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CMS Launches New Medicaid Online Resource Encouraging Investment in Medicaid IT

January 12, 2016
by Heather Landi
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a new online resource to help states modernize outdated information technology (IT) systems. The new online resource is designed to serve as a one-stop-shop for private sector companies to identify opportunities to participate in Medicaid IT investments, according to an announcement from CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt in a blog post on Monday.

On the site, which can be accessed here, vendors can find links to states’ Medicaid procurement websites and to any open state Medicaid IT requests for proposals. Slavitt wrote that CMS also will be issuing a series of state guidance documents and initiating a new certification process for Medicaid system modules. CMS also will be issuing a Request for Information (RFI) asking the broader IT vendor community how it can best position its investments coupled with states’ technology needs.

The new online resource supports the Medicaid funding as part of the 90/10 final rule passed in December in which CMS will match 90 percent of federal funds for investments in Medicaid systems.“

Overall, CMS’ annual investment in state Medicaid Information Technology (IT) is more than $5 billion, enabling states to modernize their Medicaid IT systems to best meet their program, providers’ and beneficiaries’ needs. CMS and states are prepared to invest in innovative solutions,” Slavitt wrote in the  blog post. “For this investment, we expect significant advances. Our new regulations require that states evolve their legacy Medicaid IT systems to leverage reusable solutions, and to practice industry-proven IT methods such as use of modularity, reuse, shared services (including Software-as-a-Service) by fundamentally shifting the financial incentives away from custom development.”

“This opens opportunity to smaller vendors to develop focused solutions for use across multiple states or to introduce solutions from comparable sectors such as commercial insurance or large provider systems. We believe this approach will expedite states’ IT timelines, decrease overall costs, and ignite adoption of advanced technology solutions,” he wrote.

The overall goal is to ensure Medicaid coverage works as well as or better than any insurance program.

In the blog post, Slavitt also outlined three reasons why small health IT vendors should be attracted to the state Medicaid IT space. He outlined the business opportunities as more than 30 states are currently redesigning their Medicaid eligibility and/or claims processing and information retrieval systems. And that there is an opportunity for innovative problem-solving as the Medicaid program is undergoing tremendous change and state Medicaid agencies have pioneered new IT adoption.

 

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