California Lawmakers Rip Court Case Management System

Lawmakers took aim Tuesday, Feb. 15, at the system designed to unify case management for the California superior courts.

State auditor Elaine Howle told lawmakers at a hearing in Sacramento that the system’s $1.9 billion price tag could increase to $3 billion by the time it’s rolled out. The IT system, currently being piloted in selected counties, has been criticized  since it was conceived in 2003.

An independent audit made public last week faulted the system’s cost controls, management and oversight.

In 2004, the court case management system was estimated to cost $260 million. A full rollout is projected by 2015 — seven years behind schedule. “Poor cost estimates and uncertain funding have plagued the system,” Howle said.

State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-San Joaquin, called the report “one of the most sobering audits I have seen in 10 years in the Legislature.”

Source: Courthouse News Service

Oklahoma Health Care Authority Extends HP Contract

Oklahoma has extended its agreement with Hewlett-Packard as the state’s IT services provider in the health-care space, the company announced Wednesday, Feb. 16.

HP has worked with Oklahoma since 2002.

The $281 million, seven-year contract announced this week adds new IT services to help prepare the state for health-care reform and improve accessibility for SoonerCare (Oklahoma Medicaid) members.

HP will continue providing systems support and business process outsourcing services for its Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS). The agreement adds applications development services to enhance the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s  systems. Improvements include a Web-based member portal allowing Oklahomans to apply for and track benefits online as well as an upgrade to the OHCA’s provider portal. HP also will assist the state in its efforts to add new International Classification of Diseases — 10th Revision medical coding features and adhere to the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 5010 requirements.

“Oklahoma, like most states, is preparing for health-care reform by streamlining costs and getting ready for a significant influx of new members,” said Mike Fogarty, chief executive officer of the OHCA. “HP has been a trusted partner for a decade and has the expertise to keep us on the forefront of technology so we can provide the best, most cost-effective service to our SoonerCare providers and members.”

The OHCA manages SoonerCare benefits for more than 750,000 Oklahoma residents through 29,000 providers while processing about 40 million claims per year. The state expects as many as 240,000 additional SoonerCare members after health-care reform takes effect.

Source: Hewlett-Packard

Telework Week Draws Thousands of Pledges

Thousands of federal, state and local government employees have pledged to work from home this week, as part of a weeklong event promoting telework.

Telework Week, co-sponsored by nonprofit Telework Exchange and Cisco Systems, has garnered more than 39,000 pledges from individuals and organizations that plan to telework this week. By avoiding a commute, together they will save an estimated $2.7 million, nearly 3.6 million pounds of pollution.

Telework Week continues through Friday, Feb. 18.

Source: Telework Exchange