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Arkansas Gearing Up for MMIS Procurements

If you are a vendor interested in Medicaid Management Information Systems (MMIS), or perhaps integration services, or maybe authorization, or case management (you get the picture), then you are in luck. The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) is taking a different approach in its MMIS reprocurement. On January 3, 2011, DHS plans on releasing not one, not two, but 23 requests for proposals (RFPs) in support of the state's MMIS reprocurement. DHS plans to have the RFPs available for four months, followed by vendor demonstrations and product evaluations. Nothing will preclude a vendor from winning all 23 RFPs, but all responding vendors who meet the threshold qualifications will be expected to demonstrate a working product in May 2011.

Veterans of the MMIS market may assume Arkansas' new procurement approach parallels that of Iowa's Medicaid experience, and they are correct. Gene Gessow, Iowa's former Medicaid director, is now Arkansas' leading man. Gessow believes that in order to meet new and progressive responsibilities in the coming years, Medicaid organizations need to reinvent themselves. One of the larger trends GovWin forecasts is this reinvention of integrated (or integratable-component) systems for the increased flow of data throughout the health care (and possibly human services) space, which Arkansas is keeping in mind. Included in the MMIS RFPs are a master patient index (MPI), master client index (MCI), provider directory, clinical data services, and an electronic health record (EHR) portal for the state's health information exchange (AR SHARE). Gessow confirmed that a large part of AR SHARE will flow through the MMIS system, as it should. Medicaid systems are the biggest (and sometimes only) databases states currently own that house their population's health care information. States will have no choice but to lean on their MMIS as they attempt to meet looming health care reform deadlines.

For more information on the Arkansas MMIS RFPs, please click here.

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