• Reuse and the Powerful Potential of MMIS Partnerships

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    State Medicaid Management Information Systems (MMIS) process claims for over 70 million Medicaid beneficiaries a year across all 50 states. The complexity of the task is difficult to fathom, and the resources required to keep the technology behind it up-to-date are costly. This has made procuring, implementing and operating Medicaid systems difficult for governments that are forced to rely on limited resources and strained budgets. But based on what we are seeing in the industry, things are looking up.

     The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is working to solve these funding dilemmas by encouraging States to create regional and multi-state partnerships that permit the reuse of Medicaid technology. We discuss reuse as a part of our recent ‘Demystifying Modularity’ white paper, but the real-world applications of the ‘leverage condition’ discussed at the recent Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference (MESC) provided additional clarity. 

    In their third letter to State Medicaid Directors, CMS announced that it will formalize the reuse of Medicaid artifacts, and States that leverage pre-existing modules will receive Enhanced Match Federal Funding. This is a major component of the MMIS certification process (discussed in last week’s blog). 

    During one of the MESC presentations on “What Are States Learning about Reuse?”, CMS cited the partnership between Michigan and Illinois as ‘the furthest along’ example of reuse at work. To support this claim, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers announced the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services was selected as a finalist for the State IT Recognition Award in the Cross Boundary Collaboration and Partnership category. The State of Illinois has already taken advantage of the Michigan MMIS platform by rolling out three of its Medicaid modules. Final phases will be implemented in 2017 for Michigan and 2018 for Illinois.

    Upon examination, it is clear why CMS is pushing multi-governance models that reuse MMIS components across States. The partnership between Michigan and Illinois has saved the state of Illinois 67 percent on implementation costs and a projected 40 percent savings in operational costs (over a five-year period). As the host state, Michigan has reduced its operational costs by 20 percent. These savings speak to the progress that can be made through partnerships between States and agencies.

    CNSI is proud to be at the forefront of the reuse movement. We look forward to facilitating more multi-State partnerships that will improve outcomes for both tax payers and Medicaid beneficiaries. 

     

    This blog entry was written by Troy Kallman, Marketing Communications Coordinator at CNSI.

  • Innovating in Iowa

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    This year, Des Moines, Iowa offered more than butter sculptures and 2016 presidential candidates; the city also hosted the 2015 Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference (MESC).

    MESC is an event that gives states, vendors and policy representatives an opportunity to learn about cutting-edge Medicaid innovations, from new multi-payer data systems to one-stop credentialing services to effective uses of actionable data. Throughout the conference, presenters and attendees at almost every panel, booth and coffee station discussed two key ideas that we’d like to tell you about: modularity and the Cloud.

    Modularity, in its simplest terms, allows for complex software to be broken down and implemented separately by related function, data links or other criteria. On the heels of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s recently released Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which focused heavily on modularity and reuse, MESC attendees discussed what this trend means for their systems’ procurement, governance and implementation processes. For most, modularity is a step in the right direction. It allows for shorter development cycles, reusable code and better program management. In short, modularity helps states and, by extension, taxpayers see results faster—something we can all get excited about.

    Cloud Computing, which we covered in this blog before, is what allows for modularity to happen. With its inherent scalability, states are able to implement segments of their Medicaid systems on an as-needed basis. Michigan, for example, has been able to leverage this cutting edge-platform with much success (read more about Michigan Medicaid as a Service (MMAAS) here).

    We would be remiss however, if we talked about Cloud without addressing the all-important concern of privacy and security—natural hot topics at this year’s conference. At the “Evening with Frank Abagnale” event hosted by CNSI and LexisNexis, the legendary-forger-turned-FBI-fraud-expert emphasized that with over $900B lost annually to white collar crimes, it is our job as civil servants to ensure  we invest in keeping our systems and information secure. “Fraud and theft happen when someone either fails to do something or does something they shouldn’t,” Abagnale explained. “Security is everyone’s responsibility, and we must close the doors before criminals find their way in.”

    MESC 2015 attendees didn’t just walk away with a conference bag full of tchotchkes and catch phrases (although they did that too). They walked away with fresh ideas and tangible examples of how to make the delivery of health care better for everyone. Check out some of the presentations from MESC here.

    From all of us at CNSI, thanks for joining and see you next year in St. Louis! 

    What did you learn at MESC 2015? Tell us your thoughts by commenting or finding us on Twitter @CNSICorp.
     

     

    This blog entry was written by Amanda Moskowitz, CNSI’s new marketing and communications manager. She will write about industry trends, health care policy, and essentially anything innovative. Amanda brings with her nearly a decade of private, government, and non-profit communications experience, and two years performing stand-up comedy, which allows her to infuse both humility and humor into her writing. She believes that whatever the technology, there will always be a need to share the words written in our mind. Feel free to contact Amanda at Amanda.Moskowitz@cns-inc.com.  

  • Cloudy Days in Iowa But Sunny Skies in Michigan

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    It was raining most of Tuesday in Des Moines, Iowa. The clouds may have put a damper on attendees for the World’s Largest State Fair, but had no effect on the crowd at this year’s Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference (MESC), where a completely different kind of cloud was under discussion. MESC is an annual conference where industry leaders meet to talk about the future of their services. On day two of the event, CNSI presented its ground-breaking, cloud-based Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS), built for Michigan and Illinois, as a case study. CNSI Senior Director of Operations & Infrastructure John Harding, joined by representatives from the State of Michigan and software company Oracle, outlined how Michigan, Illinois and futures states will be able to leverage this cutting-edge platform:

    Reduce operational time (i.e., cut down on the procurement process);
    Shorten implementation time (i.e., go live in four to six months);
    Eliminate duplicative federal compliance costs (i.e., save state and tax payer dollars);
    Lower costs for implementation and ongoing maintenance (i.e., save long-term dollars); and
    Leverage pre-certified, proven technology reducing overall risk.

    With Michigan processing 2.4 million beneficiaries and Illinois processing 3.5 million (more than 8 percent of the total number of Medicaid beneficiaries in the U.S.), the multi-level savings add up to better health and better care, at lower costs. The panelists also covered lessons learned as part of this new approach to Medicaid systems implementation, including starting early, identifying commonalities, and using a phase/modular approach. More details as to the “how” will be covered in Wednesday’s MESC session, “Michigan as a Service (MAAS).”

    The weather report is turning around here in Des Moines and we’re looking forward to more informative, engaging sessions in the days to come. But for now, maybe we’ll track down a third kind of cloud we keep hearing so much about, the famous State Fair cotton candy.

    What do you think? Do you think the Cloud solution could work in your state? Tell us what your thoughts by finding us on Twitter @CNSICorp. If you need a refresher on what the cloud is, or how it can be applied to health care, check out our past blogs: Cloud Computing 101 and Cloud Computing 201: The Health Cloud.

     

    This blog entry was written by Amanda Moskowitz, CNSI’s new marketing and communications manager. She will write about industry trends, health care policy, and essentially anything innovative. Amanda brings with her nearly a decade of private, government, and non-profit communications experience, and two years performing stand-up comedy, which allows her to infuse both humility and humor into her writing. She believes that whatever the technology, there will always be a need to share the words written in our mind. Feel free to contact Amanda at Amanda.Moskowitz@cns-inc.com.  

     

  • MESC 2014 Key Takeaways

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    CNSI team members from around the country met in Denver last week for the annual Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference, where they shared ideas and information related to Medicaid systems and IT initiatives with industry professionals and government stakeholders.

    Watch the above video to learn about some of the key takeaways gleaned from this year’s conference.

  • What to Expect at MESC 2013

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    We are looking forward to attending the Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference (MESC) in Charleston this year. The MESC brings together hundreds of thought leaders from the public and private sectors to share ideas related to Medicaid systems and initiatives.

    Our executive leadership will be in attendance and featured on several panels. Below are two of the panels on which CNSI officers will participate.

    Accountable Care Organization (ACO): Supplying Data and Analytics to Drive Care Coordination, Accountability and Consumer Engagement (September 10, 9:15 a.m.)

    CNSI Chief Medical Officer Stephen B. Walker, M.D. will take part on this panel, which focuses on identifying common data and analytics to evaluate ACO performance in reducing costs and improving the quality of healthcare. The goal of ACOs is to provide coordinated care to ensure that patients get timely treatment, while avoiding duplicating services and saving heath care dollars.

    Care Management and Value Based Architecture for States (September 10, 3:00 p.m.)

    Renee Bostick, Vice President of Health and Human Services at CNSI, will discuss care management technology on this panel. With three aims for “better health, better care and better costs,” panelists will focus on select care management capabilities that allow for seamless Medicaid enrollment and more efficient payment models. The panelists will also discuss the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care (National Quality Strategy), which aligns public and private interests to improve the quality of health care for Americans.

    Aside from these panels, conference participants will be discussing ways to eliminate healthcare fraud, modernize Medicaid IT and leverage current technological assets to promote long-term sustainability of health information exchange models.

    If you’re attending the conference download our free MESC agenda app from your iPhone or iPad app store by searching for “MESC” or clicking here. We will also be live tweeting from the event. Follow @CNSICorpand join our conversation by using the hashtag #the2013mesc Follow CNSI on Twitter.

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