In the greater Los Angeles area, OptumCare depends on Med Tech Solutions (MTS) for the
IT services the care delivery organization’s (CDO) clients rely on. Since moving its EHR hosting, optimization, and support services to MTS, the network of more than 100 practices has seen significant performance and efficiency improvements. MTS also reduced OptumCare’s costs by $250,000 per year, boosting its competitiveness and ability to provide highvalue services for clients.
SENIOR MANAGER OF CIS AT OPTUMCARE
Armando Besné, senior manager of CIS at OptumCare, is responsible for making sure that the 250 providers across 116 independent physician association (IPA) practices in its greater Los Angeles-area network have reliable, secure access to their EHR at all times. But Besné is also responsible for making sure his organization is profitable and successful in its growth plans. “Cost is always something that’s in the back of our mind,” Besné says, “but along with cost, because we’re reselling this product, performance is a really big issue for us.”
When Besné joined OptumCare in 2016, its cloud hosting vendor frustrated providers, staff, and patients with slow and unstable connections. “When I came onboard, I was asked to look at the overall performance and figure out ways to make the environment not only faster but more stable, at a similar or minimal increase in cost, to provide a better product to our providers,” he explains.
Besné and his team considered taking on the capital and staffing costs to operate its own cloud hosting environment, and also researched the top public and private cloud vendors. That included MTS, who already had a long-term relationship with OptumCare, providing its AppCare services to support and optimize providers’ electronic health records (EHRs). Besné soon saw the advantages of moving OptumCare’s hosting requirements to the MTSCloud as well.
“Working with MTS, we were able to stand up an environment that was much more performance-centric and provided easier connectivity to our providers,” he says. “It was night and day. They were giving me a very robust SQL environment and very robust terminal server environment that would provide the necessary resources I needed for today—as well as in the future for growth— that would blow my current environment out of the water.”
Because MTS now managed both hosting and application support, OptumCare saw a significant decrease in both costs. Besné says, “I even went straight to our EHR vendor, who offers hosting, and asked them, ‘What can you do at a provider level? This is my magic number,’ and they couldn’t even come close to it, whereas MTS was able to actually beat it. I was able to save $250,000 moving from the previous vendor to MTS, with a more robust, higher-performing solution. That in itself was a huge win for my organization.
OptumCare is a national network of CDOs. In the greater Los Angeles area, it supports the IT needs for an independent practice association (IPA) that delivers care to a dense patient population of senior and non-senior lives. OptumCare has partnered with Med Tech Solutions to securely host, optimize, and support the EHRs of about 250 providers across 116 practices, with a strategy that easily scales to support growth.
For OptumCare, Med Tech Solutions’ healthcare focus and expertise make it the ideal choice. “When we look at a healthcare-centric organization like MTS, where everything they do is focused around healthcare—that’s a slam dunk for us,” Besné says. “That is definitely something we look at when it comes to vetting partners.”
Most of OptumCare’s client practices use the NextGen EHR, so MTS being a preferred NextGen provider gives confidence as well as a powerful resource for ideas and solutions. Besné explains that the MTS teams’ experience hosting a multitude of practices and providers gives them an additional advantage. “I felt they had already done their homework and put themselves in a position that was years ahead of the competition.”
Because MTS stays ahead of new EHR and other technologies, they’re already knowledgeable and able to work with OptumCare and its clients on new initiatives. “If we present them with a new solution outside of our current software suite, they are always onboard,” says Besné. “They’re willing to work with us to make sure it’s integrated to the level our providers expect when it comes to workflow and streamlined processes within their day-to-day operations of the EHR.”
“I felt they had already done their homework and put themselves in a position that was years ahead of the competition.”
MED TECH SOLUTIONS SERVICES IMPLEMENTED
With its hosting environment in the MTS private cloud, OptumCare was able to move its core systems to physical servers and solid-state hard drives to deliver the performance that providers expected. According to Besné, “Every single one of my providers has said, ‘I like the new environment. It’s easy to connect, it’s streamlined, it’s fast, and I just don’t get those issues anymore.’ So provider satisfaction is way higher than it ever was.”
MTS has allowed providers to focus on delivering the best patient care and not worry about their IT infrastructure. In addition, MTS’ certified NextGen professionals work closely with Besné and his team to make sure that the workflows delivered to providers are optimized for efficient patient care.
With reliable connectivity, OptumCare’s IPA providers have a remote desktop solution to access EHRs any time and from onsite or remote locations so they can render care even during a pandemic, via telehealth or even drive-up visits. “Being able to have those records available at any time not only gives a better provider experience, it also provides a better patient experience, thus increasing the quality of care for the patient,” Besné says. He adds, “MTS’s solution around connectivity and remote connectivity made perfect sense, and it was very easy to implement and roll out to all of our providers.”
“Provider satisfaction is way higher than it ever was.”
“Security is a big concern for all organizations, especially when you’re dealing with personal health information,” Besné says. “The HITRUST certification that MTS was able to provide made the security analysis and risk assessment that we have in place very easy. It gives me the confidence knowing that we have the best security in place to be able to give the providers and the patients peace of mind, knowing that their data is protected in that hosted environment.”
OptumCare’s contracts specify that their providers comply with HIPAA and hardware security standards. While the organization can’t mandate that providers use specific technology, Besné wanted to ensure that their connection to the data center is secure. MTS developed options for network appliances that providers could use with the MTS environment and that are upgradeable for future requirements. “That provides that level of security knowing that when we broker our connection between an IPA or a provider site to MTS, it is going through an appliance that is up-to-date with security protocols. That way we eliminate or mitigate some of that risk,” Besné says.
MTS also fills essential roles in identity access management as well as networking, server, and security teams for OptumCare. “MTS has taken all those roles off our plate so we can focus on the applications we serve in the environment, to better increase patient care at the provider level,” Besné explains.
“MTS has taken all those roles off our plate so we can focus on the applications we serve in the environment, to better increase patient care at the provider level.”
With the included MTS performance and security dashboard, OptumCare can monitor all of its physician offices’ environments in real time, report against them, and watch for trends. This allows Besné and his team to see all the relevant information in one place, to proactively address issues before they become a problem, and to keep the environment performing to expected standards.
Besné’s team can help providers proactively improve efficiency, such as identifying large reporting jobs that could impact network performance and should be moved to non-production times. And with real-time monitoring, including international IP scans, OptumCare can see where connections are being made and immediately respond to potentially malicious activity such as offshore connections.
As OptumCare’s business grows and its client practices expand to serve larger patient populations by adding providers, services, or locations, the MTS dashboard gives Besné the information he needs to plan for scalability. “If I know I’m going to be adding another 50 or 100 providers to my environments, I can look at that performance dashboard and know where I need to scale in order to support that increased user count,” he says.
With this kind of real-time visibility, Besné’s analysts spend less time troubleshooting and more time adding value to OptumCare’s clients, supporting physicians at clinic sites to help streamline workflows or training staff on how to use systems more efficiently.
“If I know I’m going to be adding another 50 or 100 providers to my environments, I can look at that performance dashboard and know where I need to scale.”
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Med Tech Solutions (MTS) creates technology systems that work the way healthcare practices work. Our Practice-Centered Care services use dedicated IT Care Teams to ensure that technology systems support essential clinical workflows. Provider organizations and networks get a secure, reliable IT infrastructure, optimized clinical and business applications, and full end-user support so they can focus on patient care. MTS was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Valencia, California. The company has been recognized as an Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Company and a Channel Futures MSP 501 provider, and has achieved HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF) certification for its cloud platform. Learn more at medtechsolutions.com.
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