Robotic Process Automation vs AI and Machine Learning

If you’re in health plan operations, you’ve likely heard about the latest technologies hitting the market. It seems like every other day, there’s some new this or that to make claims processing easier for both the business and the employees.

Robotic process automation, AI, and machine learning are the most popular technologies. The adoption rate is high, and the curiosity about it is higher, but despite all of this, not all technologies are made the same, and you should know the difference before shopping around.

In this article, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of robotic process automation vs AI vs machine learning and explore some of the key differences between the three as it relates to claims processing.

What is robotic process automation?

Robotic process automation (RPA) is software that allows users to create robots to emulate human actions while interacting in a digital arena.

Here’s an example of RPA in action: Let’s say that you manage a team of claims processors. You would deploy RPA to verify information and process claims payments. You can choose to switch the programming at any time to add claim submission review to its repertoire.

Robotic process automation gives users the ability to customize their automation to fill in gaps exactly where it’s needed. It can fill in worker shortages or improve the overall claims processing experience by lessening the administrative burden on staff.

AI vs RPA vs Machine Learning

There is a lot of confusion about the difference between robotic process automation, AI, and machine learning. They have similar selling points, address similar pain points, and are advertised the same way to end users. Here are the key differences:

Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence is exactly what it sounds like. These are programmable systems that mimic human intelligence to perform tasks. Like humans, AI has the ability to learn as it processes information.

Machine Learning: Machine learning falls under the artificial intelligence umbrella, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. At the core, they are fundamentally different things. According to TechTarget, machine learning allows software applications to become more accurate at predicting outcomes without being explicitly programmed to do so.

Robotic Process Automation: RPA still uses the same elements as AI because it can mimic human actions and complete menial tasks like verifying information or processing payments. The key difference is that robotic process automation doesn’t complete tasks independently without being programmed to do so.

The biggest difference between AI vs robotic process automation is that RPA can’t learn over time, nor can it develop its own ‘logic’ the way that AI can.

Why are companies adopting RPA?

Health care is a highly regulated space. When one tiny mistake can mean the difference in someone getting the care they need or paying expensive bills out of pocket, it makes sense that it would be.

Because RPA can’t develop its own logic the way that AI can and is specifically designed to be programmed and controlled by the human element, it makes it the ideal choice over AI for health plan operations and claims processing.

Robotic process automation has not only lessened the administrative burden on claims examiners, but has also been able to fill in the gaps caused by the worker shortage of the last couple of years.

Remember: just because AI and Machine Learning are attractive and available options doesn’t mean that they are the best option for claims processing.

The HCIM difference

We’re RPA specialists in the the payer market for a reason. We not only provide the right tools using our IntelliRPA technology, but also provide over 22 years of knowledge and expertise. With SymKey you can ensure that claims are processed accurately, consistently, and exactly to your specifications.

Ready to experience what SymKey and IntelliRPA can do for you? Contact us to learn more!