Legislators updated on software projects

2012-04-04T17:27:00Z 2012-04-05T00:42:16Z Legislators updated on software projectsBy NICK SMITH | Bismarck Tribune Bismarck Tribune

 Officials with state Workforce Safety and Insurance and the Department of Human Services provided updates on two overdue software projects Wednesday to legislators.

Bryan Klipfel, director of WSI, said discussions continue with the contracted vendor, AON eSolutions of Chicago, on the new set of deadlines for the agency’s computer project. AON (formerly Valley Oak Systems) has been under contract with WSI since 2007 to overhaul its computer system. Upgrades originally were set to be completed by Dec. 31, 2009, but delays pushed the project back and led to cost increases.

Klipfel told members of the interim Information Technology Committee there are two phases for the project, the injury claims portion and employer insurance portion. The Jan. 31 deadline to have the injury claims portion of the project completed has passed, he said.

“Consistent with the contract provisions AON is forfeiting payments that would have been paid to them in the amount of $115,000 for February and $115,000 for March,” Klipfel said. “In April 1, the forfeited payment will be $25,000.”

AON will forfeit $25,000 per month until the portion of the project is complete, hopefully sometime this fall, Klipfel said.

The latest release of program data was delivered for testing March 8, he said.

“The reports we have so far is that it is testing at 64 percent, which is better than previous releases,” Klipfel said

An Information Technology Department official told the Tribune last month that recent data releases from AON had been testing at a 30 percent and 40 percent success rate.

Klipfel said the goal is to remain within the current $17.8 million project budget, which was $14 million when the project began.

Sen. Larry Robinson, D-Valley City, asked Klipfel whether AON has been negotiating in good faith with WSI’s executive steering committee.

“The story doesn’t change much,” Robinson said.

Klipfel said he believes the formation of an executive steering committee and the financial penalties made a difference.

Robinson suggested having AON officials attend the committee’s next meeting so they could be questioned about the delays.

“At some point, their good-faith negotiations need to be more than words,” Robinson said.

Chairman Robin Weisz, R-Hurdsfield, told Klipfel to expect a request for AON officials to appear at the next committee hearing.

The state Department of Human Services has been working with Affiliated Computer Services Inc. on its Medicaid software project for several years. The project also has seen a number of delays and changes in cost, with the budget increasing from $62.5 million to more than $71 million. Of the total budget, $62.5 million is from federal funds.

Jenny Witham, director of information technology services for the department, said the deadline to be in compliance with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ new software code standards is Oct. 1, 2013.

“The department is still negotiating with Affiliated Computer Services” on the federal standard, Witham said.

Witham said $6.7 million was approved during the 2011 legislative session to fund the post-production support and licensing services from Affiliated Computer Services from June 1 this year through June 30, 2013, following the project’s completion. She also said the department has been closely watching a similar software program in New Hampshire.

“New Hampshire is really a beta test,” Witham said. “It does give us apredictor for what we can expect.”

Reach Nick Smith at 250-8255 or 223-8482 or at nick.smith@bismarcktribune.com.

Copyright 2015 Bismarck Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(1) Comments

  1. JEngdahlJ
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    JEngdahlJ - April 05, 2012 5:15 pm
    Most providers are not yet engaged in the ICD-10 transition, which begs the question: How best to engage physicians? http://www.healthcaretownhall.com/?p=4792
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