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Rhodes Group/TriCore

TriCore Reference Laboratories performs more than 9.5 million tests per year and handles 70% of New Mexico's clinical laboratory services.

But TriCore wanted to do more than just issue test results; it wanted to help close the care gap between when treatment is recommended and when it is received, says Patrick Prescott, vice president of financial solutions at Rhodes Group, a clinical IT solutions provider that merged with TriCore in 2015.

The team developed a system that analyzes patients' full records and uses predictive analytics to provide new insights into people's health. One of its pilots identified high-risk patients needing prenatal care. TriCore plans to do similar pilots of its Diagnostic Optimization system for patients with Hepatitis C and diabetes. The system monitors nearly 2 million people in New Mexico, for example, and it identified 100,000 diabetic patients in care-gap status. That information can be sent to health plan coordinators who can arrange care.

But that process creates another big challenge.

With so many people affected, the team is working to find the most efficient ways to contact physicians and patients. "The last thing a physician needs is 10 emails" recommending follow-up care for patients, says Dr. Michael Crossey, chief medical officer at TriCore. "We're not notifying patients directly yet, but that's on my horizon — if we can get through the compliance issues."

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