Clinical Corner



March 14th, 2014

Deborah Keller, RN, BSN

Director of Client Services

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Choosing a medical management software system is not simple. Evolving healthcare trends coupled with a slew of new features and functions to consider can overwhelm anyone charged with the task. Case managers typically are not been involved in the selection process, but that seems to be changing as organizations realize their input can be useful when it comes to choosing the most effective and efficient system.  

Case managers who do get this opportunity can be prepared by...



February 1st, 2014

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Many case managers are now tracking how U.S. health care reform efforts are promoting information technology (IT) system integration to improve patient care, clinical outcomes, business efficiencies, and medical savings.  In addition, it is no secret that procuring and successfully implementing such IT systems can be a formidable undertaking. Keeping up with expanding synergetic interfaces between technology and care management workflow processes is essential in order to offer...



January 20th, 2014

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

This time of year, industry publications and even mainstream media are inundated with editorial on health care trends and predictions for the coming months. As we ramp up for 2014, the timing is perfect for case managers and other providers to evaluate how the medical management system is evolving to support patients.  

Without a doubt, we have observed numerous changes over the years regarding how case management programs are defined and operated. The Affordable Care Act...



December 1st, 2013

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

There is an excellent report by the Institute of Health Technology Transformation[1] that focuses on the importance of health information technology (HIT) tools in managing patient populations – from assessing and stratifying, to building program strategies, to measuring outcomes, to using analytics to improve performance. The report points out that "HIT adoption is essential" and "is among the...



November 1st, 2013

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Medicaid Programs are in the spotlight as the United States moves forward with a myriad of health care reform initiatives. As a result, health plans and providers will need to utilize care management software and related health information technology (IT) systems to support the care coordination needs of underinsured and uninsured Americans.

With millions of individuals already receiving insurance coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and...



October 2nd, 2013

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Care managers are an integral part of managing a patient’s health—ensuring patients adhere to their care plans, providing advice and information when patients have questions, and helping patients become and remain healthy. However, the positive outcomes associated with proper care management cannot be achieved by the care manager alone. They need a total commitment from the patient to become involved, since patient engagement is a critical element of successful care management...



September 18th, 2013

Pat Stricker, RN, M Ed

SVP of Clinical Services

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Easing patient transitions and decreasing readmission rates are key priorities in the health care industry, as we strive to improve clinical outcomes and reduce costs. Case managers are often a primary conduit to a safe and effective transition process for those moving through the care continuum, which puts them in a unique position to provide invaluable education and support to patients along the way.

Thanks to advancements in health information technology (HIT), case managers...



August 13th, 2013

By Pat Stricker, RN, M Ed

SVP of Clinical Services

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

As the role of case management in patient care continues to strengthen, especially as health care reform initiatives take effect, more emphasis is being placed on how to best identify, track, and monitor patients who would benefit from care coordination.

The first step – identifying specific groups of individuals to receive case management – is a challenging part of the process, traditionally accomplished with such methods as utilization review or inpatient admission/...



July 23rd, 2013

Pat Stricker, RN, M Ed

SVP of Clinical Services

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

It seems like I say this every year, but.........congratulations to CMSA on another great conference!  There were nearly 2,000 attendees in New Orleans representing various case management settings.  The optional pre-conference events included sessions on preparing for certification, case management in the Acute Care setting, a URAC CM Standards Workshop, an ICM-CAG training, and clinical symposia.
 
Once the conference started, the keynote speakers were...



June 17th, 2013

Jason Scruby

Business Development Executive

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

TCS Healthcare Technologies is turning 30 and we hope you will celebrate with us at this year’s CMSA Conference & Expo, Lighting the Path…Leading the Way, at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.
 
Join Rob Pock, TCS founder and CEO, who will be in attendance and sharing stories of his adventures throughout three decades of Case Management software as well as his vision and understanding of best practices and high standards for the health...



June 11th, 2013

Pat Stricker, RN, M Ed

SVP of Clinical Services

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

In order to offer effective medical management programs, case managers need to be aware of key health care trends, features, and functions. It is difficult to keep up with the expanding symbiotic interface between technology and care management workflow processes, but it essential to try to do so.

It is imperative that case mangers understand how technology solutions can improve the case management process and patient outcomes. They also need to be cognizant of situations where...



June 4th, 2013

Rob Pock

Founder & CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

My last column addressed the importance of client communication at TCS and how we partner with our customers to develop products that meet their needs. We employed this strategy to develop ACUITY software, for example, as well as a host of other TCS products. Allowing communication to flow between TCS and actual product users empowers us to deliver effective support tools for health care management. This philosophy also allows TCS to gauge client satisfaction...



May 22nd, 2013

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Trend Report #3: Care Management Functions, one of a nine-part series, showcases the impact of various HIT applications on the medical management field, examines the role of care management software applications in the larger arena of health information technology, and identifies primary trends in system functionality to support care management interventions and patient care.
 
Over the five-year period that the HIT survey has been administered, most survey...



May 15th, 2013

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

TCS is pleased to announce that the Spring 2013 newsletter will be released tomorrow! This edition will feature perspectives on the client connection, interesting insights on trends in care management software functionality as well as a spotlight on Matthew Fahner, director of product management.
The newsletter also contains links to follow TCS on LinkedIn as well as information regarding the 23rd Annual CMSA Conference & Expo.
 
To subscribe to the...



April 23rd, 2013

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

The results of the 2012 Health Information Technology (HIT) Survey have been very interesting. Of course this is a key interest of mine, since I am both a care manager and a nurse responsible for helping to design care management systems.

While reviewing Trend Report #3, which will be released soon, I was surprised to find that only 17% of the respondents felt their care management software allowed them "to spend more time with their patients"! That was a decrease from...



March 27th, 2013

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

I recently reviewed Trend Report #2 from the 2012 Health Information Technology Survey [i].   This report, entitled “Communications & Social Media” compares how our communication with patients has changed over the course of the three surveys that were completed in 2008, 2010 and 2012.  It identifies and tracks trends in traditional...



February 25th, 2013

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

I hope you had a chance to attend the 2-part webinar that presented an overview of the 2012 Health Information Technology (HIT) Survey: How Technology Is Changing the Practice of Care Management. If so, you heard how swift advancements in technology are transforming the practice of case management.
 
This is the third time the Case Management Society of America (CMSA), TCS Healthcare Technologies (TCS), and the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization...



February 11th, 2013

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Thank you for attending our Webinar. We hope you enjoyed our event.  For more information on the 2012 Health IT Survey or to receive the Trend Report series, listen to the webinar recording, or to download the webinar slides, please click here.
 
We will be sending out a follow-up email in the next few days which will...



January 21st, 2013

TCS Healthcare Technologies

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Please join us for a complimentary webinar highlighting major findings from the 2012 Health Information Technology Survey. For the third time, TCS Healthcare Technologies (TCS), the Case Management Society of America (CMSA), and the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, Inc. (ABQAURP) have teamed together to sponsor the survey, which examines how various health IT applications are changing the field of care management.

The webinar is...



December 31st, 2012

Pat Stricker, RN, Med

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Providing the best care for patients is the primary goal of all health care providers, including case managers who may have more contact with a patient than any particular attending physician. In fact, case managers are in the unique position of building relationships with their patients due to the simple fact that they have more opportunities to assess, coordinate, and track their care. And with today’s emerging communication options, such as mobile text messaging and social media, the...



December 17th, 2012

Rob Pock

Founder & CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

My wife Esther and I recently returned from Indonesia where we spent time helping some Indonesian friends with their Relief Agency. Esther was training a group of unwed, expectant mothers who live in the shelter home, while I taught at the bible college and spoke at three different venues. We were without news from the United States for two weeks. Upon our return we were immediately engulfed with the dialog surrounding the debate around Medicare and the Patient Protection and Affordable...



December 11th, 2012

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

TCS Healthcare Technologies, the Case Management Society of America and the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, Inc., are hosting a two-part complimentary webinar series that will highlight the major findings of the 2012 Health Information Technology Survey.

The second webinar is scheduled for February 5, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. EST, and will last for about an hour with a Q&A session at the end. To register for the webinar, please click...



November 29th, 2012

Rob Pock

Founder & CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Please join us for a two-part complimentary webinar highlighting major findings from the 2012 Health Information Technology Survey. TCS Healthcare Technologies (TCS), the Case Management Society of America (CMSA), and the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, Inc. (ABQAURP) have teamed together for the third time to sponsor the survey, which examines how various health IT applications are changing the care management field.

The first...



November 19th, 2012

Rob Pock

Founder and CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

TCS Healthcare Technologies (TCS), the Case Management Society of America (CMSA), and the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, Inc. (ABQAURP) have teamed together for the third time to sponsor the 2012 Health Information Technology Survey, which examines how various health IT applications are changing the care management field.
 
On December 6, 2012, at 12 p.m. (EST), the first webinar in a complimentary two-part series will...



November 15th, 2012

TCS Healthcare Technologies

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

The TCS Fall 2012 Newsletter Is Now Available!
 
TCS is pleased to announce that the Fall 2012 newsletter has been released! In the newsletter you will find perspectives on the future, interesting insights on the rise of text messaging as well as a spotlight on Linda Killian, technical support manager.
The newsletter also contains links to follow TCS on LinkedIn as well as to register for the upcoming 2012 Health Information Technology Survey...



October 31st, 2012

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Case management interventions for targeted populations have improved tremendously over the past decade. A variety of innovations have allowed case managers to provide better consistency and standardization, improve clinical outcomes, and increase productivity. One area that has made significant strides in recent years is leveraging data to help drive and support the management of chronically ill populations.

Data analysis refers to the process of transforming data into useful...



October 24th, 2012

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

TCS Healthcare Technologies is pleased to announce that we have added a group page on LinkedIn.
Followers of our group page will be able to add connections, ask questions and participate in group discussions. We look forward to communicating with employees, current clients, potential customers and those that have an interest in the health care technology industry.
Please click...



October 10th, 2012

TCS Healthcare

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

As you may have noticed, the TCS website has just received a makeover. The look and navigation of the site is new and the information has been updated and made more accessible.
Please take note of the streamlined menus, simple navigation and access to information that you need.
A special thanks to Carolyn, Jason and Jenny for all of their hard work!





September 24th, 2012

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Today, more than ever, case managers face enormous challenges when it comes to understanding how the various health information technology (HIT) options affect care management, as well as how the rapid transformations in the health care industry will impact their daily routines.

In 2008 and 2010, the Case Management Society of America (CMSA), the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, Inc. (ABQAURP), and TCS Healthcare Technologies (TCS) co-...



August 27th, 2012

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

The advent of text messaging has changed the way we communicate both personally and professionally. No longer is communication restricted to face-to-face conversations, a phone call, a letter, or even an email. Over the past 20 years, the ability to communicate in 140 characters or less (160 characters for smartphones) has revolutionized the way people interact.  You can debate whether this change has been "for the better or worse," but it definitely is a significant change...



August 9th, 2012

Matt Fahner

Director of Product Management

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

AcuExchange™ is a web-based portal that allows providers to submit utilization management (UM) requests for patients, and communicate with reviewers about a patient’s health and services.

AcuExchange, in conjunction with Acuity Advanced Care®, allows users to configure screens for provider data entry, offers a HIPAA-compliant data exchange, uses a secure log-in process for providers, and integrates with Acuity in real-time, among other benefits.

For more...



August 1st, 2012

Rob Pock

Founder & CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

TCS Healthcare Technologies and the Case Management Society of America were pleased to co-sponsor the webinar, Using Case Management Software for Independent and Small Groups of Case Managers, and we hope our industry experts provided you with useful information about the field of case management and that the demo of ACUITY AnyWarehighlighted some key...



July 23rd, 2012

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

The Impact of Health Information Technology on Case Management: New Survey Shows Text Messaging on the Rise

The health care system is undergoing rapid transformation, and a common challenge many case managers face is how to understand what types of Health Information Technology (HIT) systems are out there and how they directly or indirectly impact care management.

In 2008 and 2010, the Case Management Society of America (CMSA), the American Board of...



July 11th, 2012

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Congratulations to CMSA on another great conference! There were over 2,300 attendees representing various case management settings.  The week started with optional pre-conference workshops focused on certification preparation, chapter leadership, DOD/VA, and an introduction to the new CMAG-3 program.

The conference itself started with a presentation from Charity Tilleman-Dick, a soprano opera singer who was faced with not one, but two lung transplants.  She recounted her...



July 2nd, 2012

Matt Fahner

Director of Product Management

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

TCS Healthcare Technologies is pleased to announce a new and improved analytical engine powered by TCS’ Acuity Advanced Care™ (ACUITY) and Tableau Software, a leading analytics partner, which provides clients with the best technology possible.

“We are excited to be able to offer our customers an expanded data analytics solution to help gather insight and visualize data,” says Rob Pock, TCS founder and CEO. “This service gives our ACUITY clients the...



June 20th, 2012

Rob Pock

Founder & CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

The TCS Family is excited to be attending the 22nd Annual CMSA Conference and Expo in San Francisco, CA. The conference is known as one of the premier educational events in the industry and we ar very pleased to be a part of it.

Come by and see us at booth #519; we would love to chat! Also, we will be hosting a reception from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on both Wednesday and Thursday at the St. Regis. When you stop by our booth, please obtain a ticket for the reception—we would love for...



June 13th, 2012

Rob Pock

Founder & CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

We are pleased to be attending the 22nd Annual CMSA Conference & Expo, Spanning the Waves of Change in an Ocean of Opportunities. Join us in San Francisco, CA, from June 19-22 at the Moscone Center West. The TCS family is looking forward to the seminars, educational sessions and networking with case managers and other industry professionals.

Come by and see us at booth #519; we would love to chat! Also, we will be hosting a reception from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on...



June 4th, 2012

Matthew Fahner

Director of Product Management

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

AcuCare, an outcome-based, condition-specific, clinical content program, now covers five new conditions: asthma, diabetes, heart failure, high-risk pregnancy and COPD.

AcuCare provides care managers and other health professionals with key management and benchmarking tools to take medical management interventions to the next level. Each AcuCare program has been created based upon evidence-based practice standards and national guidelines that are dynamically linked to all of the...



May 29th, 2012

Pat Stricker

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Case managers fully understand the importance of empowering patients to become more engaged in their own health.  However, it is wonderful to see that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is also supporting this concept.

For example, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), founded in 2010 as an independent, non-profit organization, was chosen by PPACA to “evaluate and compare health outcomes and the...



May 21st, 2012

Nancy Wallace, RN, BS

Director of Clinical Services

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

People no longer have to take a backseat to chronic diseases or other health concerns that are affecting their everyday lives. Whether the source is the Internet, mobile application or text messaging service, patients are using modern technology to manage their health and access to health care providers and guidance.

Today’s self-management tools are also an asset to clinicians – making complicated medical information easy to understand by using simple language and...



May 14th, 2012

Pat Stricker

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

As of 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will require health plans to eliminate the pre-existing condition waiting period for all Americans.  Individuals, who historically could not secure coverage due to cancer, congestive heart failure, and other medical conditions, now will be able to purchase health insurance. 

 

In the meantime, the federal government is helping about 50,000 Americans obtain health coverage through the Pre-...



May 8th, 2012

Rob Pock

Founder & CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Growing up in California I learned to surf as a teenager.  Little did I know that during my “senior years,” I would be riding some of the best waves on the planet.  As providence would have it, I was blessed to live on the North Shore of Kauai for a decade while in my 50s.  During those years on the Island, I surfed two- to three-hour sessions about 12 times a month.  That equates to 2,880 hours on my surf board, passing over (or under)...



May 1st, 2012

Nancy Wallace, RN, BS

Director of Client Services

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Health plans and providers invest a large amount of resources into the management of chronic diseases such as Diabetes, Heart Failure, Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. In contrast, there are some clinical conditions, such as High Risk Pregnancy, that have the potential of yielding a strong return on investment on a short-term basis while improving clinical outcomes. These conditions are the “low hanging fruit” within managed care.

It is estimated that...



April 26th, 2012

Rob Pock

Founder & CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Reform has always been a sign that society is evolving and changes need to be made to meet the needs of the population, and it is no secret that healthcare is in the middle of its own reformation.  Public and private demands, market forces and several legislative bills are pushing the system to improve patient care and expand coverage. With the current paradigm shift facing the healthcare industry a variety of resources are being published which can help professionals understand...



April 10th, 2012

Pat Stricker

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

The recent launch of CMSA’s Knowledge Center and Educational Resource Library made me think about how changes in technology have made our lives so much easier when it comes to finding and earning continuing education hours (CEs).  (I know I will date myself with these comments, but that’s okay.)

In the “old days,” nurses seeking CEs, would put considerable effort into finding an available course that met our needs....



April 3rd, 2012

Garry Carneal, JD, MA

TCS Consultant

 

Traditional case management interventions often have used face-to-face, telephonic, and written communication links to support patients and others who need healthcare support. With the rise of new communication strategies that are affordable and the buzz about social media, case managers are beginning to think about expanding how they connect with their patients to improve patient engagement levels and clinical outcomes.

TCS Healthcare, through Acuity Advance Care™ (ACUITY),...



March 27th, 2012

Rob Pock

Founder & CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

TCS Healthcare Technologies is supporting a growing number of Medicaid health plans with its robust, best-in-class medical management system, Acuity Advanced Care (ACUITY). The reason for TCS’ popularity among Medicaid health plans is the depth and ease-of-use of ACUITY, and the value of the application to support the care management needs of at-risk patients, who often have multiple co-morbidities.

Medicaid health plans have unique...



March 20th, 2012

Pat Stricker

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

The advent of health IT (HIT) systems has transformed the health care industry. Leveraging technology to improve medical management intervention strategies should remain a high priority in terms of both improving patient outcomes and reducing medical costs. These applications are ever-evolving tools that support care management. Clearly, HIT applications are changing the practice of care management in profound ways.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (...



March 13th, 2012

Rob Pock

Founder and CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

TCS’ new Acuity 6.1 software suite, which includes updates to Acuity, AcuStrat, AcuExchange and AcuPrint, supports compliance of the HIPAA 5010/278 transaction standards and the ICD-10-PCS/CM code sets mandated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) well ahead of the October 1, 2013, deadline.

Newly upgraded, the entire suite supports the new Crystal Reports 2011 version. Acuity, AcuStrat, AcuExchange and AcuPrint now include a re-engineered crystal reports...



March 6th, 2012

Pat Stricker

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

At this time of year, we see numerous articles and blogs discussing health care trends and predictions for the upcoming months. 2012 is no exception. These trends include a range of topics, but a big issue on most case managers’ minds is how “medical management” and “technology” will work together to improve care management processes. Leveraging technology to support and enhance medical management solutions is essential to optimize clinical and financial...



February 28th, 2012

Rob Pock

Founder and CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Sometimes the most profound truths are found in the simplest of life’s tasks. Recently, while tending to the wine in my barrel room I had the opportunity to test and sample the three wines we made this past year; Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. I extract from each barrel about 250 ml of each variety, perform various lab tests, and then my wife, Esther, and I begin the delightful task of updating our tasting notes.

Each of the three wines is remarkably...



February 21st, 2012

Jason Scruby

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

As we venture into a new era of information and storage options, one question keeps arising… What are the risks?

Sure, endless information stored “somewhere else” sounds great, but who is making sure this data is secure?  Making sure no one else can view, copy, or download your private data.  And what are some options in regards to this?  An article in Healthcare Informatics Magazine discusses this topic in depth...



February 14th, 2012

Garry Carneal, JD MA

TCS Consultant

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

With all of the initiatives promoting health information technology (IT), it is helpful from time to time to get a barometric reading of how we are progressing.  In addition to the TCS bi-annual survey on care management trends, Healthcare and Management Systems (HIMSS) publishes an annual survey that also...



February 7th, 2012

Rob Pock

Founder and CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Recently, the National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC), a non-profit founded by CMSA posted a Transitions of Care checklist which aids in identifying areas providers do not currently assess but may want to begin including in patient records moving forward. The main goal of the checklist is to increase communication between providers, care settings, and caregivers of patient care plans, assessment and other clinical information.

The checklist which can be found...



January 31st, 2012

Rob Pock

Founder and CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

In Northern California the grape harvest and crush is an annual tradition. The reward from the growing season is loaded into tanks, and then racked into another storage tank several days later before finally being laid to rest in French Oak Barrels where it will mature and mellow during its long winter’s rest.

Okay, what has this to do with hiring good people to make good software? Plenty.

Numerous parallels exist between developing and maintaining a company, and the...



January 17th, 2012

Pat Stricker, RN, M Ed

VP of Clinical Services

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

In order to offer effective medical management programs, case managers need to be aware of key health care trends and try to stay “one step ahead” of them. Clearly, the expanding symbiotic interface between technology and care management workflow processes is a prime example.

It is imperative in most health care settings that nurses understand how technology solutions can improve patient care. On the other hand, we also need to be cognizant of those situations where...



January 4th, 2012

Carolyn McIntosh

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

As of January 1, 2012, regulatory changes for the 5010 transaction standard are now required by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). One of the changes to 5010 is that the field length for the diagnosis code is changed so that it can accommodate the larger field size of ICD-10 codes.  ACUITY 6.0 was designed to help clients comply with the ICD-10 regulatory changes mandated by HHS.

AcuPort Advanced (APA), version 6.0, in conjunction with the new Acuity Advanced...



December 27th, 2011

Pat Stricker, RN, M Ed

Senior Vice-President, Clinical Services

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

The concept of “external review” is familiar to most case managers.  The ability for a patient or their provider to appeal an adverse medical necessity or benefit determination has been around for years.  However, a new national framework for such appeals is being established through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). 

Last June, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a...



December 20th, 2011

Garry Carneal, JD, MA

TCS Consultant

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

One of the fundamental goals of care management software applications like Acuity Advanced Care is to empower care managers to help manage patient needs over the care continuum. Enhancing the opportunity to support patients during transitions of care is now paramount to ensure that the best clinical and financial outcomes are achieved.

One of the best resources for care managers is the nonprofit group, the National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC). The...



December 13th, 2011

Rob Pock

Founder and CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

It is amazing to observe how quickly technology is changing the practice of case management. A review of the TCS website at www.tcshealthcare.com provides an illustrative example of how TCS is making its mark in the care management field through technology-based applications and clinical workflow support.

In these fast-changing times, another important thing to consider is stability and consistency. I, along with my wife Esther...



December 6th, 2011

Rob Pock

Founder and CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

With all the buzz today about social networking, traditional methods of communication are being re-thought and re-defined. Web-enabled platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, to name a few, are creating new opportunities to stay connected.

I would like to think that TCS has been in the “connection” and “communication” business since the company was founded over a quarter of a century ago. With Acuity Advanced Care™ (ACUITY) and its predecessor...



November 29th, 2011

Rob Pock

Founder and CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

I’ve been surfing since I was 15 years old, and ten of those years were spent on the North Shore of Kauai. One thing I’ve learned is, “when in doubt, don’t go out.” This sport requires a great deal of patience, and to catch your wave you must spend considerable time in the lineup studying the rhythm of the ocean and the other surfers. Moving too quickly can result in a wipeout, but when it’s your time to go you must be totally committed. As in surfing,...



November 22nd, 2011

Carolyn McIntosh

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

At TCS, we know that there is mobility in our future.

What kind of impact can we expect from mobile applications?

This is not an official survey, but if you are client of TCS, or use UM, DM, CM software, we would be happy to hear your thoughts about where mobile applications fit into the processes of utilization, disease and care management.

We have a lot of ideas ourselves, and we think that mobility is in our future, but we want to do it in the right way and meet...



November 15th, 2011

Rob Pock

Founder and CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

With all of the market forces at play and major reform efforts underway, both at the federal and state levels, it’s important to understand how these trends are impacting the practice of case management.  Clearly, one trend is the need to promote and move to integrated “care” solutions.  The move to enhanced clinical and administrative workflows often is dependent upon linking existing activities and interventions through emerging ideas, technologies, business...



November 8th, 2011

Carolyn McIntosh

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Last week TCS hosted a webinar to discuss the AcuStrat tool.  It was a great presentation, with Nancy Wallace as facilitator and Matt Fahner and Torry Slaton as presenters, along with a special presentation by Jean McCabe of Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island.

Torry did a walk-through of the application, showing how to set up rules to identify segments of the ACUITY population, then moving on to how to set up actions.  If you’re not...



October 25th, 2011

Carolyn McIntosh

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

At TCS, we are happy to announce that we have completed the project to incorporate ICD-10 codes into our suite of products.  They are available to you now, or whenever you have the time and resources to go through the upgrade process and do thorough testing so that you are ready for production.

Before we began implementation, we did a lot of research to understand what ICD-10 is and what its impact would be to our software.  We called on our internal experts in workflow...



October 13th, 2011

Pat Stricker, RN, M Ed

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

When Congress was considering passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) quipped in a speech: “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." Although many poked fun at the Speaker’s comment at the time, the reality is that Pelosi was right. We are still finding out what is in PPACA, even 18 months after its passage! A key...



October 11th, 2011

Rob Pock

Founder and CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

One of the hot topics in today’s healthcare trade press and blogs is the Accountable Care Organization (ACO). ACOs are essentially a model for healthcare reform. Under the recent Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, ACOs are listed as a model for cost-cutting and improved care under the Medicare Program. At press time, the new ACO regulations are due to be published by the federal government at any moment.

What Are ACOs?

ACOs are intended to deliver...



September 29th, 2011

Rob Pock

Founder and CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

 
My wife Esther and I recently had house guests from Indonesia. We are very close friends with this couple and have teamed with them on a number development projects specifically targeted at poor rural Indonesian island communities. One such project was in response to the devastation left in the wake of the tsunami that struck the city of Banda Ache in Northern Sumatra. With the help of concerned business...


August 16th, 2011

Pat Stricker, RN, Med

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

I’m still reflecting on “take-aways” from the 21st Annual CMSA Conference. Each year there are some sessions that really stay with me. This year it was one by Dr. Tom Wilson, PhD, entitled “Health Care Effectiveness Review – Measurement and Performance”. It sounded like a good outcomes session, so I decided to attend. But it was much more than that!

What Dr. Wilson described is a new, exciting way to transform the overwhelming, intimidating...



June 16th, 2011

Rob Pock

Founder and CEO

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

I have been in the software business for almost 35 years. In my newest profession (though perhaps “hobby” is a more appropriate term), I have two years of experience. My latest endeavor is to become a wine-maker of sorts -- albeit through a small vineyard with about 100 young plants in my backyard.

Not surprisingly, I am intrigued...



June 13th, 2011

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice President, Clinical Services

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

A priority of every case management intervention is to support the patient to make sure that they are getting the best care and support over a continuum of time to achieve positive clinical outcomes. However, case managers also need to deal with the “medical appropriateness” or “medical necessity” of care. This function is referred to as “utilization review” or “utilization management” (referred to collectively as “UM...



May 24th, 2011

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice President

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

One of case management’s secret weapons is the ability to support patients over an extended period of time and through a wide range of clinical settings.   Although the U.S. healthcare system is regarded as one of the best in terms of resources and innovation, it often receives poor marks in terms of care coordination. In part, this is often due to the fragmentation of the care team and system segmentation.

Among other initiatives, CMSA has been a staunch...



May 19th, 2011

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice-President, Clinical Services

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

One of the recent buzz words that we hear about these days is the concept of health IT “interoperability.” For years, the federal government has been pushing for the broader implementation of electronic medical records to promote efficiency and better clinical outcomes. 

With so many diverse and disparate IT systems deployed in healthcare today, the need to connect those systems is paramount. That is why the notion of “interoperability” is key...



May 13th, 2011

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Vice-President, Clinical and Client Services

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

With the political whirlwinds stemming from the election results in 2010 still swirling, I am reminded that much of the healthcare system is driven by the ebbs and flows of the legislative and regulatory process. It is amazing the number of pundits that have emerged on cable news channels, blogs, and other media outlets letting us know what is right and wrong about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) and the supporting regulations. 

I am comforted by...



May 11th, 2011

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Vice-President, Clinical and Client Services

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

Care management programs continue to evolve in many ways. In recent years, many provider settings and health plans have begun to offer medical management services around the clock. Providers and hospitals have offered after-hours call centers for years.

In the “olden days” a doctor’s answering service, consisting of non-medical personnel, would “page” the on-call doctor when a patient called, and the doctor would call the patient...



December 15th, 2010

Pat Stricker, RN, MEd

Senior Vice-President, Clinical Services

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

With the approaching new year, I am reminded of all the January 1st resolutions that have come and gone. It is easy to issue a proclamation that it is time to lose weight, eat better, exercise more, and so on – especially during the jubilation of a New Year’s celebration. Unfortunately, for most of us, those promises typically fade after a couple weeks. 

What is the magic formula to make a New Year’s resolution stick? And for that...



October 13th, 2010

Admin

Administrator

 

A new research report by TCS Healthcare Technologies (TCS), in conjunction with the Case Management Society of America (CMSA) and the American Board of Quality Assurance Utilization Review Physicians (ABQAURP), finds that health information technology (HIT) systems are having an impact on a variety of medical management interventions, but less quickly than anticipated. The first HIT study was conducted in 2008 to examine HIT trends in the field of care...



July 13th, 2010

Admin

Administrator

 

Earlier this spring, Hudson Health Plan and TCS Healthcare Technologies issued a joint press release announcing that Hudson has selected Acuity Advanced Care™ (ACUITY) as its new care management software program.

Georganne Chapin, President & CEO of Hudson, notes, “TCS’ ACUITY will assume an integral role in empowering our team to serve the populations that we cover, who often are facing enormous social and economic challenges that complicate their health....



May 30th, 2010

John Sekerak

Vice President, Business Development

TCS Healthcare Technologies

 

ICD codes, International Statistical Classification of Diseases, are used around the world to identify the disease or medical condition of a person undergoing treatment. These codes were developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), and the ICD-9 version has been in use in the United States since the 1970’s. WHO developed a newer, more extensive ICD code set which was adopted in the 1990’s. These codes, the ICD-10, are used by most countries in the...



May 12th, 2010

Admin

Administrator

 

Over the years, case managers in a variety of healthcare settings have struggled with optimizing their case management caseload workflows and sizes.  In October 2008, CMSA and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) published an overview of the caseload issue, entitled “Case Management Caseload Concept Paper:  Proceedings of the Caseload Work Group.”  This analysis represented a two year effort to try to identify the potential...