As the saying goes – almost everything I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten. Sharing being one of the most important lessons we acquire at that age (at least most of us do). After many years of talking about it, the time to apply one of life’s basic lessons to Medicaid has arrived. The concept of sharing processes and systems within and among States offers significant value. Facilitated by modules, reuse leads to efficiency, collaboration and innovation, preparing States to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.
In a recent letter to State Medicaid leaders, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) elaborated on the requirements and methods for reuse. It stated that if States want to receive enhanced funding, they must “promote sharing, leverage, and reuse for Medicaid technologies and systems.” It instructs States to pay attention to what other States already have before purchasing new solutions.
Medicaid modules have the potential to be a change agent to new innovative, cost-effective and adaptable solutions. They are likely smaller and more easily consumable, making them ideal for reuse. Procuring smaller modules in increments also effectively mitigates risk.
The concept of reuse goes beyond just technology, maximizing benefits in greater ways:
- Resolve: Solving internal issues in silos can prove challenging. Instead, States should look for the information, design, development strategy and the repository of knowledge from States that have been through a similar experience. CMS has established the MES reuse repository specifically for this purpose. States can then base their decisions on actual experiences, existing components, and best practices. It’s a faster, better way to get what you need when you need it.
- Reduce: Facilitated by modularization, reuse reduces the need for customization. States can leverage configurations that solve business problems commonly occurring across States. Moreover, sharing solutions across modules instead of replicating them or developing entirely new ones can help minimize the required resources, including implementation and operation costs for technology and system maintenance, licensing and hardware.
- Maximize: Reuse helps reduce redundancy in technology and resources. When considering what best fits your needs, States have multiple options for practicing reuse, including commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software products, open-source modules, and software as a service (SaaS)—all of which can be made available to other States. Relying on well-defined, well-executed processes is a sure-fire way to put you on a path toward success.
Modules built on a single code base using open architecture solutions that rely on APIs and web services for communication lend themselves effectively to reuse. They deliver a flexible, sustainable and readily available system that adapts to existing and new technology in a way that continuously fits your needs.
If you’d like to learn more about using modularity for reuse, check out my presentation at the 2018 MESC Conference or to find out how modules can work for you visit us at https://www.accenture.com/outcomes.