In an August 15th letter to Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS),HIMSS responded to the Request for Information (RFI) on Modular Solutions for Medicaid IT Enterprise and Pre-certification of Solutions. In the letter, HIMSS is able to leverage its members’ expertise to help inform CMS’s strategic direction; specifically, regarding input on the availability of modular solutions for Medicaid enterprise systems and efforts to streamline the development and eventual certification of Medicaid Management Information Systems (MMIS).
HIMSS believes that Medicaid continues to have significant leverage to support health IT, especially as health IT is a critical tool to help to improve health outcomes for a vulnerable Medicaid population of 71 million people. In addition, the idea of expanding opportunities for providers to participate in alternative payment models in state Medicaid programs is a key step for our healthcare system and the move toward overall health system transformation.
In responding to three of the major components of the RFI, HIMSS supports the CMS vision that modular solutions and architectures for state Medicaid enterprise systems will promote the reuse of technical solutions among states, minimize customization and configuration needs, and increase competition in the Medicaid Enterprise marketplace. HIMSS agrees that modular architectures will also improve efficiency and effectiveness of system upgrades, reduce cost, improve system interoperability, and increase adherence in Medicaid Information Technology Architecture (MITA) and the Standards and Conditions for Medicaid IT.
On the subject of Clinical and Administrative Data Warehouse, HIMSS supports CMS’ assertion that data warehouses are critical to achieving healthcare delivery reforms, patient-oriented care management, cost reductions and improved population health.
On the final component that HIMSS responded to, Identity Management and Shared Services, HIMSS agrees that identity management is critical to ensuring the effective and secure exchange of patient health and other sensitive information across the Medicaid enterprise. When advancing policy for Medicaid modular solutions, HIMSS suggests that CMS recognize that one of the largest impediments to interoperability and threats to patient safety is the lack of an informed nationwide individual data matching strategy.