State Health and Human Services Agencies Strive to Achieve Maximum Value from IT Modernization Efforts

19 November 2012 | Laura Caliguri, Managing Director, U.S. Public Sector Health and Human Services
​A recent survey, conducted by the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) in collaboration with Microsoft, shed light on state health and human services (HHS) agencies' experiences with IT system modernization projects (download the survey report and register for a webinar to learn more about states who are meeting the Modernization challenge here). The survey, taken by a diverse set of HHS agencies, found that most states conducted the due diligence in preparing their agencies for the process, aligning processes and workflows to enable an effective implementation, and conducting appropriate assessments, yet once they implement, hurdles still remain and business benefits are uncertain.
At Microsoft, we have the largest partner ecosystem in the industry which provides HHS agencies with wide-ranging choices when considering business and technology modernization initiatives. We are able to provide a real-world, actionable approach to transforming human services management and delivery by providing a road map for achieving an agile, service-oriented, and connected HHS enterprise (read the Connected HHS Whitepaper to learn more). We think that such a large investment should pay dividends for many years and should allow states to build for the future. With the right technology and support, we believe this is possible.
Many states are taking a forward thinking and visionary approach to transforming their programs and modernizing IT systems. The following human services agencies are leveraging technology advancements and best practices, enabling incremental and low-risk projects, and ensuring organizations receive immediate benefits from the new systems and are able to accommodate policy and program changes:
  • Iowa Medicaid Enterprise – As a part of Iowa’s vision to transform the Medicaid Enterprise, Accenture was selected to modernize the MMIS and Medicaid operations, health outcomes and the total cost of care for Iowans enrolled in Medicaid. Accenture will leverage Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a solution for end-to-end, enterprise-wide customer relationship management. Calls will be automatically logged and updated with inquiry and resolution information from initiation to closure. It supports guided process descriptions and scripted dialogues, and has a built-in knowledge base, all to help representatives increase first call completion rates and customer satisfaction.
  • Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services - Faced with disconnected systems and an array of legacy and disparate technologies that were difficult to support and maintain, the state of Kentucky recently made the decision to standardize on Microsoft core technologies including .NET. By using shared services (SOA) architecture to enable rapid program modernization at a lower cost, Kentucky has been able to deliver a multi-system modernization across the Cabinet for Health & Family Services, saving the state time and money. Using this successful strategy, Kentucky plans to focus on updating their Eligibility and Enrollment System, Health Benefit Exchange, Prescription Monitoring Program (KASPER), and Health Information Exchange next.
  • Florida Office of Early Learning – HP Enterprise Services is leveraging Microsoft Dynamics CRM to deliver the Early Learning Information System (ELIS) for the enhancement of the state’s early learning programs. ELIS is a consolidated information system that manages the early learning programs used by 300,000 Florida families whose children attend the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education and School Readiness programs. The benefits of ELIS will include streamlined administrative processes, reduced potential fraud and overpayments, data sharing capabilities across multiple stakeholders and easy access to child care resource and referral information.
  • New York Office for People with Developmental Disabilities – New York OPWDD, in partnership with Mid-America Consulting Group, created a new case management solution, utilizing Microsoft Dynamics CRM. This solution allows people with disabilities and their families to be more proactive in their service decisions by creating an electronic record for private and public-sector agencies to share case-specific information in real time. The ability to link directly into legacy systems and leverage existing platforms is significant in integrating information from both old and new systems. In addition to the ability to support better decisions about services that people need, the solution improves business practices with enhanced audit and accounting abilities. The solution is a critical component in transforming the way the department conducts business.
  • The State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) – Contracted with CareWorks for the informational, operational, and administrative needs necessary to support the day to day program operations of Wisconsin Aging and Disability Resource Centers, as well as the Older Americans Act programs, and Adult Protective Services and elder abuse. As Wisconsin moves from home and community-based waiver services to a statewide system of managed long-term care, the role of the ADRCs in access and enrollment counseling is vital. CareDirector, built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, will be used to manage the ADRCs across the state, including options and benefits counseling services, and to manage their Older Americans Act programs at the county and tribal level for nutritional, transportation and other services for seniors and people with disabilities. According to Donna McDowell, Director of the Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources, “Care Works is providing us with an information system that promises timely, responsive and transparent data for our operations.”
  • The Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) – Selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM to help the organization operate more effectively, with greater transparency and accountability, and reduced costs – ultimately delivering greater value for the taxpayer. Most importantly, the Tennessee DIDD hopes to provide greater protection and significantly improve the lives of the individuals and families who depend on organization’s services.
  • Oklahoma Department of Human Services Aging Services Division (ASD) – Chose CareDirector as the new statewide information system to improve access to aging and disability long-term support services for older Oklahomans. The Aging Services Division is the state’s lead agency for addressing the needs of Oklahomans age 60 and over and their families. ASD delivers many of its services through 11 area agencies on aging and more than 200 partners statewide. ASD’s key project over the next four years is the implementation of Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) to create person centered and integrated long term care systems that promote independence, individual choice and respect. To support this project, ASD will use CareDirector, built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, as a shared and comprehensive resource database providing consistent information to people needing assistance across all ADRCs. The system will incorporate a web-based portal to provide self-service capabilities to consumers, a state-wide resource directory of public and private providers and an integrated case management tool to help agencies and providers collaborate more effectively.


Download the report and join the January webinar to learn more about the survey results and hear from a few agencies around the country who are successfully meeting the modernization challenge.
Laura Caliguri
Managing Director, U.S. Public Sector Health and Human Services