Alabama chooses Deloitte to replace Medicaid eligibility determination system
Yesterday, the Alabama Medicaid Agency (AMA) announced a tentative contract award to Deloitte to replace the state’s 30-year-old Medicaid eligibility determination system (MEDS). The outdated system is finally getting an overhaul to account for the ever-growing Medicaid population, and to prepare for the influx of Medicaid enrollees in 2014 resulting from the 2010 passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
AMA estimates the ACA will add 400,000 to 500,000 recipients to the state’s already-crowded Medicaid system. As of fiscal year (FY) 2009, approximately 20.1 percent of the state’s population was eligible for Medicaid.
The new MEDS will integrate with the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which together will interface with the state’s future health insurance exchange (HIX). The system will be built within the framework of a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and will meet future HIX interoperability standards. Legislation to establish the Alabama HIX was filed in the state House of Representatives in February.The legislation would establish the exchange, but leaves room for a repeal should the ACA be repealed, defunded, or deemed unconstitutional. The state is working to meet the HIX pre-enrollment deadline of January 1, 2013, and hopes to have the new MEDS fully in place by December 31, 2015.
The procurement process launched in January 2011 with the release of a draft request for proposals (RFP); the final RFP was released last November. The proposed cost of the system replacement is $54,891,806, with the feds providing 90 percent of the funding. Hewlett-Packard (HP), MariChris and Microsoft also submitted proposals. The final award is contingent upon review and approval by the Legislative Oversight Committee, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Alabama Governor Bentley.
With many states working to replace outdated Medicaid eligibility systems with integrated eligibility systems that account for other state-provided medical and/or social assistance programs, there will be plenty of news on this topic as we approach the 2013 exchange certification deadline.