28 Feb State picks long-time vendor for $189m Medicaid information system
Madison, Wis. — EDS, a provider of health-care and business technology, announced a seven-year contract with the state of Wisconsin to install a new Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS). The new system is expected to be live in 2007.
The deal, first announced in November, contracts EDS to implement its InterChange health system on the computers at the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. The contract is worth approximately $189 million and involves two years of implementation and development followed by five years of management by EDS.
“The state really deserves some visionary credit for this,” said Bill Ritz of EDS media relations. “They’re really bringing in some cutting-edge solutions and saving significant taxpayer dollars … the idea is to deliver the readings as accurately and efficiently as possible.”
The DHFS system spans 32 business areas, including online prescription drugs, financial reporting, drug rebating, and provider profiling. DHFS handles almost 32 million claims worth between $4.2 and $4.5 billion each year.
InterChange uses a three-tier technology system to handle the entire suite of claims processed by the DHFS, from areas such as dental, pharmacy, and hospitals. Users can submit either paper-based or online forms to the DHFS, tracking where the claims go and updating them as is necessary.
“In real-time, they can check whether or not the claim was paid, and if not they can go and submit it again,” said Rick Shaffer, client care delivery director for EDS.
EDS started working with the DHFS in 1977, and has operated their current MMIS mainframe and accompanying systems over that time. It manages several other data storage systems for Wisconsin, including the Decision Support System to identify trends in spending and anomalies, the Encounter Data System for when clients meet with a provider, and the Wisconsin Immunization Registry containing more than five million records.
The InterChange upgrade will affect all these units. “The MMIS is a separate system, but all these systems will work back and forth to supply info as necessary,” Shaffer said.
Mike Moody, administrator of DHFS’ division of health-care financing, said that EDS was selected over competitors ACS and Wisconsin Physicians Services because of the long-standing relationship between EDS and the state.
“They’ve been the incumbent in Wisconsin for 26 years,” Moody said.
Moody said that cost also played a part in the choice, since the MMIS installed by EDC is projected to lower costs to the state by at least $93 million with an annual reduction of $18.6 million. EDS’ technical skill was also important, since the number of cases is so high.
“We’re not just buying software but a whole service agreement,” Moody said. “This is a very critical, large-scale implementation and conversion … needless to say, we don’t want to rush it.”