Governments are overwhelmed balancing consumer expectations, aging workforce, regulations, rapid technology change and fiscal deficits. This blog gathers a community of SMEs who discuss trends and outline how public sector organizations can leverage relevant best practices to drive their software-led transformation and build the future of technology – today!

November 16, 2016

DMVs gearing up to address AI and digital-driven change

The 2017 AAMVA region II annual conference will happen in June, however, the planning exercise to have another insightful and thought-provoking conference has already started.

AAMVA is a non-profit, tax-exempt industry association of the US Departments of Motor Vehicles and Canadian Ministries of Transportation. AAMVA develops model programs in motor vehicle administration, law enforcement, and highway safety. Every year, AAMVA organizes a number of events for jurisdictions to connect, collaborate and re-calibrate on key imperatives and priorities for their motor vehicle and licensing agencies. AAMVA region II annual conference is one such key event for jurisdictions in the South Central and Atlantic region.

Region II board and administrators met in the first week of November to identify the key things that should be discussed at the 2017 annual conference. We had an opportunity to connect with the board and administrators, learn key priorities for jurisdictions in the coming year, and share our perspective on the key trends shaping the future for the motor vehicle and licensing agencies.

Motor vehicle and licensing agencies are undergoing a significant transformation driven by a number of imperatives including increasing customer demands and service expectations, regulatory requirements, and evolving technologies (autonomous vehicles, big data analytics etc.). While system modernization still remains the top priority for jurisdictions, many agencies discussed some of the emerging trends that they are looking to address over the next few years. Some of these include social media for crisis management, improving collaboration with law enforcement, data driven approach to crime and traffic safety, and mobile driver licenses.

It was good to see agencies becoming more interested in technologies like social, mobile, and analytics. Some of the organizations in the commercial space have been using all these effectively to become more customer-centric, improve collaboration, enhance efficiency, and improve security. Agencies have a great opportunity fast-track their initiatives in this space by adapting best-practices from the commercial sector. Of course, modernized systems form a key foundation to leverage these technologies effectively. And, agile methodology is best suited to fast-track modernization and help agencies address the rapid pace of digital-driven change.

One thing that stood out was the number of jurisdictions looking for autonomous vehicle (AV) solution. There has been a growing number of discussions around AV at the state level, especially in the area of self-driving vehicles which provides significant technological challenge to motor vehicle and licensing agencies. USDOT just published guidelines and NHTSA has devoted $200M in its 2017 budget (almost 20%) to this area.

Jurisdictions are looking at all aspects of AV from vehicle, commercial vehicles, DL and testing crash reporting, and law enforcement. There are different levels of automation with "traveler" standardization. Note: Key is "traveler" and not the "vehicle". So, "situational awareness" is a big concern for a lot of agencies with insurance issues and different types of victims. Technology with integration to these different 3rd parties will become foundational and move beyond as "a way to manage the change driven by AV" to "the only way AV related programs can be administered in the future." States would need to accelerate adoption of the AV driven change with new updates to technology and/or face serious operational and regulatory difficulties.

It will be interesting to see how this all (AV related changes) plays out over the next few months. How do you see the role of agencies changing in the driverless vehicle world? 

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November 2, 2016

Health and human services agencies' growing interest in mobility solutions

This year's APHSA IT Solutions Management (ISM) conference - the premier health and human services technology conference where states (and more and more counties) come to see solutions for a variety of programs like eligibility, child welfare, and child support - was very interesting.

Health and human services space is undergoing a significant transformation driven by a number of imperatives including increasing customer demands and service expectations, regulatory requirements (like modularity), and evolving technologies (automation, big data analytics etc.). Many state agencies discussed how they are leveraging modular, component based approaches to modernize their systems, adopting agile methodologies, and using social, mobile, analytics and cloud solutions to improve outcomes.

One trend that took me by surprise, though, was the number of county governments looking for mobility solutions.

There has been a growing focus on mobility at the state level, especially in the area of child welfare, where case workers are generally on the go. I think the market has been assuming that the mobility capabilities would be developed at the state level, funded through federal sources such as ACF or CMS, and trickle down to the county level. This is logical: counties generally have the least investment dollars.

It seems, however, that the counties don't want to (or cannot afford to) wait for the trickle down to happen. This trend is occurring because the counties have an urgent need: their budgets are shrinking (as always) and lack of mobile technology is making what was once difficult, such as documenting site visits, into impossible.

Counties are willing to find the money to bring in the technology that can help them meet the needs in the future. To put it another way, they can't wait for the trickle down because they are approaching a standstill trying to work the same old way.

The take away here is that technology is becoming foundational and moving beyond as "a way to increase efficiency" to "the only way programs can be administered in the future." States need to accelerate adoption of new technology and "trickle down" faster or face a grass roots organic growth that would be very difficult to accommodate and integrate in the future.

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May 24, 2016

Agile procurement and implications for Gov. IT vendors: Insights from NASCIO 2016 Midyear Conference

 

NASCIO 2016 Midyear Conference happened earlier this month. It was the first time I attended the event. As a government health practitioner, I usually interact with Health and Human Services (HHS) executives, from policy and operations through technology. It was interesting to meet with technology executives responsible for the whole state, HHS included.

I learned several things: HHS IT is always on the minds of the state CIOs, but it isn't everything, and in some states it isn't a focus. Some states integrate their HHS plans into statewide plans, some have relatively autonomous HHS units. There isn't much reuse of the base infrastructure and capabilities put in place for HHS. While Meta-Tools are being implemented in HHS (MDM, MPI, MDI, etc.), they aren't being leveraged state-enterprise wide. I also learned that state CIOs are keenly aware of the legal and policy impacts to technology. My favorite comment was that the technology was not there to enable the citizen to get every benefit possible, but to get the right set of benefits they need to solve their problem. Whether that problem be cash, food, and medical benefits from Human Services programs for those in need, or just Joe Citizen trying to plan a camping trip at a state park where he wanted to fish also.

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April 18, 2016

Rethinking health and human services delivery: Insights from 2016 State Healthcare IT Connect Summit

The State Healthcare IT Connect Summit is an annual event that brings together thought leaders from the public and private sector to share ideas and benchmark implementation strategies of state health IT systems. Infosys Public Services was a Silver sponsor at this year's conference which saw more than 500 attendees from 20+ states, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and a wide spectrum of industry vendors.

There were insightful discussions on various imperatives for health and human services organizations (HHS) like the integration of health and human services programs, citizen-centric service delivery, modular procurement and delivery, and analytics. Of the various imperatives discussed, I believe the following three will have an immediate and significant impact on the existing strategies and service delivery models of HHS organizations:


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February 26, 2014

Leveraging technology to reduce homelessness

More than 3.5 million experience homelessness in the US each year. What is more alarming is that one in five of them are veterans![1]. Military veterans account for the largest faction of the homeless population. They suffer from this due to a variety of reasons like physical and mental ailments, in-sufficient funds, lack of affordable resources like housing etc. It becomes difficult to identify the root causes and create an effective strategy to reduce homelessness.

The following three-pronged approach can help address this issue and tackle homelessness:
• Increase resource availability for the homeless or those in need
• Optimize outreach to reach out to a larger group with relevant information
• Insights driven decisions through data analysis to improve service delivery and identify root cause of homelessness

Technology can be effectively leveraged to execute this three-pronged strategy.

While it is necessary to have physical shelters, free meal kitchens/soup kitchens and other services for the homeless, it is important to make more people aware these services. Real time information disseminated via technology platforms like mobile devices or information kiosks, with location based services, can improve awareness of the closest available services for a larger group of people. This information can be provided not only to the homeless but also to volunteers assisting them. Disseminating information in such a way can significantly improve utilization of services.

By tracking and analyzing the interactions between the volunteers/care-givers and the homeless, we can accurately predict the types of services the needy leverage based on locations and can effectively tailor the spending for support systems. Sentiment analytics can help identify the needs of the veteran homeless and unearth precise reasons for the situation. Governments can use this information to base-line their strategies/initiatives and continuously improve their strategies to prevent, and completely eliminate homelessness.

I think this solution can help governments create a much improved environment for its residents. What do you think? 

[1] http://www.studentsagainsthunger.org/page/hhp/overview-homelessness-america

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September 12, 2012

Gear up for HIX opportunities post Supreme Court ruling!

As per the provisions of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), States are expected to have Health Insurances Exchanges (HIX) up and running by Jan 2014. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded hundreds of millions of dollars to states to help them set up their exchanges, and will be doing so through 2014.

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August 31, 2012

Unique Opportunities in Changing Government Technology landscape

The U.S. Federal and State governments have been making fundamental changes in the way they purchase and manage technology. While transition to cheaper mobile devices will contribute to lower spending on equipments, shared services, consolidation and cloud computing will reduce total cost of operations, including spending on maintenance services. Deltek estimates that nearly every agency will experience a decline in spend and total federal IT spending could fall from $121 billion in 2012 to $113 billion by 2017.

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August 3, 2012

It's time for a new way of thinking about public services

 Government agencies are being impacted by the effects of globalization, economic issues, and growing and aging populations. These factors have created client requirements for  IT systems modernization, value-based service delivery models and improved operational efficiencies to deliver more value with tax payer money.
 

To address these demands and challenges, Government agencies are looking beyond their entrenched IT service providers and seeking new vendors who can assist them to 'innovate with less'. Vendors who can drive this transformation will be the ones that best leverage their core competencies, deliver predictable and measureable client results and effectively utilize disruptive technologies such as cloud, mobility and business analytics.
 

Read the complete blog that discusses this changing landscape and new IT approaches to serving Public Sector clients @ infytalk

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July 26, 2012

Enroll UX 2014 - Enrollment made easy - Part 2

Enroll UX 2014 is an attempt by a public private partnership within the health insurance spectrum, to standardize and enable electronic enrollments.   The project had Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), 11 states, eight health care foundations and a leading global design and innovation firm, IDEO collaborating to undertake extensive research and design an optimized and effective enrollment portal for Health Insurance Exchanges.

 

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Enroll UX 2014 - Enrollment made easy - Part 1

Dr. Mark Smith, President and CEO of California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) mentioned last month- "We live in a digital society. Access to health coverage should be as straightforward as the other transactions people have become accustomed to, whether it's online banking or making travel arrangement"

 

Unfortunately, US healthcare is not there yet. Case in point - enrollment for health insurance - it was and partially remains, a paper based activity in many states. With additional 40 million+ applicants expected to enroll soon owing to the affordable care act, it needs to be transformed quickly.

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