Health and human services challenges
State and local government health and human services (HHS) organizations face new challenges, including:
- Rising expectations. Citizens expect the experience of applying for services to be as simple as private sector services like hailing a ride. They want digital self-service—with one place to go to check entitlements and status for all services.
- Resource constraints. While HHS expectations are growing, budgets are not. In addition, long-time IT employees are retiring, and their potential replacements are looking for employers with modern IT tools and processes., such as DevOps and IT automation.
- Faster project timelines. To be responsive to new agency and client needs, development timelines need to shrink from years or months to weeks or days using modern methods like continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD).
IT trends in HHS
Leading HHS agencies are using modern IT tools and processes to improve workforce productivity, reduce costs, and achieve better outcomes for citizens. Two examples are:
- Medicaid IT Architecture (MITA). The federal government reimburses states for 85% of the cost of MITA 3.0. The advantage is modularity. Rather than engaging a single vendor to build a monolithic platform over months or years, HHS agencies can engage multiple vendors to build the individual modules in parallel—accelerating launch and enabling fast, iterative updates as new needs emerge.
- Shared healthcare services. Individual HHS departments—including child welfare, juvenile services, and food stamps—typically keep their applications and data on their own servers. So, a caseworker working with juveniles, for instance, cannot access information from other departments: where the child lives, whether the family receives food stamps, household income, and other relatives with whom the child could live. With a shared services architecture, all departments’ data comes together so that caseworkers and others can securely access all information appropriate for their role from one portal. Productivity increases, citizen outcomes improve, and IT costs drop.
Solution: Red Hat Integration
HHS agencies can build the hub for MITA 3.0 or shared services faster and at lower cost with Red Hat® Integration, a comprehensive set of technologies to connect different departments’ applications and data—no matter where they are hosted. Red Hat Integration helps HHS agencies avoid vendor lock-in because it is built on open source software. You can deploy it on-premise or in a public cloud—on bare metal, on virtual machines, or in containers—and switch to another cloud whenever it makes sense.
Red Hat in action: State Government Department of Human Services
Challenge: A state government Department of Human Services helps vulnerable constituents buy healthy foods, pay energy bills, obtain medical assistance, and more. The agency wanted to give caseworkers and others a consolidated view of all services a given citizen receives.
Solution: The DHS used Red Hat Integration to build a state human-services network, which provides a single view of each citizen’s history with the DHS—spanning all departments. The state completed the first of 3 launch phases in just 3 months. Today, the platform is used to support 15,000 citizens.
Benefits: Improved caseworker productivity contributes to better citizen outcomes. Caseworkers can enroll new clients for services in days instead of months. Vulnerable citizens appreciate being able to apply for health services online instead of having to pay for transportation. Licensing and support costs are expected to drop by 20-30%, and management costs decreased because multiple agencies share the platform.