Antoinette Taranto, Department of Health Care Policy & Financing US

Antoinette Taranto

Antoinette Taranto

Chief Customer Officer

Department of Health Care Policy and Financing 

United States of America

As chief customer officer for the CO Department of Health Care Policy and Financing in the US, Antoinette has the unique task of trying to improve the healthcare experience of those living across the State of Colorado.

Much of the department’s role hinges on providing necessary healthcare insurance to a large proportion of the general public, and prior to moving into her CCO role, Antoinette successfully led the department’s transition from a predominantly paper-driven insurance application process to one that is now 70% automated – vastly improving the experience for those that had to undertake it.  

However, as CCO she has been given the mandate of fostering better engagement with the public on healthcare, during the course of which she has identified several key roadblocks – mostly related to the methods people are use to contact the department.

For instance, in surveying a group of ‘customers’ in the early stages of her role as CCO, Antoinette describes one example of a member of the public saying it took so long to get help from the department by phone that it was actually faster to drop the kids off at school, pick up a coffee and drive to the county office than it was to wait for someone to pick up the telephone.

This process of surveying customers was the catalyst for Antoinette to implement a number of CX initiatives in the department. Firstly she has worked to improve the contact centre experience, engaging with the entire team of contact centre agents, supervisors and leadership to create new processes for performance enhancement and receiving feedback.

Secondly, a new standard operating procedure has been developed to facilitate effective and timely member communications. Taking the team’s pain points into consideration, a plain language dictionary, style and brand guide was also developed, in conjunction with a member testing and approval process. 

Additionally, member calls are analysed weekly, with insights taken into monthly sessions where they are discussed and solutions are identified. All of the above is then factored into monthly meetings where all levels of the organisation come together to discuss feedback, solutions and actions. 

The results of Antoinette’s work have been showcased in terms of a vastly improved average speed to answer (from over an hour to 20 seconds or less) in the call centre, and simplification of the communications the department uses to engage with the public, the adoption of a core competency of person-centeredness for each employee’s performance plan and a multi-year funding acquisition to support the department’s future and ongoing customer-focused improvements.

The coronavirus pandemic has also seen Antoinette and her team oversee the communication of a number of initiatives to support the public in a time of need, including waiving insurance premiums and fees, expanding their call centre hours to the weekend and offering telemedicine services.

The combination of providing people with health insurance coverage and improving their experience in one of the most complex industries, while also creating efficiencies is both challenging and rewarding. I am honored and privileged that my work provides me the opportunity to touch so many lives and really make a difference.

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