CMS launches Medicaid IT online resource, highlights state opportunities

The site hopes support states' transition from outdated legacy systems to industry-proven standards.
By Jessica Davis
10:51 AM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has launched an online resource to support states' efforts to update outdated IT systems, Andy Slavitt, CMS' acting administrator, announced on Monday.

Through the resource, private sector companies can identify opportunities to participate in Medicaid investments. The site places all Medicaid procurement sites and open state Medicaid IT proposals in one place, which makes it easy for IT vendors to find.

Officials can also view state guidance documents for a new system module certification process through the site. There's also a form asking industry, state, consumer and private sector IT vendors to provide advice on the best ways to shift into modernized IT solutions.

[Also: CMS' 90/10 ruling: increasing funds for Medicaid IT]

The resource seeks to support the permanent Medicaid funding garnered in the CMS 90/10 final rule passed in December, where the organization will match 90 percent of federal funds.

The goal, of course, is to ensure Medicaid coverage works as well as or better than other insurance programs.

New regulations require states to evolve outdated Medicaid legacy IT systems into those with industry-proven standards, Slavitt said. CMS is also shifting financial incentives away from custom development to expedite states' IT timelines, reduce costs and increase the use of advanced IT.

Medicaid is currently under a major overhaul, with more than 30 states redesigning IT systems. Slavitt said 2016 is posed to be the most active year for Medicaid to date and state agencies need support to make the transition into modern IT.

There's a great opportunity to expand and modernize Medicaid coverage, enrollment, care access and care quality, but many state Medicaid programs lack the funds and resources.

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According to Slavitt, CMS believes investing in Medicaid's future is one of the biggest opportunities in the healthcare sector. Furthermore, there's a way to accomplish this and still respect the way states meet the needs of the local population and align with national care delivery goals.

In about two years, more than 13.5 million new people have join Medicaid or CHIP coverage, bringing the total number of those insured by Medicaid to nearly 72 million in the United States. CMS annually invests over $5 billion in Medicaid Information Technology to modernize state programs and systems.

Twitter: @JessiefDavis