SLG Business Brief: Litigation, law enforcement and lighter electricity bills

Litigious is the word this week. And human services technology is both the plaintiff and the defendant, the winner and the loser. Dell thinks its new mobile forensics solution is pretty sweet; IBM has struck yet another deal with parts of the New York City government apparatus; and there are some positive (fingers-crossed) health IT stories to announce too. All this and a little bit more in this week’s SLG Business Brief.

According to a pair of Associated Press articles, both Indiana and Minnesota will be writing checks their strained treasuries can’t cash. First up, Minnesota’s Department of Human Services agreed to pay their dismissed IT vendor some $7.25 million. According to the AP, ACS was hired to modernize the application process for public health programs, allowing human services workers to navigate complex eligibility rules and match applicants with appropriate coverage through a program called HealthMatch. The undertaking began nine years ago, and instead of having a state-of-the 2003 Windows, Minnesota “still uses aging systems developed decades ago and paper applications [are] processed by state, county and tribal workers.” Oh and this brings total costs of the nine-year software program to more than $41 million.

Next on the docket is IBM v. Indiana. According to the tireless Indiana AP bureau, on Tuesday a judge “ordered Indiana to turn over documents sought by IBM in lawsuits stemming from the state’s cancellation of a $1.37 billion contract the computer company received to modernize Indiana’s welfare system.” This story has been fermenting for some time now and local news outlets are beginning to wonder why Gov. Mitch Daniels has not yet bested the court battles. IBM still wants $100 million for work they claim they were not compensated for. (One fun side-note – the vendor hired to replace IBM when it lost the $1B+ contract? ACS. Yes, that ACS).

But not all the week’s health tech stories are negative, we hope. CGI announced that it was selected to provide it’s Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Payment Program solution for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). The system will allow Ohio to keep track of stimulus dollars owed from the federal government for hospitals in its state eligible to receive EHR incentive reimbursement payments. Ohio joins Texas as part of our multi-state collaborative, CGI officials said.

Finally on the health IT front, HP has signed a $176 million, five-year IT services contract with the Nevada Division of Health Care Financing and Policy to process approximately 12 million Medicaid claims for approximately 300,000 Nevada residents per year, aid the state in detecting potential Medicaid fraud or abuse, and add new decision-support systems and services. Additionally, HP spokesman Bill Ritz told InformationWeek that HP will implement Thomson Reuters’ J-SURS data analytic tool, a nationally recognized, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)-certified surveillance and utilization review subsystem that doubles as a fraud and abuse detection application.

Also this week, IBM – yes that IBM – is joining the City University of New York (CUNY) in developing new analytics technology that will help K-12 public schools in New York City reduce their energy consumption. The project has been underway for the past 10 months, the company said in a release, and involves collecting data about weather, energy and building characteristics and performing extensive data analysis, modeling and optimization about the portfolio of schools. NYC Dept. of Education officials want to (somehow) incorporate the program into their curriculum for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Last and almost least, Dell has released a new mobile forensics program – known as SPEKTOR (that’s what some Detective on the Plant City, Florida Police Department called it) – that claims to “streamline the process of collecting evidence from digital devices at crime scenes, allowing for prompt analysis of actionable, time sensitive information.” Dell goes on to say that SPEKTOR “moves the management and analysis of critical digital information into the data center for reliable and cost effective performance.”

Have a contract win or deal you’d like to see in the SLG Business Brief? Interested in sponsoring this brief? Please let us know by emailing CivSource {at} CivSourceonline {dot} com. The CivSource SLG Business Brief is a weekly roundup of state and local contract wins and product releases within the wide world of government technology.