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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!

West Virginia Preps for Upcoming MMIS Procurements

The State of West Virginia, Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau of Medical Services released a notice indicating they are currently developing two separate Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for the Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) project. One RFP will be released for a Data Warehouse/Decisions Support System (DW/DSS) and the second will be for the MMIS Fiscal Agent contract. Project details include:

Current Status: DHHR in conjunction with Berry, Dunn, McNeil & Parker LLC completed the Medicaid Information Technology Architecture (MITA) State Self Assessment (SS-A) and is in the process of developing the two separate procurements.

Background: Unisys, who recently sold their state healthcare solution to Molina, was awarded the incumbent MMIS Fiscal Agent contract in 2003. Incumbent services include, electronic receipt of claims in HIPAA formats, paper claims receipt and filming, online entry of claims, problem claims resolution, provider enrollment and provider relations, configuration changes requested and approved by Bureau staff, technical liaison staff, maintenance of a provider web portal, reporting, and medical, dental and pharmacy POS claims processing.

Funding/Contract Value: GovWin estimates the value of the MMIS Fiscal Agent contract to be approximately $100 million based on similar projects with a likeness in size and scope. GovWin estimates the value of the DW/DSS contract to be approximately $4 million to $5 million based on similar projects with a likeness in size and scope.

For further information on the MMIS Project please see GovWin Opportunity #31442 and #62179. The state may seek Quality Assurance and Implementation Monitoring Services once these contracts have been awarded.

GovWin's Take:

West Virginia recently clarified that they are open to vendor responses that propose either a takeover or a replacement MMIS and Fiscal Agent services. Vendors offering a takeover will still need to propose enhancements in additional to operation services that will enable the system to meet changing program requirements and move the state toward a higher level of MITA maturity. If the state ends up awarding a takeover versus a replacement system contract then during the next MMIS procurement, which will be impacted by health information technology initiatives, as well as, the health care reform bill, additional changes will need to be made in eligibility and caseload.

A look at the Justice/Public Safety and Homeland Security market for March

The month of March 2010 saw a number of RFPs for large scale projects be released, as well as several RFI's for projects that will provide upgrades to several state Drivers License Systems. In addition, we saw several states move closer to adopting Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs and, as most months do, several state and local governments are looking to upgrade their E-911 equipment. As we move closer to the end of the fiscal year, for some localities, many projects will begin to gear up for the new fiscal year of funding.

This was a big month for state driver's license projects, including a $6 million award to L-1 Secure Credentialing for the New Jersey (Additional information can be found here). In Massachusetts, a Request for information was released last month and responses were due February 22, 2010, for an Automated License and Registration System Modernization Project (ALARS), which will help the state procure a vendor to assist in the modernization project. In addition to the consultant, a solicitation will also be released for Independent Verification and Validation.

In nearby Connecticut, the state is contracted with L-1 through 2013, however, the State plans to issue a solicitation in 2012 for those services. Oklahoma has just issued a Request for Information to obtain the necessary materials to solicit bids for a Digital Drivers License and ID Card System. RFI responses are not due until May, so an RFP is not expected until mid-summer 2010. While the specifications for Massachusetts, Connecticut and Oklahoma are not all fully known, it is likely that these states will adopt more security measures as part of the driver's license system and identification cards.

In addition to these drivers license RFI's, several RFPs were issued on some long standing projects. In New York an RFP was issued for Wireless Broadband Services for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The projects budget is expected to be nearly $20 million and RFPs are due May 17, 2010. GovWin has also been tracking a Computer Aided Dispatch project in Maine since 2007, and on March 17, 2010 the RFP was issued and proposals are due April 27, 2010.

Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are currently active in nearly all fifty states, including Texas, however the State may be rebidding their needs in the near future, as the current vendor's contract may expire in 2011. The same is true in Colorado, where the current contract expires in mid-2012, with an RFP being issued in mid-2011. Finally, in Georgia, the State Senate has just passed legislation to allow a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Their PDMP hasn't even been planned, as the law goes into effect July 1, 2010, but GovWin will be seeking additional details as the state progresses with their planning effort.

Some other projects that are in the planning stages are:

While many states, counties and cities struggle with budget gaps, it is clear that certain public safety initiatives are still part of those localities plans. Whether it is statewide license systems, or emergency notification system at a very local level, projects are still being funded, though the same cannot be said for all projects. We should continue to see more projects move forward as the new fiscal years begin in July and when the 2011 earmarks are announced.

Officer Worn Video Cameras See Continued Adoption

I previously reported on the San Jose Police Department's use of officer worn video cameras. Recently the Victoria, British Columbia police in conducted a successful test of these video units.

One member of the Department indicated that he believed that officer worn video could compete with in-car video cameras as the preferred means of monitoring officers in the field. He cited the low cost of officer worn units in comparison to car mounted units. This is an interesting argument, however because these technology is relatively new it remains to be seen what the total life span and cost of ownership of these products will be. The most obvious consideration is that in-car units operate in the protected environment of the patrol car, while video units would be subject to the same varying conditions as the officers, which could mean a need for more frequent replacement.

There have been some reservations to the usage of these cameras. As is the case with any type of video surveillance conducted by law enforcement agencies, privacy issues are part of the debate surrounding officer worn video. One of the major criticisms of officer worn video is that the officer has sole control of when recording begins and ends which could allow them to create a less objective account of events. These are the types of issues that any department seeking to use this technology must create transparent policies to address prior to purchase, so that both the officer and the public are aware of rules governing usage.

I expect to see more pilot projects coming in 2010. Given current economic conditions, agencies with limited funds are less likely to spend on a technology that has not yet gained a high level of acceptance. If pilot projects continue to show successful results, spending on this technology will increase when budgets increase.

PTI Panel Talks Collaboration and Budget Shortfalls

Last week at PTI's 2010 Technology Solutions and Innovations Conference, a panel of local governments from the DC metropolitan area shared budgetary challenges and collaboration strategies that can help sustain advancement of government services in spite of tough times.

The panel titled, "Next Practices in the New Economy, Opportunities for Innovation and Collaboration," consisted of Montgomery County CIO Steven Emmanuel, Fairfax County CTO Wanda Gibson, Alexandria City Manager Jim Hartmann, and IBM Executive for Government and Education Business Analytics Robert Dole Jr.

Wanda Gibson spoke of the County's $650 million shortfall in their 2010 budget and how they shed $1 million in consulting engagements and 10 positions in the IT department to make ends meet. She praised the County's investment in infrastructure modernization beginning in the 1990's as enabling the County to make adjustments and be agile in economic down turns. She pointed out that Fairfax County's $60 million ERP project is a transformation in the way the County operates and not a replacement system.

Steven Emmanuel stressed that a fiscal downturn does not inhibit governments from at what needs to be done and suggested that collaboration was a strategy to skirt budgetary issues. Steven also pointed out that IT investments must be strategic, achieving a multiplicity of citizen facing results through a single implementation offering as examples ERP, 311, and social media.

Jim Hartmann shared a high level view stating that things have changed dramatically in the last couple years and that the revenues, attitudes, and boom of the early part of this century is not coming back to the DC region or elsewhere. He highlighted the levity of this situation with the expectation that Alexandria may get back to break even in 2014, but pointed out the opportunity for governments to recreate themselves for the future in these challenging times.

The government panel members not only share geographical proximity and similiar budgetary challenges, but also participation in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG). Through this regional partnership and the National Capital Region Interoperability Program (NCRIP), the panel members have been working across government jurisdictions to improve the public safety of their citizens. They highlighted CAD to CAD pilot project as an example of accomplishing a goal collectively that could not have been attained individually. At this point in time, Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria CAD systems are able to talk to one another leading to more effective and rapid emergency response. The warm and fuzzy collaboration sentiments were tempered with the reality that this project was at least partially funded by Federal dollars and that without these monies it would have been much more difficult to bring to fruition.

All panel members agreed that governments cannot invest in technology that does not offer clear and immediate return on investment and offer data interoperability.

GovSec Conference Recap Blog Day 2

As part of Technology Week in Washington DC, GovWin attended GovSec, the government security expo and conference, held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. After giving my presentation: "Trends for First Responders: Cutting Edge Implementation Strategies and Case Studies", I was able to spend time on Day 2 of the conference focused on meeting with GovWin members and attending presentations by other organizations.

Two of the most interesting presentations that I attended where held by the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms(ATF). The ATF session titled "Law Enforcement Agent Mobility" provided a look at how the organization has leveraged technology to extend the capabilities of its highly mobile workforce. Mark Williams explained how the ATF has successfully utilized mobile command posts to provide field agents with the same technologies at a remote crime scene as they would have in their office.

In the Afternoon the Department of Homeland Security presented a briefing session titled "Department of Homeland Security Tools and Resources for Information Sharing". This briefing session focused on the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN) and the Law Enforcement Information Sharing System (LEISS). This session provided an insight into how DHS continues to experience difficulties walking the line between facilitating a quick exchange of information between the Federal and State and Local Level, and ensuring that the information is only available to authorized personnel.

GovSec is just one of the many conferences that the GovWin Justice & Public Safety Team will be attending this year. Next up it the 34th annual IACP Law Enforcement Information Management (LIEM) conference in Atlanta from May 24-27th.

MO-HITECH RFI Release

As reported back in February, today the Missouri Office of Health Information Technology (MO-HITECH) released its Request for Information (RFI) regarding component functions and general pricing ranges for the creation of their Statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE). MO-HITECH will host a webinar on March 31 from 11 AM to 12:30 PM Central Time. Intent to Respond is due by April 2 and Responses are due by 8 AM on April 16, 2010. GovWin has been tracking the HIE under Opportunity ID #60207.

Broad objectives for MO-HITECH include what most HIEs are looking to accomplish: satisfy meaningful use criteria; create a robust clinical exchange of information to improve patient care; and ensure connectivity with the National Health Information Network (NHIN) gateway. They are looking for a solution that encompasses

  • Laboratory ordering and results delivery
  • Electronic prescribing (e-prescribing)
  • Clinical information exchange
  • Eligibility and authorization unification
  • Web viewers for providers without Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
Missouri is also interested in reaching beyond basics and finding out more information on radiological image exchange and population-based health management and reporting. Missouri's Department of Social Services was awarded a $13.8 million HIE grant back on February 12. More information on MO-HITECH and their workgroups can be found here.

2010 Beyond the Beltway Conference Recap

TechAmerica presented their 2010 Beyond the Beltway conference on March 22, 2010 at the Ritz Carlton in Tysons Corner, Virginia. A key session of the day included Anne Margulies, Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Karen W. Robinson, Interim Executive Director of the Texas Department of Information Resources and Interim Chief Technology Officer for the State of Texas, and Teri Takai, Chief Information Officer for the State of California.

Anne Margulies kicked off the panel by briefly reviewing the Commonwealth's Information Technology Strategic Plan. Highlights of the plan – and projects currently underway – include consolidation of information technology governance, a new data center that will be 70 percent more energy efficient, an extended broadband infrastructure, which the Commonwealth has received stimulus funding for, and system modernization made possible by the Commonwealth's IT Capital Plan. The Commonwealth is currently in their second year of their five-year Capital Plan that allows the modernization of major systems such as the upcoming motor vehicle system, integrated tax system, and human resources system. Looking to the future Margulies stressed the importance of Health Information Technology (HIT) in Massachusetts and the Commonwealth's goal to be leaders in the endeavor. Other future projects on the Commonwealth to-do list are continuing and advancing their efforts toward open data and government transparency, encouraging civic engagement through the use of social media tools, and revamping their transportation system with smart highways and sophisticated communications. To conclude, Margulies urged vendors who wished to do business with the Commonwealth to do their homework: read their Strategic Plan, come ready to assess the Commonwealth's specific needs, and to treat Massachusetts as an enterprise.

Karen W. Robinson brought a little piece of Texas culture with her as she used a barrel race to explain Texas' plan for technology improvement. Robinson's current plan for Texas is to build momentum so that the state may continue to succeed in their technology endeavors. Robinson attributed each barrel in a barrel race to one of four key attributes to success for Texas and its Department of Information Resources as she talked of good equipment, a healthy lifestyle, a solid team, and finally the ability to continue to move forward. Robinson highlighted the success of Texas' statewide cooperative contracts that has over 2,800 customers within the state. Large projects for Texas, such as the TEX-AN Program were discussed as the first RFO for the project for a Security Operations Center (SOC) will be released in the upcoming weeks (GovWin Opportunities 17053 and 50995). Robinson concluded her portion of the panel by stressing to vendors the importance of teamwork and collaboration when working with the State of Texas.

Teri Takai of California concluded the panel as she presented the California Office of the Chief Information Officer's (OCIO) report card. Highlights of the Report Card include a completed Strategic Plan, an information technology capital plan, a project management office, and a reorganization proposal. With the reorganization proposal, a new order has been created in California in regards to their information technology governance in which all Agency Information Officers (AIO) must be approved by OCIO and any enterprise architecture must also be approved by OCIO. Additionally, a 14 member cabinet of information officers appoints a Information Security Officer (ISO) to each agency. Takai touched on the difficulty found in reorganization due to entrenched agency-specific cultures. However, currently California hopes to take this new order and use it to develop a smooth model toward consolidation that will stand the test of administration change, especially since 2010 is an election year. Other goals for California include a reduction of data center square footage and a possible move toward virtualization. Takai summarized California's current technology environment as consolidating on two fronts: governance and information systems.

To conclude the Big State Update and Outlook panel, conference participants asked the CIOs a series of questions regarding the states' plans for including localities in their consolidation plans and how to build an information technology infrastructure that can withstand change. In regards to localities' involvement in statewide consolidation, all three women responded no for the time-being, stressing the need to focus on the state level first. Margulies however went on to say, that upon successful completion of the Commonwealth's consolidation efforts, Massachusetts plans to work with its cities and towns next. As for the creation of a resilient infrastructure, Margulies stressed the necessity to make the infrastructure administration and CIO-proof, Robinson expanded on that by highlighting the importance of agency collaboration, and Takai concluded by addressing participants in the room, saying vendors need to acknowledge their role in the information technology community.

Following the Big State Update was a panel on State Trends and Issues. Speakers for this panel included Ken Theis, Director and Chief Information Officer for the Michigan Department of Information Technology, Eugene J. Huang, Government Operations Director for the National Broadband Task Force, and Kevin Kampschroer, Director of the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings of the General Services Administration's Public Building Services.

Kevin Theis led the panel with an "opportunity of a lifetime" as he introduced Health Information Technology (HIT). Theis emphasized the ability to influence and reshape the entire health industry by allowing for the capture of information (HIT), the ability to move that information through Health Information Exchange (HIE), and the ability to govern this process through Regional Health Information Offices (RHIO). Theis described Michigan's approach to HIT and their goal to have HIE fully operational by 2014. The State is currently working on their governance model, which is due by the end of April. Theis also stressed the complexity of HIT, particularly when it comes to building and creating a backbone for each state so that they can connect at the national level. Though states are taking different approaches on how to manage their funds and how to develop their HIT programs, Theis concluded his portion of the panel by emphasizing the brevity of the opportunity and the likelihood states will seek out vendors who have proven expertise in the industry.

Eugene Huang gave a brief presentation on the progress of broadband as he went over the goals of the recently released National Broadband Plan. Huang also ran down a few of the recommendations from the National Plan that included the expansion of the wireless communications spectrum, a reform of the universal service fund, providing affordable broadband to lower-income households, building a path to a nationwide public safety network, a reform of the eRate program, and the expansion of the federal networks contract to the state and local network. In terms of what's next for broadband, Huang stated the Plan's recommendations are already being implemented, and the next steps need to be taken by Congress for additional recommendations.

In Kevin Kampschroer's presentation regarding green buildings, Kampschroer made his point very clear as he began by stating if we are not building a green building, it would be more economical to not build at all. Kampschroer stressed the importance of the integration of the function of the building with the manner in which it is built. Kampschroer talked about simple changes, such as turning servers around in a data center as an example, so that heat generated from servers could be recycled for the cooling of the building. Overall, Kampschroer stressed how the minimum standard mentality in building needs to change.

Following the State Trends and Issues panel, a Big City and County update took place with speakers Bryan Sivak, Chief Technology Officer for the District of Columbia, Ron Bergmann, First Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications in New York City, and Catherin Maras, Chief Information Officer of Bear County, Texas.

Bryan Sivak led the City discussion as he spoke of his efforts to espouse a philosophy with his governing. Sivak went over his plan to transform Washington, D.C. into an agile government. With an agile process, agile people, and the agile tools, Sivak discussed the ability to transform the way in which government works. He highlighted some projects he has implemented since his appointment in October 2009, which include starting an internal blog for government workers where questions can be posted and answers found moments later. The project started with only six people and within three months has grown to 400 participants. Track.dv.gov is another new development that allows constituents to track their government using a real-time operating tool. According to Sivak, future endeavors for D.C. include the expansion of broadband and the public computing ability.

Ron Bergmann provided a brief overview of technology activity in New York City currently and what the City hopes to accomplish in the coming years. Bergmann stated that the City should be looked at as an enterprise more now than ever before. Recently appointed Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, Carole Post, released her 30 Day Report at the beginning of March that highlighted big projects in store for the City. Bergmann expanded upon these projects as he spoke of the City's consolidation efforts and their plans for modernizing the city data centers. Bergmann spoke of three enhanced units: accountability and vendor management, web and media operations, and telecommunications and broadband. Like Sivak in D.C., Bergmann believes New York City will find success in failing early and inexpensively.

Catherine Maras, relatively new to Bear County, provided the sole county overview of the conference. Maras began by introducing Bear County as a county that has been extremely fortunate in the economic recession due to its broad base. Currently Maras explained she is working with her team to develop a finalized working strategy for her office and for the County. To summarize their efforts thus far, Maras described her goals for office to be results-oriented, innovative, and to provide excellent services. Maras stated she and her team are working on defining lines of business for the County. New technology initiatives for the County include a new CAD system, a fully integrated justice system, ERP implementation, GIS, and social media.

The conference concluded with a panel that involved all speakers with the addition of the Honorable James D. Duffey Jr., Secretary of Technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Duffey provided an update on the Virginia agreement with Northrop Grumman saying the focus currently is to try and put things back on track with the outsourcing project. When later asked what Virginia's priorities will be three years from now, Duffey responded he wanted to be able to say outsourcing was the right decision. Other questions posed to panelists covered topics such as their ideal sales call, how governments are addressing procurement transformation, and how agencies are coping with retiring baby-boomers.

GovSec Conference Recap Blog #1

As part of Technology Week in Washington DC, GovWin attended GovSec, the government security expo and conference, held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. GovWin's presence was extensive at the conference, seen as an exhibitor on the expo floor and a presentation by GovWin's Justice Public Safety/Homeland Security Analyst Justin Spratley.

Among an extensive presentation schedule, Keynote speakers included Bill Bratton, Former Police Chief of LA/NYC/Boston, and Chairman, Altegrity Risk International, Anthony Zuiker, Creator and Executive Producer of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Steven R. Chabinsky, Cyber Division, FBI. Mr. Bratton spoke on the Practice and Technology of Policing Today and in the Future: Not Just Part of an Exit Strategy Anymore, and outlined how and why policing and rule of law fundamentals must be a central core element of any realistic plan to assist troubled nations and emerging democracies. Mr. Zuiker gave a presentation on Cross Platforming: A Visionary's Use of Technology.

GovWin's own Justin Spratley spoke on Technology Trends for First Responders: Cutting Edge Implementation Strategies and Case Studies. Mr. Spratley touched on important key trends in the IT market. Mr. Spratley also highlighted specific technologies including wireless access in patrol cars, inter-agency radios, CAD with GPS tracking, Emergency Notification, Patrol Car Cameras, AFIS, License Plate Readers, Next Generation 911, Video Surveillance Networks, 700/800 MHz Trunked Radio and Offender Electronic Monitoring. Mr. Spratly made market observations including predictions of steady growth in the JPS market through 2014. Also, with tight budgets, cost saving and risk avoidance are key concerns. Regarding Corrections policy, major changes will be seen in the coming years.

Steven Chabinsky, Deputy Assistant Director, FBI spoke on The Cyber Threat: Who's Doing What to Whom. He explained that serious cybercrime criminals tend to be businessmen, "white collar criminals" and have become more popular with organized crime as well. The environment where these crimes take place is one of the biggest difficulties the FBI has, as nicknames, email addresses, ICQ Numbers in their forums, etc. can change very quickly. The FBI has seen a specialization among cyber criminals, giving a sophistication and organization to cybercrime. In response, the FBI has begun to successfully infiltrate and gain the confidence of cybercriminal circles. "Basic Cyber Training" has also become a part of an agent's training in the FBI as well.

Erik S. Gaull, DC Metropolitan Police Department, spoke at the Critical Infrastructure Planning and Protection Track on Pandemics: COOP Considerations for Public Safety Agencies. Mr. Gaull addressed how Fire, EMS, and Police Departments would provide service amidst a global outbreak of transmissible disease. Challenges facing these departments include fewer workers due to the fear of infection, and the risk for their family and themselves, higher call volumes, stressed hospitals/clinics, and a lack of people/parts to perform maintenance. Mr. Gaull provided a strategic plan outlining policy development, and a labor-management partnership to prevent an infrastructure breakdown. On a micro-scale, Mr. Gaull suggested keeping your people healthy though insistence of hand washing and stockpile antiseptic wash and respiratory protection (N95 or N100). Inoculations of ESS personnel with pre-pandemic strains also were suggested as preventative measures to decrease spreading to personnel, contributing to fewer workers available in times of crisis. Technical planning would include the ability to reroute the agency's PSAP and exploring telework for Administration or 911 Personnel (which would require testing to ensure viability).

Please contact GovWin for interest in any presentation or conference materials. Check back for The GovSec Conference Recap Blog #2, covering day two, coming soon!

FY 2011 Budget Highlights for Health IT at the Department of Health and Human Services

On March 10, 2010, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sibelius testified before the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. She stated that the Administration's focus is on improving the health and well-being of the American people and that it will provide additional funding for the following initiatives in the President's FY 2011 Budget for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): prevention; health care fraud; quality and access to health care; public health threats and terrorism; improving the well-being of children, seniors and households; and investing in scientific research and development.

The President's Budget for HHS requests $135 million in additional funding for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), as well as $1.7 billion to fight fraud, including $561 million in discretional funds to strengthen Medicare and Medicaid program integrity activities.

The budget for the Office of the National Coordinator will be increased by $17 million from its current level of $78 million. Secretary Sebelius stated in her testimony that Health Information Technology (IT) is still a top priority for the Obama administration and that it will improve the quality and efficiency of health care. GovWin has learned that Health IT funding will be reduced in the FY 2011 Budget, because the Recovery Act already includes substantial funding for Health IT. Funding for the Head Start program will be increased by $989 million. GovWin anticipates that if this budget is approved by Congress, it will increase funding for the following opportunities that GovWin is currently tracking:

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