Journal of International Technology and Information Management

Document Type



Business analytics has become an increasingly important priority for organizations today as they strive to achieve greater competitiveness. As organizations adopt business practices that rely on complex, large-scale data, new challenges also emerge. A common situation in business analytics is concerned with appropriate and adequate methods for dealing with unlabeled data in classification. This study examines the effectiveness of a semi-supervised learning approach to classify unlabeled data to improve classification accuracy rates. The context for our study is healthcare. The healthcare costs in the U.S. have risen at an alarming rate over the last two decades. One of the causes for the rising costs could be attributed to medical bad debt, i.e., debt that is not recovered by healthcare institutions. A major obstacle to debt classification, hence better debt recovery, is the presence of unlabeled cases, a situation not uncommon in many other business contexts. There is surprisingly very little research that explores the performance of computational intelligence and soft computing methods in improving bad debt recovery in the healthcare industry. Using a real data set from a healthcare organization, we address this important research gap by examining the performance of an adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS) with semi-supervised learning (SSL) in improving debt recovery rate. In particular, this study explores the role of ANFIS in conjunction with SSL in classifying unknown cases (those that were not pursued for debt collection) as either a good case (recoverable) or a bad case (unrecoverable). Healthcare institutions can then pursue these potentially good cases and improve their debt recovery rates. Test results show that ANFIS with SSL is a viable method. Our models generated better classification accuracy rates than those in prior studies. These results and their analysis show the potential of ANFIS with SSL models in classifying unknown cases, which are a potential source of revenue recovery for health care organizations. The significance of this research extends to all types of organizations that face an increasingly urgent need to adopt reliable practices for business analytics.