Microsoft and APHSA Survey Reveals Status of Health and Human Services IT Modernization Efforts and a Promising Future for

  Microsoft and APHSA Survey Reveals Status of Health and Human Services IT
       Modernization Efforts and a Promising Future for Transformation

States in need of best practices and flexible IT solutions that improve
access, quality and efficiency in the financing and delivery of health and
human services programs.

PR Newswire

REDMOND, Wash., and WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2012

REDMOND, Wash., and WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The American
Public Human Services Association (APHSA), in coordination with Microsoft
Corp., today released the results of a new survey of health and human services
departments and agencies nationwide. The report, "A Promising Future for HHS
Transformation — The Real Impact of IT System Modernization," includes survey
findings that identify the expectations, strategies and practices that health
and human services (HHS) agencies use for the planning, acquisition and
implementation of their information technology (IT) systems.


APHSA and Microsoft surveyed 67 agency program leaders from 35 states at
various stages of modernizing their HHS IT systems, from those who have
implemented solutions for eligibility determination and benefit issuance, case
management, and online self-service to those who had not yet modernized. The
survey focuses on capturing the agencies' experience with organizational
transformation planning efforts, the agencies' system life-cycle challenges,
and the impact and benefits the agencies experienced from IT modernization.
The results revealed that with dynamic executive leadership, due diligence and
solid program management practices, departments are seeing incremental
benefits expected of IT modernization, but a number of challenges remain. With
those challenges, a bright path exists to achieve the desired business
benefits for transformation through the promise of today's technology.

The key takeaways from the survey are as follows:


  oForty-three percent of agencies have implemented a new HHS IT system
    within the past 10 years.
  oFifty-seven percent have not modernized, yet most (55 percent) plan to do
    so over the next three to five years.
  oNineteen percent of respondents had no plans to modernize, mainly due to
    lack of funding.
  oOf the states planning to modernize, approximately 22 percent are very
    likely to consider the cloud for future system deployment.


  oForty percent of agencies surveyed experienced an implementation timeframe
    of more than three years when implementing a new system. Long timeframes
    generally correlate to agencies with a larger number of business rules and
    practices to re-engineer complex IT environments with multiple legacy
    systems, requiring extensive training and support. States with larger
    constituent populations also report longer implementation timeframes, but
    the programs themselves (e.g., Temporary Assistance for Needy Families,
    Child Welfare, etc.) did not have a direct correlation.

Benefits and Expectations

  oState agencies planning to modernize (55 percent) expect a new system to
    meet about 63 percent of their needs in the areas of customer-centricity,
    improved self-service and improved decision-making.

A full report and APHSA webinar on the survey findings can be found at

Of the states that modernized, 100 percent cited the need to extend system
functionality with nondevelopers, and 80 percent felt the amount of required
customization and interoperability across programs and systems was not in line
with expectations. These deficiencies were perceived as factors that lead to
project delays and contract and scope modifications.

"State human service agencies average spending $40 million over a three-year
implementation timeframe, but the time has never been more opportune to
benefit from IT advances to achieve the mission of HHS agencies," said Tracy
Wareing, APHSA executive director. "As an organization, we are committed to
sharing best practices with one another to ensure that human service agencies
are achieving the outcomes we seek."

Modernization Best Practices

The agencies surveyed also outlined the reasons for their successes, as well
as key learnings on the planning and implementation of HHS IT systems:

  oLeadership and effective cross-boundary communication is a bedrock
    requirement to effectively leverage technology. Today's technology can
    help facilitate effective communication throughout and across
    organizations. However, it can only do so when organizations define clear
    goals for communication and work together to support implementation of the
    technical tools.
  oTechnology must be nimble and responsive to change. HHS environments are
    dynamic and changing rapidly. IT solutions must be able to adapt
    effectively to this constant change.
  oGaining cost efficiencies requires the use of benchmarks and measurement.
    IT deployments are long-term projects, typically taking years to complete.
    To ensure that projects stay on track and focused on the original, key
    deliverables, it is critical to define benchmarks and track against them.

"Many states are taking a forward-thinking and visionary approach to
transforming their programs and modernizing IT systems," said Laura Caliguiri,
managing director, U.S. Public Sector Health and Human Services, Microsoft.
"Human services agencies are leveraging technology advancements and best
practices, enabling an incremental strategy to ensure immediate benefits from
the new systems and are able to accommodate policy and program changes."

States Achieving Intended Benefits of IT Modernization Efforts

IT can play a pivotal role in government redesign, delivering on strategies to
connect systems and streamline data to eliminate redundancies, reduce costs
and increase efficiencies of HHS, and several states are already seeing
improved outcomes due to these advancements.

Florida's Office of Early Learning and the Tennessee Department of
Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) are using Microsoft
Dynamics CRM, a customer relationship management solution that can improve
access, quality and efficiency in the financing and delivery of HHS programs.
By building a foundation that can be configured to work the way an agency
needs it to, whether it is on-premises or in the cloud, to help streamline
processes, reduce costs, and improve staff productivity and citizen service,
agencies and case workers have access to enhanced visibility, streamlined
processes, and improved coordination and outcomes.

Florida's Office of Early Learning is working with HP to deliver the Early
Learning Information System (ELIS), built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, for the
enhancement of the state's early learning programs. ELIS is a consolidated
information system that manages the early learning programs used by 300,000
Florida families whose children attend the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education
and School Readiness programs. The benefits of ELIS will include streamlined
administrative processes, reduced potential for fraud and overpayments,
data-sharing capabilities across multiple stakeholders, and easy access to
child care resource and referral information.

The Tennessee DIDD selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Mid-America Consulting
Group to help the organization operate more effectively with greater
transparency, greater accountability and reduced costs — ultimately delivering
greater value for the taxpayer. Most important, the Tennessee DIDD hopes to
provide greater protection and significantly improve the lives of the people
and families who depend on its services.

More information on states achieving the intended benefits of IT modernization
can be found here.


APHSA is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization representing appointed state and
local health and human service agency commissioners. APHSA is the only
association of the nation's top government human service executives, including
states, the District of Columbia, and the territories, their key state program
managers, and hundreds of county-level human service directors nationwide.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in
software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their
full potential.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

Contact: Tonya Klause, Microsoft, +1-703-673-7852 (office), +1-703-402-7020
(mobile),; or Jerome Uher, American Public Human
Services Association, +1-202-682-0100, ext. 285,
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.