Having worked for the government in some capacity, either as an employee or a consultant, for most of my career I always say that I am not political. During my years working in social services, I quickly learned that when people are hungry, need access to affordable housing, or cannot afford to buy lifesaving medicine, which political party controls the government is very insignificant. When I moved into consulting, I worked alongside dedicated State employees who were tasked with implementing the policies and procedures that were passed by the State legislature or Federal government. Often, the laws were shortsighted and did not fully take into consideration how they would impact real people. But the State employees I worked with would spend numerous hours analyzing not only the financial impacts of the new laws, but also how they would impact the lives of some of our most vulnerable citizens.
I try not to follow political news, but it is very difficult to not pay attention to our current legislative environment. Almost on a weekly basis, I am hearing about pending legislation that is aimed at low income people, trying to make it difficult for them to meet their most basic needs. In addition to creating additional obstacles for people to get assistance, the funding allocated to these programs is constantly being reduced. Medicaid is one of the primary programs that Congress has in its crosshairs for reductions in funding.
Medicaid funding may be reduced, however, the demand for services will continue to increase. Identifying technical solutions that improve access to healthcare services and healthcare outcomes will still be a priority for State Medicaid. As Medicaid funding is reduced, it is highly likely that funding for Medicaid information technology projects will also be reduced. It will become more critical for States to develop a strategic plan, identify and prioritize projects, and articulate how the projects will improve their business operations in order to qualify for Enhanced Federal Funding. They will need MITA.