08/16

2018

Custom Reporting Solutions: A Game-Changer for the Financial Services Industry

By transforming raw data into organized reports, businesses are equipped to gauge their performance, identify problems and opportunities, and make more intelligent decisions. Reports can be invaluable when businesses are planning, budgeting, and forecasting a project. And in some cases, they’re necessary to fulfill regulatory requirements. However, not all reports are created equal.

Many businesses rely on canned reports to gain a broad overview of business, and in some cases, an out-of-the-box solution may suffice. But for business owners seeking more nuanced insights into their efforts and the impact of emerging trends, a more tailored report is necessary.

How customized does a report need to be in order to deliver real value to its users? That depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

Clarify and highlight critical data

The best data reports are easy to understand and share, and custom data reporting allows businesses to clarify and highlight the most critical data points to decision-making. Manipulating data to meet specific user needs and to inform specific business decisions simplifies and strengthens data reports, allowing you to more clearly communicate critical insights.

Customize data for different users

While canned reports may satisfy a general audience, dynamic business structures are composed of diverse user groups with distinctive data requirements. Your marketing department needs a different set of data points than your development team. Flexible custom reports offer an opportunity to deliver precision data points tailored to the needs of these different user groups, which saves time and prevents confusion and frustration.

Drive actionable insights

Custom reporting solutions empower businesses to drill down and see the fine details that aren’t always accessible in canned reports. Rather than a boilerplate printout that provides broad strokes and minimal penetration, custom reports can target and extract the specific datasets that will shed light on key performance indicators. When analytics options are customizable, you gain end-to-end and top-to-bottom visibility across your organization, which equips you with the most accurate business intelligence to make important decisions.

Respond nimbly to emerging trends

Unlike canned reports, custom reporting solutions enable companies to track selected events and data in real-time. This facilitates forecasting and empowers businesses to respond to emerging trends with agility. Real-time, tailored reporting allows businesses instant access to data on how plans and projects are performing, allowing users to take advantages of unexpected opportunities and mitigate unanticipated setbacks.

Maximize revenue and minimize losses

Your business is already collecting, processing, and storing data. Antares’ custom reporting solutions empower to you transform that data into valuable business intelligence. We offer a Business Intelligence Assessment to determine how we can help you extract your data through Dashboards and Scorecards for easy review and monitoring. We can provide Data integration along with Reporting and Analysis Services. Contact our team today to capitalize on custom reporting solutions.

08/16

2018

Overview: ICD-10 Conversion for LaDHH/Molina Medicaid Solutions

As a subcontracting partner to Molina Medicaid Solutions, Antares Technology Solutions was responsible for the development and implementation of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals’ (LaDHH) conversion to support ICD-10 medical coding.  ICD-10 stands for the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems used by the medical industry.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mandated compliance for an ICD-10 nationwide implementation, which Antares and Molina delivered in a 15-month design, development and implementation plan.  This enabled LaDHH to meet the federal guidelines for compliance with ICD-10 regulations.

The project was mapped out in three phases:

  • Phase 1: Assess all DHH systems and plan for the work efforts to be engaged, executed, completed and implemented.
  • Phase 2: Legacy system compliance and construction of the ICD-10 to ICD-9 crosswalk
  • Phase 3:  Post-implementation monitoring and removal of crosswalk for direct interaction with native ICD-10

Antares, working with Molina’s technical project lead, provided a 17-member team to fulfill the roles and responsibilities required to support the plan. The project team included a project manager, both mainframe and web application systems leads, senior analysts, developers, a database administrator, an SAS and COBOL report writer, and quality assurance analysts.

Currently in Phase 3 of the project, Antares continues to provide maintenance and support of the ICD-10 implementation and address any ICD-10 updates mandated by CMS.

To learn how Antares can help you with your software development needs, contact our team today to schedule your complimentary consultation.

08/09

2018

Industry Insight: Healthcare Custom Software Trends

As consumers demand higher-quality personalized care, improved transparency, and more robust data security, healthcare providers are turning to custom software solutions to address challenges efficiently. Developing innovative technology solutions to meet these demands requires an understanding of the changing landscape of technology. Currently, five custom software trends are poised to revolutionize the industry.

Multi-specialty and niche specialty EHRs address unique workflows, processes, and data.

The Electronic Health Record (EHR) has come a long way since its early incarnation as Lockheed’s Cold War-era Clinical Information System. While this early computer-based information system offered a revolutionary means of centralizing patient data, it was general purpose with functionality necessarily limited by technological capabilities. For the most part, the evolution of the 1960s proto-EHRs has consisted of fine-tuning rather than expanding, but that’s changing with the advent of multi-specialty and niche specialty EHRs.

Those early experiments are finally giving way to EHRs that address the unique workflows, clinical processes and data collection of medical specialists. By developing custom software, specialists are able to maintain the interconnectivity advantages of a general EHR and add the more specific functionalities that optimize the operations and patient experience of niche medical offices.

Enterprise software gets a UX upgrade.

With each new iteration of consumer-grade software, the user experience (UX) has improved substantially. Tech companies pride themselves on their streamlined, elegant software, and users becomes brand advocates, swearing by the UX of their favorite products. Legacy enterprise software, on the other hand, has remained confusing, frustrating and clunky.

Custom software solutions empower healthcare providers to integrate consumer-level UX with enterprise-level functionality. At Antares, we help our clients overcome the hurdles of training staff on new software to make the transition from outmoded legacy systems to software that is as easy to look at as it is to use.

Blockchain solutions address the issues of interoperability and security.

Improved security is an issue for every industry. The U.S. power grid was attacked by Russian hackers in March, and the NSA has faced new security breaches for six years running. Building security into software is a new requirement for any software development project. Likewise, there’s an increasing need for interoperability in every industry that serves the public sector to eliminate redundancies, improve information exchanges, and connect disparate systems.

As Blockchain becomes more reliable and mainstream, it will create the capacity to address both of these issues simultaneously. Custom-built blockchains will transform the healthcare industry by streamlining the coordination of medical records and securing sensitive details from hackers.

Proactive patients are empowered with patient portals.

Modern patients aren’t content to be served diagnoses and treatments. They want to be active participants in their health management. The Internet of Things (IoT) has equipped these consumers with tools for assessing and improving their dietary and fitness choices, and they want the same functionality from their healthcare providers.

Custom patient portals give consumers instant access to their medical records, which empowers them to become the guardians of their own healthcare. With portals, they can find and correct errors and become more engaged in their treatments. Online portals make it possible for medical professionals and their patients to connect from anywhere and for specialists and general practitioners to easily coordinate on matters of patient treatment.

Custom software development becomes more agile through continuous software delivery.

The evolution of information technologies continues to accelerate, and with this rapid rate of change comes a need to respond rapidly. The days of protracted development cycles have been replaced by a need for continuous software delivery that allows organizations to address new challenges, objectives and requirements immediately.

Antares relies on a modified agile approach to develop and finetune custom software for the healthcare industry. By working in continuous, abbreviated sprints, we’re able to work with our clients and decide together the features and requirements that have the highest value to their business, and which of those will be delivered at the end of the sprint. This short development and feedback cycle empowers clients to be in charge of the functionality and direction of their project.

Contact us today to learn more about Antares’ agile approach to software development and how we help healthcare providers take advantage of emerging tech trends to satisfy the demands of their clientele.

07/20

2018

Insurance Industry Insight: Why Updating Your Legacy Systems Is Critical

Aging legacy systems create unacceptable risk for insurance agencies.

It’s no small irony that the greatest threat to the insurance industry is an aversion to risk. While the rest of the financial services sector has finally begun to adapt and adjust to shifting consumer expectations and emerging technologies, many insurance agencies are still clinging to legacy systems that increase the efforts of agents, increase the costs of business, and increase the frustration of clients.

Consumers already rank the insurance industry among the least trusted. As the industry’s technology choices continue to lag behind other sectors, this adds more fuel to a reputation of unreliability. However, one agency’s refusal to evolve is another agency’s opportunity to overtake the market.

A modernized system puts money back in the agency budget.

As legacy systems age, they require more maintenance. As they become increasingly outdated, the cost of maintenance increases exponentially. Older systems are more prone to cyber attack, which means that the cost of securing your legacy system will also swell every year. If maintenance and security is not adjusted to account for aging, agencies are at risk of ever greater costs when systems are attacked or experience fatal failures.

On the other hand, emerging technologies empower developers to custom build systems that automate redundant processes, improve security, and optimize operations. A modern system builds trust with clients and reduces your agency’s bottom line.

Modern systems entice young, tech-savvy talent.

While your veteran agents may appreciate the familiarity of your existing legacy system, when these agents retire, they take their specialized operating knowledge with them. Many legacy systems are poorly documented and so out-of-date that maintenance is prohibitively expensive. Archaic systems with clunky functionality become a liability for agencies seeking to recruit new talent, and agencies also lose out on the automation capabilities of modern systems.

Agencies that capitalize on new technologies gain the advantage of fully documented, scalable systems that adapt to changing staff and client expectations. Modern systems assure young, tech-savvy talent that they’re joining an agency capable of progressing with the times, and they send the same message to policyholders.

Custom software applications offer opportunities for rapid growth.

Obsolete technologies create financial burdens, unnecessary risks, and an impression that agencies are behind the times. They can make recruiting new talent and converting new leads impossible, sending agencies into decline.

However, when agencies invest in appropriate, modern tools, they expand their capacity for rapid growth. Custom software applications equip agencies to design efficient processes and automate them to save labor, time, and money. They improve security and provide agencies with powerful predictive analytics that boost profitability and point the way to new avenues for growth. Upgrading your legacy system is the key to new opportunities.

Modernize your insurance agency with a custom software solution.

Antares Technology Solutions has a proven track record of developing secure, streamlined custom software solutions. Using your business goals as our guide, we engineer applications that minimize your costs, optimize your operations, and show your prospects, policyholders, and talent that you are committed to minimizing risks and maximizing growth.

Read our Louisiana Insurance Pest Control Association (LIPCA) case study to learn more about how Antares Technology Solutions improves the operational efficiency of agencies while saving them time and money. Then, schedule your initial consultation to see how upgrading your legacy system positions your agency for a legacy more suited to the modern age.

 

07/20

2018

CASE STUDY: The Louisiana Insurance Pest Control Association’s CIRCA Project

How a customized software solution transformed a small business by consolidating four primary systems into one to improve functionality, efficiency and business growth.

 

Overview

Antares, a technology solutions company specializing in custom software development, undertook a 12-month-long project for the development of a custom, cohesive integrated insurance system for the Louisiana Insurance Pest Control Association (LIPCA), an insurance agency that was created and is operated by pest management professionals and their families. Prior to the project, LIPCA operated four different applications to run their business. Antares’ objective was to develop a single software package that allows users to:

  • Streamline activities
  • Eliminate human error
  • Automate insurance policy creation and binding workflow
  • Provide built-in, configurable business rules to eliminate errors in underwriting

Challenge

Using these various systems, each agent was spending an exorbitant amount of time to complete each task. Many manual jobs and work-arounds were necessary to get the job done. With limited automation and validation, reports produced were also prone to error. Commercially available software packages did not provide staff members with the ability to execute their key business functions efficiently. The challenge was to create a simpler way to create quotes, bind policies and issue forms. The goal was to provide a custom workflow solution allowing:

  • Underwriting
  • Claim tracking
  • Accounting
  • Reporting
  • Other insurance line-of-business functionality

Solution

Antares worked closely with LIPCA leadership to design and implement the Complete Insurance Rating Claims and Accounting (CIRCA) software as a custom solution to consolidate all needs. CIRCA integrates the four primary systems into one package. With CIRCA, LIPCA now has all the functionality needed to add any line of insurance or any carrier. CIRCA also allows internal company administrators to integrate Department of Insurance regulations as required. Included is a record retention and attachment system to aid in handling all document needs and functionality allowing administrators to create or modify forms, which previously required a programmer.

Results

Since the implementation of CIRCA, LIPCA has doubled their business without doubling their staff, and staff members no longer work on weekends. In addition to the core functionality of creating quotes, binding policies and issuing forms, CIRCA also promotes efficiency through these additional key features:

  • Issuing certificates of insurance
  • Processing all endorsements
  • Invoicing directly to issuers or agencies/brokers
  • Accepting multiple payment types, including checks, credit cards or financing
  • Including invoices and statements in monthly billing
  • Higher level of detail on invoices and reporting documents
  • Premiums, coverages and limits can be used in various capacities
  • Issuing policies
  • Filing taxes
  • Allowing administrators to complete regulatory changes
  • A built-in accounting module
  • Tracking loss ratios for claims for each insured person
  • Automatically creating renewal quotes

These features provide exactly what staff and administrators at LIPCA need to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently to better serve clients. Antares’ support and maintenance is ongoing for the project and will continue as LIPCA continues to enhance the system. The project was so successful that LIPCA was approached by Berkley Program Specialists about acquiring the CIRCA software package. Antares and LIPCA have been working to finalize various product offerings, which include competitive pricing, implementation packages and other ongoing maintenance and support programs.

Conclusion

A common trait for many companies is dealing with the software they already have in place, even though it’s not the most efficient. On the other hand, many other companies make significant investments into the best software, only to realize it doesn’t offer the specific features needed to help employees do their jobs efficiently and grow their business.

07/19

2018

Antares Announces New Executive VP, Terry Verigan

Antares Technology Solutions, a leading Baton Rouge and New Orleans-based technology company that specializes in developing custom software solutions, has hired Terry Verigan as its Executive Vice President. Verigan has been an active member of Louisiana’s business community for more than 35 years. As Executive VP of Antares, Verigan will grow Antares’ technology services to government and corporate clients.

“Antares is a 30-years young organization with an amazing list of accomplishments in growth markets. I look forward to contributing to the continued success of the team and our customers,” says Terry Verigan.

Verigan brings extensive technology-driven enterprise experience into his new role, including more than 20 years as an executive with Xerox Corporation, AT&T, and Windstream (formerly US LEC). During his career, Verigan has initiated and managed projects with major federal entities including the USDA, Department of Labor, the U.S. Navy and the FAA, among others. Verigan has contributed to the development of innovative technology solutions for local and national corporations in a variety of industries, and has contributed to the growth of small local firms into major national enterprises.

“Throughout his career, Terry Verigan has demonstrated a strong grasp on technology as well as the interconnected functional relationships that drive businesses, both in the public and private sector. His expertise and experience are well suited for Antares, and we are proud to welcome him as the newest member of our team,” says Ralph Melian, President and CEO of Antares.

In addition to his corporate experience, Verigan has also served on the board for many local nonprofit organizations, including the New Orleans Summer POPS; Spay-Mart Humane Society; Press Club of New Orleans; and the Greater New Orleans Federal Credit Union, where he was a member of the Supervisory Committee that ensured that the credit union complied with all federal regulations.

Verigan participated as a member of the boards of directors of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce and Jefferson PAC. He is a past president of the University of New Orleans International Alumni Association and is the current Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival. Verigan serves as Vice President of the governing board of the local chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals, and more recently was named treasurer of Core Element, a nonprofit organization dedicated to STEM education in the schools.

Terry Verigan can be reached at tverigan@antaresnet.com.