CMS Acting Administrator Slavitt Pitches Technology Industry to Partner with State Medicaid Programs
Says New Approaches to Medicaid IT Underpin Needed Improvements to Home and Community Based Care
May 31, 2016 09:33 AM
Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), is continuing his agency’s efforts to bring together state Medicaid programs and technology companies. In January 2016, Slavitt announced a new “one-stop-shop set of resources” to help technology companies “identify opportunities” to enter the market and participate with state Medicaid programs. The new resources allow vendors to locate links to states’ Medicaid procurement websites and to any open state Medicaid IT Requests for Proposals. Slavitt also recently participated in a Silicon Valley forum on bringing technology to Medicaid, and he wrote a blog post describing CMS’ ongoing efforts in this space.
“While there are 56 different state, district, and territorial Medicaid programs, there is a lot of commonality in their IT needs,” Slavitt stated. “There is always new IT procurement and opportunities for new, innovative vendors in this space. This industry is primed for a new era—Software as a Service software—that has real time capabilities and requirements and Federal sponsorship for a 90 percent match on qualifying IT investments. Investment gravitates to needs and problems it can solve. There is no greater opportunity than bringing technical know-how, innovation and creativity to improve the health of Americans with health, social and economic challenges.”
One barrier to bringing technology to Medicaid, Slavitt said, is “there may be some apprehension by IT companies – large or small, new or established – to engage in bidding for state government contracts.” He said, CMS is “working to tear down these barriers and taking it past the opportunity to make a new market.”
In addition to launching the resource center for companies to identify opportunities to partner with states, CMS is also:
Developing a “playbook” to help companies translate states’ requests for proposals into work they believe can move the needle.
Inviting vendors to seek pre-certification from CMS for their Medicaid IT solutions and put their names and products on a “Pre-Certified Medicaid Modules” list on the Medicaid.gov website.
Actively recruiting a full time entrepreneur-in-residence fully committed to the Medicaid space.
Slavitt said these efforts are designed to underpin improvements to the quality of and access to home and community based services under Medicaid. “It is an exciting time to be in the Medicaid space,” he said. “With Medicaid expansion, Medicaid has become America’s health plan. Medicaid has always served some of our most vulnerable citizens: the elderly, disabled, low-income, pregnant women, and children. New policies strengthen consumer access and driving improved quality and additional care options for people at home and in their communities. Stronger approaches to IT underpin these promising new directions.”
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice supports the expansion of and improvements to home and community based services under state Medicaid programs. NAHC more broadly outlined specific technology recommendations for home care and hospice at its 2016 March on Washington Conference.