In recent times, Wisconsin has experienced major IT meltdowns, prompting the State Auditor to release a report recommending various IT reforms. Wisconsin's state legislature also appointed a special task force to review failing IT projects, suggesting the state genuinely takes IT failures seriously. I find these steps to be impressive and positive.
Given Wisconsin's many IT problems, it therefore came as no surprise to learn about failure on a Medicaid-related project EDS is implementing for the state.
But now comes an interesting twist on this last project: Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council, suggests we overlook the multi-million dollar Medicaid screw-up, arguing that it's just water under the bridge.
Work on the state Medicaid Management Information System is running behind schedule, and costs are higher than expected, due to reasons that range from changes in state and federal rules governing Medicaid to “mission creep.” There's probably enough blame to go around for the state and EDS, but pointing fingers won't help much with the project nearly done. It's far better to focus on getting the computers up and running - and to begin capturing the benefits of a 21st century healthcare information system.
I view these remarks as irresponsible, misguided, and fundamentally unhelpful, except, perhaps, to vested interests seeking to deflect attention. While discussing future benefits is useful, ignoring waste and mismanagement is simply wrong.
The state has acknowledged it's IT problems and is working to fix them. Tom, pretending there's no problem is just not credible.