University of Colorado

When Teena Shepperson-Turner joined the University of Colorado Risk Management department as director of claims administration in 2007, she brought extensive experience with IT system conversions from her previous job with a software vendor. That experience was attractive to her new employer. The University had just selected the Ventiv Claims administration system to replace its in-house database-driven claims system; in addition to applying her experience leading claims administration teams, the University looked to Shepperson-Turner to oversee its upcoming conversion to Ventiv Claims.

University of Colorado

Shepperson-Turner led a smooth conversion process, and Ventiv Claims went live in 2008 as an on-premises system hosted by the University’s Risk Management department. At the time, the University’s claims system was supported by an inhouse network administrator dedicated to the Risk Management department’s systems. A few months after going live, however, the administrator left the University; it was at this point, Shepperson-Turner recalls, that the University’s long—but ultimately successful—transition to Ventiv hosting of its Claims application and claims data began.

As is often the case for departments like Shepperson-Turner’s claims administration team, which use locally hosted, specialized technology systems, it can be challenging to get adequate support from the IT department—not because IT staff are unwilling, but for the simple fact that it can be difficult for IT managers to justify devoting the resources required to maintain such specialized systems.

“When our administrator left shortly after we went live on Ventiv Claims, University Information Services [UIS] stepped in to help, but there was only so much they could offer. UIS support was limited to our server and to keeping the Oracle database up to date,” Shepperson- Turner recalls. “They didn’t support the Ventiv Claims application or anything related to it. The Ventiv Claims application was stable, but the problem was, there were times when we needed someone to go into the database and write code to fix a corrupted claim, for example. I couldn’t do that because I’m not a programmer. And because we hosted the system ourselves, Ventiv support staff couldn’t directly access our systems.”

Then, in late 2008, Shepperson-Turner began installing system upgrades and a new release of Ventiv Claims, supported by a UIS staff member and backed up by Ventiv. Having just started the project, disaster struck: the UIS team member was laid off, and UIS was stretched too thin to assign any new resources to assist Shepperson-Turner.

For the next three years, Shepperson-Turner kept the claims administration system up and running. Yet without consistent support, system administration was often stressful and consumed time that Shepperson-Turner knew would have been better spent on claims administration.

The Case for Ventiv Hosting

Thanks largely to her background with a software company, Shepperson-Turner was receptive to the potential value in third-party application and data hosting well before cloud computing became a household term. In the summer of 2011, Shepperson-Turner got in touch with her Ventiv client development manager, Wayne Bernier, and asked him to put together a proposal that she could take to her leadership team.

“I knew that in the long run, going with Ventiv hosting the system and our claims data would benefit our department and benefit the University,” Shepperson-Turner says. “I knew that Ventiv had the resources, the expertise and the right offerings to host our system more efficiently and more cost-effectively than we could.”

The Conversion Experience

The University of Colorado signed the contract to convert to Ventiv hosting the system in January 2011 and went live in March 2012. Conversions are normally much faster, but a number of unexpected events delayed the project, including a move of the University’s data center, a change in the University’s medical bill review provider and the opening of Ventiv’s Atlanta data center.

Although it was a long road, Shepperson- Turner has only positive reviews for the Ventiv Professional Services team and the results to date.

“I’m very comfortable with how the process went and with the results we’ve achieved,” says Shepperson-Turner. “This story should really be a testimonial to the Ventiv staff and the superior level of service we received throughout this project. Jeffrey Elliott managed the process flawlessly and got us all the support we needed whenever unexpected hurdles arose. When Jeffrey and I first met to discuss the project, we thought it would be pretty straightforward, but it got complicated pretty quickly. Yet throughout the process, no one at Ventiv ever said, ‘Sorry, we can’t do that.’ Whatever came up, they just made it happen.”

Shepperson-Turner emphasized the following seven benefits of Ventiv hosting:


“When I crunched the numbers and what we were paying for on-premises hosting, moving to RIScloud was basically a wash. We now have a monthly cost, but I’m able to absorb that. And if you factor in the cost of an in-house network administrator to support Ventiv Claims, then Ventiv hosting is much less expensive.”

University of Colorado

Director of Claims Administration

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