Large-scale healthcare issues require solutions that connect patients to doctors and healthcare workers while providing insights that can save lives. Healthcare officials use data to treat patients and mitigate pervasive diseases while serving the widest range of patients possible.
I recently spoke with Tyler Fisher of the Utah Ryan White Part B Program regarding their work to help low-income HIV patients. Tyler is at the forefront of managing healthcare for these vulnerable populations and spearheads the emerging “Getting to Zero” plan in Utah which is meant to eliminate new HIV cases in Utah. He educated me on the challenges they faced in coordinating the local contract workforce, tracking patient eligibility, and managing federal reporting requirements for funding. This led to a discussion on why the Utah Department of Health chose EccoVia Solutions and their ClientTrack© Platform to help address those challenges.
The challenges of socially conscious customer care
Chronic diseases like HIV require systemic care and patients in underserved populations may not have access to that type of care. The Ryan White Program, administered through the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), provides funds to states’ health departments and HIV care sites to deliver this care to these vulnerable patients. In Utah, HIV-positive residents who earn less than 250% of the poverty line qualify for services that include primary medical care, out-patient ambulatory services, medical transport services, linguistic support for non-native English speakers, and financial support to help patients cover expenses such as rent and utilities.
Managing a program that delivers these services comes with its own set of unique challenges. Perhaps the most difficult ones come from coordinating the various stakeholders, contractors, and associated regulatory requirements. The Utah Part B Program didn’t have a dedicated system to collect the information they needed. “We have a database that is created by HRSA that is used to report back to them,” Tyler said. “We have numerous spreadsheets tracking our many different support services . . . and then, of course, we are collecting all the claims information from our pharmacy benefit manager and making sure clients’ eligibility information is updated in that system.”
These disparate data management tools made it difficult to reliably gather and maintain patient data, much less track patient qualifications across different health service providers. These problems were compounded by the fact that federal regulations require qualification renewal every six months.
While the base logistics of program implementation were difficult, the human cost was the barriers it created for the patients the program was meant to serve. “Until we had ClientTrack,” Tyler said, “we had been accepting applications through paper . . . or at least PDF through email, but really processing a paper application. It is difficult for us to provide any kind of real-time eligibility information, not only to our case managers with whom we contract, or our providers, but even to our clients.”
Switching to the cloud and ClientTrack©
Having a cloud solution that could support real-time updating and reliable scaling was critical for the announcement of their upcoming “Getting to Zero” plan. With new advances in HIV treatment, virally suppressed patients have a positive long-term prognosis and low chance of transmission. Perhaps because of this, the state of Utah has consistently had only 120 new cases of HIV per year on average. Tyler sees a comprehensive care management solution as the key to reducing that number to zero.
The Utah Part B Program released an RFP for a new healthcare management solution to convert their existing systems and processes into a responsive and reliable program that served all stakeholders involved. “We were looking at one care coordination platform to have all that information housed in one system where we could enter information once,” Tyler said. “And it also needed to enable our clients to go into the system and apply on their own.”
Microsoft partner EccoVia Solutions responded to the program’s RFP. Tyler recognized the ClientTrack© HMIS platform could offer the department a single interface for data entry, federal compliance reporting, and customizable reporting and assessments for social and medical services. It also gave them the ability to create online applications for patients. Finally, many of the program’s agency partners such as the Utah Homeless Management Information System, were already familiar with the software.
Tyler is hopeful ClientTrack© will give them the tools they need to unify their existing legacy systems, remove all the overhead problems with user error and, more importantly, help them better serve their contractors and patients in real time, improving those patients’ health outcomes, and help Utah achieve its “Getting to Zero” plan.
Large-scale and comprehensive care management, direct medical support, and secondary financial and healthcare support can contribute significantly to the fight against the HIV epidemic in the United States on a state-by-state basis. The Utah Part B Program learned this, and with EccoVia Solutions’ ClientTrack©, hosted on the Microsoft Azure Government cloud platform, they found a solution that allowed them to eliminate legacy problems while serving a large population of patients in real-time.
If you want to learn more, contact Tyler Fisher at the Utah Ryan White Part B Progam.
Visit EccoVia Solutions for more information on ClientTrack© Care Coordination.
To see how other health and human services agencies are modernizing with technology, go to https://aka.ms/HHSModernization