Auburn, CA and Little Rock, AR / PRWeb / March 26, 2014 – A new report confirms that increased use of health information technology by providers does not necessarily translate to more face-time with patients. The report, part of an ongoing series that analyzes the results of the 3rd bi-annual Health IT Survey, also reveals several other caseload trends in regard to time allocation, caseload levels by provider setting, and how case managers spend their time.
The Health IT Survey, sponsored by TCS Healthcare Technologies (TCS), the Case Management Society of America (CMSA), and the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians (ABQAURP), was conducted in 2008, 2010 and 2012 to identify primary trends in health IT systems as well as current and emerging software applications.
“For years, case managers from a variety of health and behavioral health care settings have complained of inconsistent and inappropriate case management (CM) caseload sizes,” says Rob Pock, founder and president, TCS Healthcare Technologies. “Today, the constant changes in the medical management field make it even harder to identify equitable benchmarks for caseload determination. This report emphasizes the complexity of caseload calculations and how IT platforms can play a role.”
Part of a nine-part series, Trend Report #7: Caseloads, identifies several key trends:
• Greater reliance on health IT systems does not necessarily equal more face-to-face time with patients.
• Smaller caseloads are not analogous with more face-time with patients.
• The caseload range for most respondents is 25-49 per week (27%), followed by 10-14 cases (18%), and 50-74 cases per week (14%).
• Sixty-two percent of those working in home care settings report caseloads of less than 50 per week, with 22% supporting one to nine patients weekly.
• Thirty-nine percent of care managers report spending “no time” with patients face-to-face.
• Survey participants spend more time on care management tasks such as administrative support and indirect patient contacts than face-to-face time with patients.
According to Cheri Lattimer, RN, BSN, CMSA executive director, “The variation found in caseload sizes and corresponding face-to-face time with patients is inconsistent. Our industry needs to continue to work on understanding what impacts a caseload and that variations are expected. Case managers bring a wealth of expertise on care coordination but their individual caseloads must allow them the ability and time to engage patients and their family caregivers. I believe we can enhance care coordination when patient engagement is the greater part of the case managers’ daily activity.”
Joel V. Brill, MD, an ABQAURP board member, says the Trend Report “does a great job highlighting how caseloads change in different settings and how providers split their time between active patient care and administrative work. It’s interesting that most contacts by case managers and other providers are not face-to-face or are administrative in nature.”
Garry Carneal, JD, MA, who has supervised the research project since 2008, says the health IT research series was designed and supervised by a panel of leading experts in the field. “What makes this study so helpful is the tracking and reporting of key health IT trends over a period of time,” Carneal notes. “This information should empower clinicians, public policy experts, business executives and others to make more informed decisions when adopting and implementing new IT solutions in health care.”
This is the third time TCS, CMSA and ABQAURP have joined forces to sponsor the bi-annual survey, with the first survey conducted in 2008. By comparing data from all three surveys – 2012, 2010 and 2008 – the series of 2013 Trend Reports reveals several emerging patterns in health IT use and perception.
Trend Report #1: Introduction & Methodology Overview provides a background on the survey methodology, participants and sampling technique. All of the published Trend Reports can be viewed or downloaded on a complementary basis at www.tcshealthcare.com in the News section, or by visiting www.cmsa.org.
Trend Reports #8 and #9 will be published in the next several months. Those interested in receiving copies of the remaining reports as they become available can sign up in the Trend Reports section of www.tcshealthcare.com under the News tab. The TCS website also contains other valuable resources and information, including links to the webinar series showcasing the results of the survey.
About the Co-Sponsors
TCS Healthcare Technologies (TCS) is a leading provider of software and clinical solutions that support and improve population health management strategies for health plans, insurers, providers, third-party administrators, medical management companies, and others. TCS is recognized as one of the premier health care software companies in the United States designing, offering, and hosting a number of products and services. The TCS Acuity Advanced Care® application provides a comprehensive and integrated care management software system for Utilization Management (UM), Case Management (CM), Disease Management (DM), and Prevention/Wellness (PW) services.
For more information: (530) 886-1700; www.tcshealthcare.com.
American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, Inc. (ABQAURP), is a non-profit education and certification board that has certified over 9,800 physicians, nurses and other health care professionals in Health Care Quality Management (HCQM) and Patient Safety. Established in 1977, ABQAURP is the nation’s largest organization of interdisciplinary healthcare professionals. ABQAURP is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) as a provider of Continuing Medical Education, and by the Florida Board of Nursing as a provider of Nursing Credit. For more information: (800) 998-6030; www.abqaurp.org.
Case Management Society of America (CMSA), established in 1990, is the leading non-profit association dedicated to the support and development of the profession of case management. CMSA serves more than 11,000 members, 20,000 subscribers, and 75 chapters through educational forums, networking opportunities, legislative advocacy and establishing standards to advance the profession. For more information: www.cmsa.org; Twitter @CMSANational.