CMS' Andy Slavitt pushes Silicon Valley to invest in Medicaid IT

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In an effort to boost innovation and quality in Medicaid's IT space, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt is encouraging entrepreneurs and companies in Silicon Valley to get involved.

"While there are 56 different state, district and territorial Medicaid programs, there is a lot of commonality in their IT needs. There is always new IT procurement and opportunities for new, innovative vendors in this space," Mr. Slavitt wrote in a CMS blog post. "Investment gravitates to needs and problems it can solve. There is no greater opportunity than bringing technical know-how, innovation and creativity to improve the health of Americans with health, social and economic challenges."

Mr. Slavitt said CMS is financially and operationally committed to work with both states and the private sector to boost the Medicaid program's IT infrastructure, adding the federal government financially matches up to 90 percent on qualifying IT investments. He said CMS is trying to break down any barriers that remain between the public and private sectors.

For example, CMS launched a website outlining state's Medicaid IT procurement opportunities, a "one-stop-shop" for the tech community to connect with states. Additionally, CMS is offering pre-certification to IT vendors for Medicaid IT solutions.

The agency is also seeking a full-time entrepreneur-in-residence who will focus on innovations in Medicaid.

"It is an exciting time to be in the Medicaid space. With Medicaid expansion, Medicaid has become America's health plan," Mr. Slavitt wrote. "This work has the potential to leave a legacy in the lives it touches for many years to come. Engaging the tech community and federal and state policy makers in this substantial modernization effort is just the beginning."

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