past year, the Board has made approximately 20 enhancements to the system and will continue to make more improvements based on user feedback.

eClaims upgrade

In January of 2022, the Board rolled out a major upgrade to the eClaims Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) platform with the implementation of the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions' Claims EDI Release 3.1. The upgrade to R3.1 has brought in many new, important data elements, as well as significant improvements in the handling of claim change transactions. Overall, R3.1 enables claim administrators to report claim data to the Board with far greater precision and accuracy, which moves the claim process forward more efficiently, delivering benefits to injured workers quicker and more effectively.

eCase modernization

The Board also recently completed moving eCase to a modern, browser-based platform and eliminated the need for users to install and run Java. The new eCase platform works with all major web browsers, such as Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and Firefox, with added features aimed at improving the user experience and program usability. Overall, eCase has been stabilized in preparation for future OnBoard upgrades. It will eventually become part of the OnBoard system and include many new self-service features and expanded access for users.

What’s next?

As some of you may remember, when we initially announced the OnBoard program, the original plan was to launch all system improvements at once. However, the completion of the eClaims upgrade, OnBoard: Limited Release, and the stabilization of eCase as separate projects allowed the Board more flexibility in meeting our stakeholders’ needs – something we’d like to continue as we move forward with the OnBoard program. Rather than release OnBoard all at one time as a large-scale initiative, the Board plans to develop the OnBoard system improvements as a series of smaller, discrete projects that will be released incrementally. The system upgrades will use web-based platforms and electronic data, increasing our ability to enhance these systems over time. We expect that this approach will enable the Board to be more responsive to stakeholder feedback over the course of this multi-year program.

Currently, the Board is advancing the OnBoard program by focusing on two key areas.

eForm/API expansion

The first area of focus is the Board’s expansion of the use of eForms and the development of APIs to streamline data submission. The  paper versions of the  Request for Further Action (Form RFA-1LC) and Request for Assistance by Injured Worker (Form RFA-1W) are transitioning to an eForm, with an intelligent, online submission and routing process, although the paper-based process will still be available for injured workers who need it. The new process will be “wizard-based,” meaning it will walk users through fillable fields of a new eForm. The wizard will provide numerous fields for attorneys to enter pertinent information, allowing for quicker, more efficient Board processing and response.

Additionally, attorneys will also have the option to submit Form RFA-1LCs via an Application Programming Interface (API). APIs enable independent computer systems (e.g., stakeholders’ systems and the Board’s) to talk to one another and exchange data, automating processes and reducing the need for stakeholders to manually enter data into web-based eForms. When used correctly, APIs will be transformational in terms of providing faster, more efficient workflows compared to current paper-based form processes.

The schedule for these efforts is in development, and the Board is committed to keeping stakeholders informed as our planning efforts progress and a timeline is available.

OnBoard full program requirements and planning

The second area of focus involves the collaboration of various Board divisions to formalize future processes and requirements for the new OnBoard system, in addition to engaging our external stakeholder community.  Understanding all processes and requirements will help us design and build a more intuitive, user-friendly system that benefits all Board stakeholders.

We are excited about these OnBoard initiatives and look forward to sharing updates on our progress in the coming weeks and months.

Stay informed!

Visit the Board’s website for more information about OnBoard. New content, including updated training and resources, will continue to be added as projects advance.

For general questions about OnBoard, please email OnBoard@wcb.ny.gov.

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