North Highland recently sent a team of our Public Sector consultants to the Annual Healthcare IT Connect Summit where they spent time connecting with states, federal partners, industry groups, and vendors about innovations and strategies to transform state health IT.
Here are our five key takeaways from the conference.
- Focus on people
States are in various stages of their healthcare transformation efforts, however those states experiencing the most success maintain a focus on the people side of change by:
- Aligning state organizations with transformation goals, objectives, and desired outcomes.
- Maintaining strong governance programs.
- Ensuring the right resources, such as state subject matter experts, are available to support Medicaid Enterprise System (MES) transformation initiatives.
- Focusing on human-centered design and putting citizens at the forefront of transformation efforts.
- Ensuring all stakeholder organizations are ready for change by using organizational change management (OCM) strategies and tools.
- Building strong project teams by supplementing state staff with service providers who bring expertise in project management, OCM, and enterprise and automated testing.
The above lessons learned were also reinforced by the State Medicaid Directors Letter released by CMS on April 14, 2022.
- Document and improve processes
Roadmaps to transform MES are often complex and support many critical business processes. States are documenting their as-is business processes and identifying areas for to-be business process improvements before bringing on MES modular vendors to help ensure the business needs and desired program outcomes are driving the technology components of MES transformations. Some states are using interactive tools to house their business process workflows, which will make it more efficient to share and maintain business process information.
- Leverage existing technology investments to support innovative ways to access and share data
Data sharing and access are critical as states look for ways to connect the health ecosystem, address health inequities, measure and improve social determinants of health, and ultimately improve health outcomes. States are using existing technology investments, such as Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), to support interoperability requirements, care coordination, access to data, and reporting.
- The power of collaboration
Something powerful that happens at conferences is the sharing of best practices, innovative ideas, and the spirit of collaboration heard during and in between sessions. States continue to partner with other states to share technology and resources to better support their constituents. States are working with their local organizations, such as HIEs, to improve access to health data. Vendors connect to discuss ways we can work together to better support states with the important work they are doing. States, vendors, and industry groups come together and focus on how we can all collaborate to continue moving the needle towards a connected health ecosystem focused on improving health outcomes.
- After all, it’s all about outcomes
The latest guidance from CMS requires states define and measure outcomes that support Medicaid program priorities to receive enhanced federal match. During the conference states talked about how they are defining outcomes that are driving the projects states undertake. States also understand the latest guidance from CMS stresses the importance of robust testing and are establish Testing Centers of Excellence (TCOEs) to help ensure new technology will function properly to support desired outcomes.
We left the conference energized and inspired. The lessons learned over the years suggest we all continue to focus on the people, processes, data, collaboration, and most importantly the outcomes we are trying to achieve.