When I attended my first Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference (MESC) in 2013, I had the privilege to be part of a panel with the State of Michigan. At that time, I was relatively new to the state Medicaid world as well as netlogx. As I think about the similarities and differences between MESC 2013 and 2019, the most profound takeaway is the building and strengthening of peer to peer relationships. This strengthening of relationships is the most qualitative benefit of attending MESC.
I’ve concluded that netlogx benefits in both a short-term and long-term manner:
The nature of netlogx client work and the demographics of netlogx staff makes getting to know others outside of your assigned project challenging. In both 2013 and 2019, MESC provided me an opportunity to talk and get to know my peers at netlogx on a more personal level.
MESC provides many opportunities to understand and observe how different states are currently working with each other, the problems they are currently facing, and the vendor relationships involved within each state. This insight provides opportunities to make connections and identify resources that can provide lessons-learned and support for future state projects.
Developing strong relationships between vendors and state personnel within the confines of day-to-day work activities can be difficult. Work deadlines, family obligations, and the rules that surround vendor relationships with state entities make relationship-building challenging. At MESC, events are structured to allow for more natural interactions between vendors and state personnel. These interactions occur through both MESC-sponsored social engagements and participation in MESC speaking sessions. This allows state and vendor personnel to have a broader discussion of Medicaid and talk about their own lives, leading to broader trust and understanding outside the work environment.
An observation I had during MESC 2019 is that many of the topics during the speaking sessions covered concepts such as agile development and systems implementation, agile project management, automation, and kanban. These topics were spoken about as if they were leading-edge and new, a future path for implementing Medicaid systems and processes, but kanban and agile are not new concepts.
I first saw kanban in action at Honda Motors in 1997 and I used agile in 2009. Yet many of the speaking sessions focused on how to make the switch to these concepts, supporting the common notion that healthcare lags behind other industries in the adoption of beneficial processes and technologies.
This made me think about how netlogx could better guide clients to become leaders in the adoption of new processes and technologies. I see two logical paths:
- Hire young, intelligent recent graduates with some educational experience in fields that support the needs of netlogx clients. This group is strong in recent advances and trends in technology and processes.
- Offer mini-sabbaticals for senior, seasoned consultants to expose them to recent trends in other industries outside the state Medicaid world.
Many companies do offer sabbaticals to recharge and refresh long-term employees, and many companies do hire recent grads with leading-edge knowledge. But the real questions are:
- Are the latest skillsets valued in the state Medicaid world?
- Is the state Medicaid world open to being early adopters, or are they content to be in the late majority, adopting technologies only after it’s well-proven and heading towards the downward slope of innovation?
netlogx is committed to improving States’ processes and helping them become early technology and system adopters so they provide the best care possible.