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Health Care and Social Services Recap for March

It should come as no surprise that the topic of health care continued to dominate the market through the long month of March. Although the economy remains in a recession, $162 million in more health information technology (HIT) funding arrived on March 15 from the US Department of Health and Human Services. Every state and eligible territory has now been awarded funds under the health information exchange (HIE) grant. And whether you agree with it or not, President Obama signed the historic health-care reform law yesterday, fixes and all. The edits include an increase to the overall cost of health care reform, now up to $940 billion over the next ten years (not sure how the bill will affect you vendors? GovWin has you covered). More history was made this month in Arizona, as it became the only state to ever repeal its Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) statute when Governor Brewer signed the FY 2011 budget on March 18. Significant reductions were also made to Medicaid financing, expecting to result in almost 350,000 low-income people (including about 60,000 children) losing coverage.

Illinois passed their own legislation, HB 6441, creating the Illinois Health Information Exchange (HIE) and Technology Act and establishing a State authority to operate the Illinois HIE. Other notable HIE and health care activity this month included:

  • Mississippi's Department of Information Technology released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Consulting Services for their HIE on March 2. Proposals were received by March 24, including Maximus, KPMG, HealthNovation, Advanced Systems Design, Prism Communications System, Public Consulting Group, GSI Health, and Advances in Management. The winning vendor will deliver the HIE plan to the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health by August 11, 2010.
  • Mississippi's Department of Health released a RFP for a State Medicaid Health Information Technology Plan (SMHP) on March 8. Proposals are due by April 2, 2010.
  • Also releasing a RFP for a SMHP on March 15, 2010, was the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services. They are also including Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) planning and procurement in the scope of services. Proposals are due by May 4. Goals of the procurement include advancing the MMIS technical foundation, position the system for changes in HIT, and potentially avoiding the cost of upgrading the current MMIS for ICD-10.
  • The Alabama Department of Finance released a RFP for a Fiscal Agent for their MMIS on March 10. Bids are due by May 11, 2010. A mandatory pre-bid conference will take place on April 1.
  • Santa Barbara County, California, released a solicitation for an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system on March 29, 2010. Proposals are due by April 19.
  • West Virginia's Department of Health and Human Resources released a notice indicating the future procurement of their MMIS and Data Warehouse/Decision Support System. More information on the procurement can be found here.
Compared to health care, there wasn't too much going on in the social services side of the market in March. Indiana is currently procuring for a Client Information Management and Reporting System to provide clients, employers and workforce development professionals with the capacity for accessing, tracking, and reporting case management services. Proposals are due by April 5, 2010. After releasing a Request for Information (RFI) back in November 2008, Georgia's Department of Administration released a RFP for Document Imaging Services on March 10 with Proposals due by April 9. Maine's Department of Health and Human Services is looking for a vendor to provide Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) banking services. Proposals are due by April 22, 2010.

Notable contract awards for the month of March include:

Although its seems that every month this year has been heavy in Federal spending, now that all of the HIT funding has been released the next month or two should be calmer as state's start submitting operational and technical plans to ONC. And while the start date is a few years away, Medicaid programs need to start the difficult task of implementing and financing the newly passed federal health care reform mandates. Money is already tight, and starting in 2020 states will be responsible for 10 percent of the cost of the additional patients added through the reform- an estimated $61 million.

Looking for a faster way to get these human services updates? Check out the GovWin – Health & Human Services Public Sector Group on LinkedIn or follow our analysts (sashbyGovWin and ktusseyGovWin) on Twitter today!

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