Top 3 Issues for HHS Tech

Top 3 Issues in HHS Technology

Hot topics and breakout sessions at APHSA's 2018 ISM Conference
GWW Staff

GWW Opinion

GWW Staff

September 11, 2018

The IT Solutions Management for Human Services ISM Conference is coming up at the Washington State Convention Center, September 16-19, 2018. Now in its 51st year, ISM is a popular meeting place for HHS public sector IT experts. It hosts discussions and workshops with thought leaders on human service delivery innovations and the latest in HHS tech advancements.

We’ve highlighted some issues that everyone seems to be talking about this year:

  1. Work requirements
  2. Modular modernization
  3. User-centered design techniques

With these in mind, we’ve detailed the best breakout sessions to attend on these topics, and why they matter.

Work requirements

As many as 12 states are considering work requirements for Medicaid benefits, with Arkansas, Indiana, and New Hampshire currently approved and moving forward.

Arkansas, which became the first state to implement requirements in June, recently gave notice to as many as 4,600 Medicaid recipients that they will lose benefits. To stay on Medicaid, participants must work, go to school, volunteer, or search for jobs for at least 80 hours a month.

It’s a controversial topic. In our post on Where the Farm Bill, Work Requirements, and Software Intersect, we talk about how support for work requirements, such as the ETS program for Idaho’s SNAP recipients, is essential if requirements are to be implemented successfully.

We’re curious to hear where the discussion leads in the following ISM Conference breakout sessions:

Breakout #12
Work Requirements Changes are Afoot
Monday 2:45pm – 3:45pm
Room 4C3

Breakout #25
Pioneering Medicaid Work Requirement Implementation – The Arkansas Experience (eSystems)
Wednesday 8:30am – 9:30am
Room 4C2

Modular modernization

Like others around the country, Idaho’s Child Support system helps establish paternity and custody, and determines who owes what and who’s paid what. We’re currently implementing an agile, modular modernization to the system. This allows them to update a bit at a time, and retire the old system along the way, because they can’t stop providing services in the interim. Instead of a costly turn-key replacement, modular modernization is an important option for many states looking to update aging systems.

See our post on Updating Legacy Systems with Modular Procurement.

We look forward to the following ISM Conference sessions on how states are taking a modular approach to modernization and CCWIS implementation.

Breakout #10
One State’s Journey to CCWIS Using a Modular, Agile, Phased Implementation Approach (IBM)
Monday 3:45pm – 4:45pm
Room 4C4

Breakout #20
Choosing your Modernization Strategy: Modernization Isn’t One Size Fits All
Tuesday 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Room 4C4

User-centered design (UX)

When the White House released its implementation plan in February 2018, the federal government underlined the need to improve mobile friendliness and customer experience for the public sector. There’s also a mandate to make it easier to apply to Medicaid and healthcare assistance programs, and state healthcare programs that fall under the Affordable Care Act.

On this theme, we’ve been working on a streamlined paper form for a state healthcare application, as detailed in a UX Chat with Amy Mauriello and Karin Carlson, about how they’ve been applying UX standards to the benefits enrollment process.

Furthermore, with people applying for services on their phones, mobile optimization is becoming a must. A recent survey by Deloitte finds that “adult Medicaid beneficiaries own smartphones (86 percent) … at the same rates as the general adult US population (86 percent).” Check out our infographic on 16 Key Features to Optimize Public Sector Sites for Mobile.

The following two-part ISM Conference session promises to provide some valuable discussion on usability:

Breakout #18
Designing with The User in Mind (Part #1) (Casebook)
Tuesday 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM
Room 401

Breakout #23
Designing with The User in Mind (Part #2)
Tuesday 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM
Room 401

Stop by

GovWebworks is exhibiting at booth #710. Come by and say hello, and grab a special ISM button, because, “You do want to express yourself, don’t you?” See you there!

GovWebworks ISM Buttons

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