Sunday, July 15, 2012

Georgia's DCH News

Georgia’s Department of Community Health (DCH) received a three year $57 million Balancing Incentives Program (BIP) grant to increase access to home and community-based long term care services. Georgia is one of four states to receive the grant in 2012, joined by Mississippi, Missouri, and Iowa for implementation on July 1, 2012. 

The funding will:

  • Expand the number of slots in the state’s five 1915(c) Medicaid Waiver Programs
  • Fund three new community-based services for Medicaid recipients with serious and persistent behavioral health needs
  • Adopt the state’s twelve Aging and Disability Resource Centers as the primary point-of-entry for home and community services
  • Provide web-based training on community-based long term care services available to targeted referral sources

Also, Georgia is moving closer to a single Medicaid Eligibility System when DCH released their RFP on June 6th for an “Integrated Eligibility System” (IES) seeks a vendor to work with DCH in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Human Services, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Georgia Technology Authority.

Initially, the new system will serve the estimated 650,000 people who are expected to become eligible for Medicaid as a result of the ACA. Later on, people seeking determination for TANF, SNAP, and other state-administered assistance programs such as WIC and LIHEAP will be able to use the same point of entry.

Eventually the system will provide for improved customer service, more real-time connections, and possible same-day eligibility determination using enhanced electronic verification and validation processes.

The RFP is seeking a vendor to design, develop, and implement an integrated system that will utilize an efficient single point of entry to allow for the seamless eligibility processing for Georgians requesting assistance.

The state is looking to procure either a transfer system from another state or local government that will be customized and/or configured to meet the requirements of the RFP.  In addition, Commercial off-the-Shelf (COTS) products can be incorporated into a system and then be configured, modified, or enhanced to support the requirements of the RFP or a hybrid system can be used combining more than one system or approach.

So far, five –re-qualified vendors received the June 6th RFP and proposals are due July 20, 2012 with a projected notification of intent to award to be made August 24, 2012. Go to for more information. For further details, email Bernard J. Joy at    

Also, DCH is working on an updated timeline for the Medicaid and CHIP Redesign Initiative. A stakeholder task force met in January consisting of physicians, hospitals, healthcare providers, advocates, caregivers, and others. In addition, an informal work group is focusing on Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

DCH is projecting that they will begin the vendor procurement process to fulfill the redesign decision requirements with an RFP to be released sometime this fall. Officials plan to award the vendor contracts in early 2013 with a projected implementation roll-out starting in the first half of 2014. A decision about the new delivery model for the redesign will be announced this summer.