- Associated Press - Saturday, October 10, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A multimillion-dollar information technology system is live for Medicaid in North Dakota after a series of delays and rising costs.

The state’s new Medicaid Management Information System is running after transitioning from a system that’s more than 35 years old, the Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/1GBTanv) reported. The department met the latest operational date of Oct. 5 that it outlined earlier this year in a letter to Medicaid providers, though it faced lengthy previous delays.

The project’s budget has risen from $62.5 million to more than $97.9 million. As of May 31, an estimated $66.4 million had been spent on the project, including $58.3 million in federal dollars. The total budget accounts for about $85.5 million in federal funds.

“It’s a very big and very complex project,” said Maggie Anderson, executive director of the state Department of Human Services. “Even though the project has been going on under contract for nine years, there was an incredible amount of work.”

“We celebrated for a few minutes then we got back to work” when the system went live this week, Anderson said.



Delays were caused by the system’s complexity, which prompted Xerox to take a long time in designing and development, and changes in the project’s scope due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to Jenny Witham, Information Technology Services director for the state Department of Human Services.

Now the agency is making sure data from the old system has been transferred correctly and working with Medicaid providers to answer their questions.

It’s good to hear the project met its go-live date, said Rep. Mark Owens, R-Grand Forks, chairman of the Interim Information Technology Committee. But Owens said he’s reserving judgment about the system’s functionality for the long term.

He said a clearer picture of the launch will likely be provided at a committee meeting tentatively scheduled for December.

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This version corrects the dateline to Bismarck, North Dakota.

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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