Aging With Grace- The ‘Super Agers’ Phenomena!

30 08 2012

With many of our clients in the health care industry, we here at Advantec have come to know a lot about the struggles that many of their patients face. A major problem is that the older we get, our cognitive skills decline and our brain matter changes. Neurodegenerative diseases seem to take hold of many of us at a certain age, such as Alzheimers.

Despite the once-thought inevitable loss of our minds with the increase of our age, there appears to be a new phenomena. A group of 80 year-olds is making scientific waves because of an uncanny ability to age gracefully in a cognitive sense! With their age, their brains seem to somehow be immune to the typical declines in memory and thinking.

In a study published this Thursday, doctors had found something remarkable in the brains of these individuals. The area of brain housing is the most dense concentration of cells. This is also known as the outer layer of the brain, the cortex. In the ‘Super Agers’ this area was extremely thick compared to others their age. One of the primary functions of the cortex is memory. The thickness of the cortex was comparable with people in their fifties and sixties, which is quite amazing! That’s a twenty or thirty year difference!

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What does this mean for the world? It means that the insight their brains could provide could help potentially find a cure for cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s. What does this mean for the medical industry? Lots of new research and potentially saving lives- and memories! What does it mean for us? It means we get to proudly support the industries that are helping the ‘non-super agers’ to regain their health! 

For more research about cognitive diseases, visit Local Health’s Website. As always, for more information about Advantec and the software we custom-tailor for people, visit Advantec’s Website!

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Assisted Living- How the ACA Affects YOU!

22 08 2012

As the software provider for many clients in the Assisted Care and Personal Care industries, we understand that matters that are important to you automatically become matters that are important to us, too! Take, for example, all of the health care reform acts currently being discussed. Many senior living companies, as well as our own, have been concerned about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It could change the way that the companies are run, and how they provide insurance to their employees. Many were concerned at first, however, they may not have realized that the act also comes with many positive aspects as well. The bill contains funding for innovative methods of providing care for senior living residents, and that could have a huge positive impact on the industry.

Health care providers can access these opportunities by getting involved in a number of initiatives and programs that seek to increase the supply of geriatricians, develop managed care models, and promote community-based and non-institutional care. Don’t believe us? Brookdale Senior Living, one of the largest providers of senior services, took advantage of the bill just last month. Through it, they received over $7,000,000! The money came from an ACA initiative that made nearly $1,000,000,000 available to a variety of health care innovators. 

This all happened when Congress passed the health care reform law back in 2010. One of the President’s major plans was to improve health care while saving money. Many provisions of this act strive to improve access to long term care and community based services that support seniors and people with disabilities. This is all great news for our clients!

The ACA launched the Health Care Innovative Awards not too long ago. Organizations were called upon to pitch projects that could improve the quality while reducing costs to the health care system. About 3,000 organizations applied with their programs, and about 100 of them were awarded with $900 million of grant money made available through the health care law- Brookdale being one of them! The one hundred recipients of the awards have projects that are estimated to save the health care system an estimated $1.9 BILLION over the next three years.

Besides the Awards Program, there are a number of programs introduced by ACA taht could benefit our clients in this industry.Most of them involve a transition strategy in which movement away from institutional settings is encouraged and movement towards a community based organization is recommended. 

Another intiative is to push to increase the amount of geriatricians. One primary concern is that the rate of senior citizens is growing at too fast of a pace for the rate of certified geriatricians to catch up, leaving a shortage of doctors. To help solve this program, the HHS is establishing a grant program to help those looking to go into that field of medicine assistance with tuition and fee assistance. 

 

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We will continue to look for and post any information that is applicable to the industries that our clients work in. Here at Advantec, we only want the best for our clients, and we will go to any length to do so. For more information on healthcare and this industry, visit http://www.alfa.org.

For more information on CSM software for the Personal Care, Assisted Living, Mental Health, and Group Home industries, visit us at http://www.findsocialservicesoftware.com. 

 

 





The Medical Industry- Field Hospitals In Syria

21 08 2012

One of our favorite things to read about is the passion of professionals in the medical industry. As a supporter of clients who work in this industry (Assisted Living, Personal Care, Mental Health) we love to hear about how dedication brings amazing results.

This international team of doctors turned a home that was under construction into a secret field hospital. Here they spent two months treating wounded persons. These people would travel for two days just to reach this small group of physicians. 

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It took over a week to turn the location into a satisfactory field hospital. The aid group that sent this team there is known as the Medecins Sans Prontieres, which in English means “Doctors WIthout Borders.” What an appropriate name! The team consisted of about seven foreigners and fifty Syrians. To avoid any trouble, they did alert the Syrian government as to their plan, but left out the location. It was reported that the government did not appreciate their presence.

Doctors on scene reported that conditions were growing increasingly dire. Nearly all of the patients were victims of the fighting. About 60% of them were suffering from an explosion and about 40% from gunshot wounds. Although the field hospital was only 15 miles away, many took backroads to avoid passing military checkpoints and operations, making the trek last a little over two days. 

Many similar field hospitals are springing up across the country, but few are as well equipped as this one. The hospital contains about a dozen beds, a sterilization room, an operating room, a recovery room, and a resuscitation room. Hospitals around the country with fewer resources even started sending their own patients there.

France, at one time Syria’s colonial ruler, even began sending out their own doctors earlier in the week. They are also at the forefront of the diplomatic efforts to end the civil war in Syria.

Thanks to countries and individuals such as the ones mentioned in this story, some faith can be restored in the morality of our modern world. Those in the medical industry are often the kindest, humblest, and most charitable individuals. This world needs more people like them, especially with all of the fighting and violence in today’s world. 

We here at Advantec work hard to make the perfect software for professionals in the medical industry. We strive to make the running of a medical organization and the handling of paperwork so easy that the least time is spent doing office work, and the most time is spent doing field work and with patients. We specialize in the Assisted Care, Personal Care, Mental Health, and Group Home sub-industries. We are always so proud of the clients we support, and the future clients we are eager to take on.

For more information about this event in Syria, visit http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/team-doctors-set-secret-syria-field-hospital-17048231#.UDOamKllTHo. For more information about Advantec’s CSM Software for the Health Industry, visit http://www.findsocialservicesoftware.com. We are always here to help!

 





Quality Care Metrics in Health Services: Mental Health, Assisted Care, Group Homes

26 06 2010

A while ago I posted a discussion on several mental health and counseling groups, seeking  comments on quality metrics for Mental Health.  The topic was prompted by the verbiage in recently passed federal  health care legislation where paragraph after paragraph kept including  the term quality care.

Based on feedback and discussions we have arrived at and implemented the following quality features: divided into two groups:

Practice: 

  • Audit trail: event driven records of all activities in the practice
  • User defined Templates – throughout to assure consistency and quality of comments while still enabling  case specific modification.
  • Spell checking of all notes and comments to assure professionalism and readability.
  • Built in drug and diagnosis code templates – to avoid errors
  • Notes that are locked on completion to avoid tampering
  • Program compliance tracking to assure complete and timely performance
  • Forms management to print correct form on demand
  • Document management to scanned documents and files to be attached and achieved with case
  • Bar code document tracking – issued, received checked in , checked out
  • Data Slice technology that restricts  case information access  to assigned personnel
  • Integrated accounting and  billing to assure accuracy
  • e-signatures to assure locked documents are signed
  • e-prescriptions integrated with  meds management to assure accuracy

Care:

  • Consistency of care case notes about the client: what works and what doesn’t that are shared with clinical workers assigned to the case
  • Best practice notes: based on diagnosis and treatments but without client reference to be shared with all practice professionals at level
  • Statistical Subjectivity Goal Charting : to graphically depict clinician assessment of treatment history effectiveness
  • Consumer satisfaction survey on exit — aggregated to client and clinician satisfaction index — measure consumer assessment of effectiveness

These are some of what we have come up with if you have comments and or can think of more we can do please advise.   We being a  provider  of an integrated suite of practice management, scheduling, accounting and billing  software for: mental health, assisted care, personal care and group homes,  were interested in making sure that we could support these quality care initiatives.  We are proud of our software and what we have done but recognize that you are the experts and we support your needs.

learn more:  www.findsocialservicesoftware.com/hsg.aspx





Economic issues Impact on Health Care

5 10 2009

Economic issues Impact on Health Care

Cutbacks in Medicaid Funding!

  • More people applying to Medicaid – due to economy.

Though many of the proposed Medicare cuts and the ones already in progress are frightening and difficult, at best, to deal with, the thought of more Medicaid cuts puts more pressure on the people that need the program most.”

“The problem is that rather than helping keep the benefits for people, once someone has lost them, the state and county end up paying untold thousands of dollars for emergency room visits that take the place of doctor visits. Keeping people on Medicaid and allowing new ones to get on it save the state and county money, short term and long term.”  The Medicaid and Medicare Center   (http://medicare-medicaid.com/tag/medicaid-cutbacks/)               june30th, 2009

Unemployment

  • 10% unemployment is roughly a 5% increase in unemployment over “normal” and therefore causes a comparable 5% decrease in income tax revenue.
  • Less revenue in state coffers for (Medicaid) matching funds – due to lower tax revenues
  • Unemployment is projected to grow to 10.1 percent by 2/2010 and stay there for a while.

“Looking ahead to next fiscal year, the outlook is that FY 2010 almost certainly will be a very difficult year, with the potential for widespread program cutbacks and provider rate cuts that will affect millions of Medicaid beneficiaries.”  The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. January 2009

Federal Stimulus Program misses the mark!

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)

  • Section 5001: Increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP)
  • Section 5001 of the ARRA provides eligible States with an increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for 27 months between October 1, 2008 and December 31, 2010
  • Even though the Recovery Act provides more federal money the problem is that it requires the states to come up with more money to qualify and the states are stretched thin already by reduced tax revenue.

 

What does the future hold?

  • Economic indicators show that the recession has bottomed out and started a rebound.  The banking, Wall Street, and housing industries are picking up.
  • Unemployment is a lagging indicator and will not show improvement till later.
  • Additional provisions and expenditures of the Stimulus package will go into effect in 2010 and may provide additional help to the economy.

So things should continue to improve.

But what can Service Providers do in the meantime?

All businesses (including health services) consist of the following three components.

  • Labor: Professional Services – patient contact hours (labor)
    • Labor can be automated – for tracking and monitoring but professional contact hours cannot be eliminated.  They can be optimized and made more efficient but when it comes to the physical care services they still must be performed by people.
    • Plant:  Physical Goods and Facilities: drugs, materials, clinics, and associated utilities
      • Drugs and materials can be negotiated and cost reductions from bulk purchasing
      • Facility expenses can be reduced by providing services remotely or off-site reducing the amount of physical facilities required.
      • Administration:  Paperwork, compliance, documentation, management, tracking, error prevention, fraud prevention, privacy protection, reporting, certification, training, communications, scheduling, billing, accounting, etc.
        • Administrative  overhead which is a very significant expense is the most fertile area where expenses can be reduced with Information Systems Technology

 

We provide IT solutions for Home Health, Mental Health and Group Homes that can improve your operations and reduce your expenses.

  • Schedule / sign up for a webinar on our Human Services solutions
  • Call to set up a session with one of our consultants to work up a demonstrable return on investment model (ROI)

We may not be able to totally offset the impacts of the economy and funding cuts but we assuredly can help.

www.findSocialServiceSoftware.com     www.advantecis.com








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