GovWin
B2G is moving!
Blogs posted after May 22, 2015 will be located on Deltek's central blog page at www.deltek.com/blog.
Just select the "B2G Essentials" blog to continue to receive this valuable content.
North Carolina’s massive IT restructuring plan could impact vendors

In December, the North Carolina State Chief Information Officer (SCIO) issued a recommendation plan to restructure the state’s IT operations, consolidate resources and increase efficiency over the next four years. The report is a culmination of a year-long review of the state’s IT infrastructure and seeks to address various issues North Carolina currently experiences in the provision of IT services. If the restructuring plan is approved by the North Carolina General Assembly, it could impact IT vendors that do business with the state.

The plan in a nutshell

One of the key issues identified in the report is that the SCIO does not currently have direct authority over IT staff and funding of state agencies, which limits the SCIO’s ability to make enterprise-wide decisions and maximize state resources. This resulted in the duplication of numerous applications and IT contracts, as well as excess spending on IT projects. The plan recommends a shift from a decentralized structure – where agencies maintain control over things such as IT governance, funding, security, operations, and resources – to a unified model where these decisions are made at the enterprise level. The SCIO believes that this move toward centralized authority and accountability would allow for greater efficiency and cost savings while allowing agencies to focus on their core missions.

The plan further recommends the establishment of a new Department of Information Technology as an agency within the Governor’s Cabinet, which would require a statutory change by the General Assembly. The DIT will be responsible for tasks such as personnel management, risk management, contract management, supplier performance management, and supplier relationship management. In addition, the DIT will be in charge of making technology investment decisions such as “build versus buy and in-house or externally-sourced.”

The plan recommends a phased approach to the implementation of the unified model, which would take place over four-and-a-half years and complete by the end of fiscal year 2019. The “pre-structuring” phase would not require any additional funding or approval by the General Assembly and would mainly consist of the shift of IT personnel from state agencies to the SCIO. The “restructuring” phases, which constitute the bulk of the process and will take four years, would require the General Assembly to establish the DIT and some more funding before additional phases could begin.

Implications for vendors

Currently, the statewide IT procurement team is only responsible for the development and issuance of enterprise contracts, such as enterprise license agreements, statewide term contracts, and short-term staffing. Agencies use internal procurement staff to run and manage their IT procurements, but because these procurements do not occur frequently, agency staff does not have the knowledge necessary to develop and implement the contracts in the best and most comprehensive manner.

The early emphasis of the restructuring process will be placed on enhancing efficiency in places such as procurement, staffing, and operations. This includes a push to establish enterprise contracts, which pairs well with the SCIO’s current modernization of contracting vehicles to better address the state’s business needs, such as the IT supplemental staffing contract, which is already underway. The SCIO intends to establish a consistent set of standards for IT procurement to streamline the process and lead to more advantageous contracts that leverage actual spend and reduce the risks to the state. In addition, the plan states that in order to reap the benefits of a centralized and standardized IT procurement system, a dedicated contract management staff will be needed, and that these employees will be the only people officially authorized to speak with vendors on behalf of the state.

These changes have both positive and negative implications for the vendor community. On the plus side, vendors will be dealing with knowledgeable professionals during the procurement process and will be responding to detailed solicitations. The establishment of procurement standards will facilitate continual business with the state as vendors become familiar with these standards and know what to expect. 

North Carolina IT bids, FY 2011-2014

However, the image above represents the IT bids released by North Carolina during fiscal years 2011-2014. Of the more than 1,440 bids, only 339 came out of the Office of Information Technology Services, with the remainder coming from other agencies, namely Transportation, Public Safety, Health and Human Services, and Administration. The state’s drive to increase efficiency will likely result in the elimination of some of these agency-specific contracts, which will be replaced by statewide/enterprise contracts. This coupled with the SCIO’s push to leverage actual state usage and spending during the procurement process means that vendors will need to be more competitive in their pricing if they want to win these contracts. Further, it may become more difficult to obtain key information about projects as established points of contact are no longer available to discuss upcoming projects. Deltek will continue to monitor the progress of North Carolina’s IT restructuring plan and how it may impact vendors that do business with the state.

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in Texas in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

 

Texas procurement forecast: Strong 2014 makes for bright year ahead

Fiscal year 2014 was a busy one for the state of Texas, which turned out more than 3,700 solicitations – the third highest in the nation. This large number of solicitations is quite normal for the state, which has issued over 3,200 solicitations annually for the past six years, and is big on providing cooperative purchasing opportunities to local organizations. In fact, the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) currently offers over 750 cooperative purchasing contracts valued at $2.057 billion, which the DIR estimates saves taxpayers $275 million.
 
More than one-third of the solicitations released in fiscal year 2014 were for architecture, engineering, and construction requirements. Professional services solicitations were a strong second, followed by operations and maintenance, and information technology. Together, these four categories accounted for nearly 80 percent of the state’s bids this year.
This past year saw some key solicitations released, including a bid in December 2013 for data communications and networking equipment. Valued at $716 million, this was a cooperative purchasing opportunity in which the state awards multiple vendors and makes the contracts available to local agencies for their use on an as-needed basis. Another large solicitation was released in July 2014 by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) for electronic benefit transfer services for the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs.

When looking at solicitation release dates, it’s clear that the busiest months for procurement activity are during the summer: July, May, June, and August, respectively. This is no surprise, as the state’s fiscal year ends August 31, and procurements that have been delayed tend get pushed out at the last minute to avoid losing funding. In contrast, the slowest months for solicitation releases are November, September and December, respectively.

Looking forward, Deltek anticipates Texas to continue its strong showing in 2015, and Deltek analysts have identified key opportunities to monitor in the coming months as procurement activity picks back up.

Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet): Valued at $6.588 million, the next-generation 911 (NG911) network has been in development for several years and plays an integral role in the delivery of emergency services to state residents. The project has several related solicitations, including an NG911 mapping system (solicited January 2014), an automatic location identification database management system (solicited May 2014), and 911 call-handling service (expected in 2015). ESInet is expected to be solicited within the next 2-4 months, as the funds allocated to the project must be obligated prior to the end of the current fiscal year.

Medicaid Management Information System Service Integrator (MMIS): Accenture currently serves as the MMIS provider for the Texas HHSC, but in preparation for the state’s MMIS modernization, the HHSC plans to break out the contract into smaller pieces, with a service integrator serving as a project management office that will provide oversight management to support the MMIS modernization project.

Branded hardware, software, and related services: While a number states utilize the Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA) Computer Equipment, Peripherals and Related Services contract for their IT hardware needs, Texas has several contracts in place for various name-brand IT hardware and software product lines, such as Apple, IBM, Panasonic, Oracle, and Dell. Each of these solicitations is released separately and the resulting contracts are made available to state and local agencies as well as educational institutions.

Harris County, Houston, San Antonio, and Texas A&M University, all of which are increasing their annual expenditures by up to 7 percent. Given the state’s proclivity to cooperative purchasing, the already large state contracts have even higher usage when local entities are added on to the spending and utilization. This boosts contract values and makes investments in doing business with the state worthwhile.  

Deltek is tracking numerous opportunities in Texas with solicitations expected within the next 18 months and beyond. In fact, of the more than 25 opportunities tracked by Deltek, more than 10 of them are not expected to be solicited until 2016 or later. This means that Texas offers a great deal of business development opportunities for both the near and long-term, and is a good location to expand if your business is not already active in the state.

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in Texas in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

 

 

 

Deltek Pulse: Health and human services month in review, November 2014

In November, Deltek saw the release of 1,253 solicitations from the health and human services vertical – a 10 percent decrease from October.

Notable RFP releases in November include:

Notable awards made in November include:

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

 

Deltek Pulse: Health and human services, October 2014

Deltek saw the release of 1,398 solicitations from the health and human services vertical in October – a 63 percent increase from September.

Notable RFP releases include:

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

 

 

 

Deltek Pulse: Health and human services, September 2014

In September 2014, Deltek saw the release of 796 solicitations from the health and human services vertical – an 11 percent decrease from August.

Notable RFP releases in September include:

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

Mobility a must for state social services programs

Over the last 2-3 years, state governments have seen an increase in mobile traffic to health and human services websites. A recent Government Technology article highlighted this trend, noting that half of all traffic to Georgia’s child support website in 2012 came from mobile phones. Similarly, one in three visits to the New Jersey child support website in 2013 came from a mobile device. In response, many state IT departments are adopting “mobile first” strategies to ensure that information and benefits are easily accessible via mobile technologies, which are oftentimes the sole source of Internet access for many state residents.
 
Several states have pioneered smartphone apps for social services programs, which participants can download to quickly get information about their benefits or to access additional resources. New Jersey and California have developed child support phone apps to help recipients manage child support accounts on the go. Georgia has developed Quickwic, an app for WIC participants who want instant access to their benefits and information about eligible purchases. The Connecticut Health Insurance Marketplace, Access Health CT, developed a smartphone app that makes it easier for residents to browse healthcare plans and submit applications, even allowing residents to take photos of their verification documents and upload them to their account.
 
Deltek predicts an increase in user-friendly, mobile-enabled Web applications that make it easier for both caseworkers and constituents to access the information and resources they need. Vendors who emphasize mobile-first strategies or the importance of mobile-friendly software applications will stand out to state governments looking for innovative health and social services solutions. Pennsylvania announced that it is considering a mobile app for WIC payments, and many other states are looking for ways to make their health and social services programs more mobile friendly. To learn more about upcoming health and human services IT business opportunities, be sure to visit the State & Local Vertical Profiles for Health Care and Social Services. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.
 

 

 

Deltek Pulse: Health and human services month in review, August 2014

In August 2014, Deltek saw the release of 883 solicitations from the health care and social services vertical – a 26 percent increase from July.

Notable RFP releases in August include:

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

 

Deltek Pulse: Health and human services month in review, July 2014

In July, the health and human services team saw the release of nearly 700 solicitations with either health care or social services as a primary vertical. This is a dramatic drop from the 1,709 solicitations released in June and 1,170 released in May. The high numbers over the past few months could indicate that states were working hard to issue solicitations before the end of the fiscal year. States were not under the same pressure last month and may still be deciding what projects to move forward this year based on agency priorities and budget limitations.

The word cloud below represents the frequency of terms in solicitations released in July 2014. The common use of the words “management” and “testing” may indicate that states are taking preliminary steps to implement new IT systems in the coming months. 

As one can see from the below map, California, New Jersey and Texas saw the largest number of health and human services-related opportunities, followed by Virginia and Louisiana. Wyoming and West Virginia had no related activity.

Notable Opportunities

  • Texas released an RFP for electronic benefits transfer (EBT) services on July 10 for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The state is seeking a single vendor approach to replace Texas EBT's current multi-vendor approach for the upcoming EBT-4 period.
  • Vermont released an RFP for a care management (CM) solution that includes software design, development, implementation and technical support services. The CM solution will help with early identification of member health care needs and coordination of care and results reporting. The solution will be built on MITA 3.0 compliant architecture meeting CMS’ Seven Conditions and Standards.
  • Washington state released an RFP for the WIC Cascades Project, which will involve the replacement of the state’s aging WIC information system with a modified version of the Mountain Plains State Agency Model (MP SAM) WIC system, and the implementation of online WIC EBT functionality.
  • Florida issued an RFP for project management consultant services for the MMIS, DSS, and fiscal agent rebid. The selected vendor will provide project management office services to help ensure procurement efforts and the resulting new fiscal agent contract are completed without disruption of service to Medicaid recipients or providers of services.
  • Oregon released an RFP for child support enforcement automated system (CSEAS) modernization implementation services on July 9. The implementation contractor will assist in the design, development, implementation, operation and maintenance, and transition to a modernized, statewide child support automated system.
  • Massachusetts released an RFP for a next generation health care information system on July 15. This system will support the management of client service authorization determinations, client enrollment, benefit management, provider contracting and payment processes for contracted services, utilization, and outcomes management. The primary agencies served by this procurement include the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), the Department of Mental Health (DMH), and the Department of Public Health, Bureau of Public Health Facilities.
  • Vermont issued an RFP for a prescription drug monitoring system (VPMS) on July 15. The state is seeking ongoing operation, maintenance and upgrading of its VPMS that provides mechanisms for collecting and uploading data on all Schedule II, III and IV controlled substances dispensed by Vermont licensed pharmacies, and responding to provider and pharmacy inquiries and queries about dispensing records of individual patients.

Analyst’s Take

The summer procurement season for state and local governments in the health and human services market may not be as active as previous months, but things will probably heat up again toward the end of August and early fall as states move forward with system modernization and replacement efforts. States are continuing to move forward with WIC EBT implementation efforts, as well as modernizations of existing health care and human services IT systems. Deltek will continue to monitor upcoming IT projects to bring you all the latest business opportunities in the state and local markets.

You can learn more about current procurement opportunities in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

 

 

 

 

Deltek Pulse: Health and human services month in review, June 2014

The month of June saw people across the country kicking off the summer with long-anticipated and consistently warm weather. As the temperatures increased, Deltek’s health and human services team also saw a dramatic rise in the overall number of solicitations released in June across states and localities. According to GovWin IQ’s State and Local Opportunities database, 1,709 new solicitations with health care or social services as a primary vertical were released, which is up from May’s 1,170. With the end of FY 2014 in many states and localities, it seems likely that governments are beginning the FY 2015 contracting cycle with a bang.

The word cloud below represents the most common words among June’s solicitations. Unsurprisingly, this month’s common words match fairly closely with May’s; however, noticeably absent in June was the prevalent mention of “insurance.” It seems likely that states that were procuring for additional services and fixes related to their health insurance exchanges have concluded procurements.

 

As one can see from the map below, California and Texas again topped the list of most solicitation releases, while the majority of the country also saw an increase in solicitations. Notably, Virginia, Florida and North Carolina all saw dramatic increases in the number of procurements.

 

Notable Opportunities

  • The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for All-Payer Model Analytics and Reporting.
  • The Vermont Department of Vermont Health Access released an RFP for a Medicaid Management Information System that includes Software Design, Development and Implementation, and ongoing Technical Support and Medicaid Operations Services.
  • The Hawaii Department of Health released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Planning Services for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program.

You can learn more about the above projects in the GovWin IQ State and Local Opportunities database. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.

 

Predicted increase in patient portal technology

State and local health departments are increasingly looking for IT solutions that allow beneficiaries to have greater access to their personal health information through patient portals. Since 2010, Deltek has tracked 30 solicitations that mention or require patient portal technology. In 2013 alone, Deltek saw a nearly 50 percent increase in patient portal solicitations, partly due to Stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements, which kicked off this year for many providers.
 
Technology review site Software Advice conducted a recent survey of providers who use electronic health record (EHR) software and found that 35 percent of EHR users are planning to invest more in patient portals in 2014 than they did in 2013. Spending on patient portals is estimated to reach $900 million by 2017, demonstrating the increased role patient portals and other patient engagement technology are expected to play in the coming years. 
 
Patient portals are usually procured for as part of an electronic health record system or health information exchange (HIE). In 2010 and 2011, states like Illinois, Georgia, and Louisiana released solicitations for health information exchanges that either gave vendors the option of providing a patient portal or expressly required a portal in later phases of implementation. In more recent years, states like Arkansas, Florida, and New York are issuing solicitations for patient portals as a stand-alone technology that can be seamlessly integrated into a state’s HIE. As states look to strengthen their EHR systems, we expect to see an increased demand for solutions that include patient portals.
 
GovWin IQ subscribers can read further about these projects in the provided links. Non-subscribers can gain access with a GovWin IQ free trial.

 

 

More Entries