The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) employs over 19,000 staff members and has a biennial budget of approximately $10.8 billion. The department is divided into 30 divisions and oversees 14 facilities. North Carolina has roughly 1.9 million Medicaid enrollees being served by the DHHS.
DHHS has undertaken a significant information systems modernization effort, known as the North Carolina Families Accessing Services through Technology (NC FAST) Program.
The NC FAST Program is designed to improve the way DHHS and the 100 county departments of social services provide benefits and services to the people of North Carolina. Process improvements provided by NC FAST will allow staff to spend less time performing cumbersome administrative tasks and instead focus more of their time on assisting families.
To support the NC FAST Program, DHHS has engaged a team with experience in large, complex systems integration projects and the Cúram platform to provide a variety of periodic, on-site Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) services. The intention of these services is to provide the state, and its federal partners, with a comprehensive, independent assessment of the NC FAST Program. Findings and recommendations identified during the assessments will be addressed by the NC FAST program to help ensure the successful implementation of the program’s projects.
The NC FAST Program has been organized into the following projects:
The technology solution for NC FAST is built on the Cúram framework. Due to CMA’s experience implementing Cúram-based solutions for clients such as the New York State Department of Health, CMA was chosen to be a key part of the independent IV&V assessment team.
The IV&V assessments involve reviewing project artifacts for completeness and adherence to industry standards, conducting interviews with key staff members, and creating a report of detailed findings and recommendations.
Projects P1 Global Case Management and Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), P2&6 Eligibility Information System (EIS), and P7 Health Benefit Exchange (HBE) and NC FAST Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) Interoperability have successfully gone live. Work is underway to complete the remaining projects defined by the NC FAST program.
CMA staff experienced in working on complex systems integration projects and developing Cúram-based solutions for its clients, continue to be a valuable part of the NC FAST IV&V assessment team.
The NC FAST Program has also been getting great results:
“Since 2002, our FNS caseload has quadrupled, but we have not added staff to meet the demand,” said Joe Raymond, director of Forsyth County Social Services. “The data we are now getting through NC FAST is helping us prioritize our work and increase productivity.” (SOURCE: “FNS Update: Counties, State Work to Maintain Productivity,” DHHS Press Release, February 5, 2014.)
“The file room at the Johnston County Department of Social Services is no longer crowded. Shelves once full of file boxes are nearly empty, one benefit of a new computerized record-keeping system,” Earl Marett, director of the Johnston County Department of Social Services, one of four counties that tested NC FAST, said the new record-keeping system would provide substantial cost savings to local governments in the long term. (SOURCE: Derek, Quizon, “NC DHHS rolling out electronic record-keeping system,” News & Observer, February 25, 2013.)