Health and Human Services

Partners in Health and Human Services

Health and human services agencies have the difficult job of serving our most vulnerable populations while operating in a complex environment of funding and regulation. Our dedicated HHS team is passionate about helping agency leaders develop strategies to improve outcomes and deliver critical services more efficiently and effectively, aligning with the best practices and solutions that are transforming health care. North Highland is known for creating forward-looking strategies implemented with practical know how, and we work with our HHS partners to plan, procure, implement and manage processes and solutions in the domains of Medicaid, child welfare, behavioral health, and health information strategy.

System interoperability delivers clear benefits to Medicaid programs and beneficiaries, but states still face significant challenges in leveraging shared data to generate actionable information. Managing risk and modernizing legacy systems within fixed agency and departmental structures are among the many challenges that make the adoption of a cross-cutting architecture difficult. North Highland has helped tackle these challenges across the U.S., and our team has hands-on experience navigating this complex landscape.
Health and human service programs often operate in silos that create barriers to delivering the vital services that help individuals and families attain self-sufficiency. Our teams have supported states in the planning, funding approval, design, and implementation of complex, statewide integrated eligibility systems. We know the vendor community, understand the underlying drivers, and provide states with strategic execution to ensure project success.
Child welfare is a passion for us, and we know that protecting vulnerable children is one of the most difficult and sensitive challenges in state government. Our experience with child welfare agencies has given our team a deep understanding of child welfare policy, systems, practices, and the key factors that support effective outcomes for at-risk kids. If you are looking for a partner to help you inspire and make meaningful change, the North Highland team would like to hear from you.

HIEs are continuing to evolve and innovate in response to a dynamic marketplace. Our strategic services support states in navigating this challenging landscape by developing sustainable models, planning and procuring technical solutions, and developing efficient operational strategies.

The use of electronic health records (EHR) is continuing to expand, and North Highland has supported public and private organizations since the inception of the HITECH Act in planning for and implementing processes and tools to enable improved sharing of healthcare information. Our team has worked with providers and payers across the healthcare industry, and we provide deep technical subject matter expertise, including system and architectural requirements, the procurement of solutions, and change management to achieve meaningful use of EHR.
North Highland has helped state HHS agencies successfully obtain approval for more than $500 million in new federal funding for various healthcare programs. Our subject matter experts have decades of experience ensuring compliance with federal requirements and drawing down funding. We have consultants available to help you optimize and improve Federal Advance Planning Documents, state budget processes, cost allocation planning and administrative rate reviews.

                                    Our Leaders

Barbara Ray

Managing Director and Global Public Sector Lead Firm Leadership Expert
With more than 20 years’ experience leading profitable growth strategies for organizations engaged in the government sector, Barbara Ray brings deep industry expertise to her roles as managing director and global public sector lead. At North Highland, Barbara’s growth and leadership initiatives have been instrumental in generating greater client value and inspiring ingenuity and integrity firm wide.

Rick Zelznak

Global Health and Human Services Lead Expert
Rick leads the Public Sector Health and Human Services practice area for North Highland, and has more than 23 years of experience in HHS policy, technology, and financial management. Specific areas of expertise include complex program and project management, strategy development, stakeholder engagement and communications, vendor procurement and oversight, and financial management. He has held leadership positions within the private sector and state government – including having worked as the Chief Information Officer and Deputy State Budget Director for the State of Arizona.

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