Health IT

CMS seeks to help states open new paths for Medicaid IT

health data

Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have launched a one-stop online information center that helps companies connect with states that are trying to improve the IT aspects of their Medicaid delivery systems.

In a Jan. 11 blog post, Acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt said expanding the state-based IT infrastructure that supports Medicaid enrollment is a priority under new funding rules. Slavitt joined CMS after helping lead the private-sector members of the team that fixed HealthCare.gov.

He added that last month, CMS permanently extended the 90 percent federal match for states' investments in Medicaid systems. He said CMS' annual investment is more than $5 billion, and 2016 "will the most active year to date for Medicaid growth and new IT business prospects."

The new site seeks to help states evolve legacy Medicaid IT systems by moving away from custom-built solutions and instead adopting reusable technology, IT best practices, shared services and software-as-a-service capabilities, among others.

Another goal of the resource center is to open up opportunities for smaller companies to develop focused solutions that can serve more than one state and to adapt IT approaches used in other sectors, such as commercial insurance or larger provider systems.

In addition, Slavitt said his agency will issue a series of guidance documents, start a new certification process for Medicaid system modules and issue a request for information asking the broader IT vendor community how the agency can best position investments to break out of old IT solutions.

"We believe this approach will expedite states' IT timelines, decrease overall costs and ignite adoption of advanced technology solutions," he said.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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