May 14, 2010 By Wayne Hanson
What changes will health care reform require in counties' information technology infrastructure? Will there be coordination, reporting, etc. requirements that necessitate new investment in technology? In a National Association of Counties webinar today, NACo's Associate Legislative Director Paul Beddoe responded to that question from Digital Communities, saying that this is obviously a big concern, and NACo will be working with governors and Medicaid directors on it. "There is a provision in the Affordable Care Act," said Beddoe, "to have HHS develop health information technology enrollment standards and protocols. And there is permissive language that the secretary may require states and other entities to adopt those protocols, to merge health information technology with other human services enrollment activities."
Andrea Maresca, health and human services legislative director of the National Governors Association said that while eligibility and support systems are outdated, there is no money, under current financial conditions, to upgrade. "While it makes sense to have standards," she said, "operations and hardware issues are less clear at this point."
Moderator Maeghan Gilmore said that NACo will soon have the complete webinar online.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.