Providing the link

A local Internet provider is taking the human services industry into the next generation of technology.

MCG Information Exchange Corp., a secure, Web-based provider management system in Beachwood, offers ProviderGateway software, a link between caseworkers and human services agencies.

The beneficiaries are people in need of a job, daycare or medical treatment. Caseworkers can conduct more client interviews without sacrificing much-needed report and accountability data. By not waiting until the end of the day to fill out forms and contact health care providers, those critical services can come through faster.

The Welfare Reform Act of 1996 tightened the reporting requirements on federal funds going into state agencies, says Howard Kurop, director of marketing and affiliate development at MCG.

“If you expect more monies or whatever kind of adjustments in the following years, you’ve got to be able to show the accountability,” he says.

Typically, face-to-face contact between caseworker and client generates mounds of paperwork in the health care arena. ProviderGateway loosens the redtape noose around the caseworker’s neck. Agencies can focus on being out in the community helping people, while keeping up with administration-laden tasks such as registering clients, tracking provider contracts, doing process referrals and generating reports to meet state and federal compliance guidelines.

ProviderGateway takes the time out of data reporting because throughout the day, information is exchanged between those in need and agencies that can help. The Web site is a security-controlled, private virtual network accessed via personal digital assistants or laptop computers. Internet management of client information breaks down the barriers between client appointments and client files.

According to Kurop, the biggest advantage of the system is its ability to configure to meet the demand of many types of agencies and nonprofit providers.

“It was developed with an understanding of the issues counties and their provider network and configured based on their needs,” he says.

Another advantage is the speed in implementation.

“With Web-based applications, we can implement in as little as 90 days,” Kurop explains.

MCG has developed Internet-based connectivity engines for the public sector since 1985. Its programs can be found locally in Geauga, Portage, Cuyahoga, Summit and Lucas counties. Research and development occurs in its Lakewood, Calif., facility.

How to reach: ProviderGateway, (216) 202-2800