State lines

Medicaid tracking. West Virginia last month awarded a $61 million contract to Unisys Corp. to handle Medicaid transactions.

The company will implement and manage a claims processing system called the Unisys Healthcare Payer Administrative Solutions (Health PAS). Unisys also will help West Virginia comply with the electronic data interchange transaction requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), the company said.

Unisys will handle the workflow of paper and electronic claims, including scanning paper claims into electronic formats; offer training and help desk services; and maintain the systems.

The company will process health care claims submitted by about 11,000 health care providers. The system will be hosted on a Unisys ES7000 enterprise server located in Salt Lake City. The system uses Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and BizTalk.

The Unisys system will help the state reduce health care costs, said Nancy Atkins, commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau for Medical Services.

Because Health PAS is a relational database system, it will be easier to make changes to the data, Miller said. 'Now instead of paying for programming costs, we can just pull up a screen and change an indicator in a field,' she said.

Tools of the security trade. There's no spring break for Florida's network security this year.
The Sunshine State in February installed two Symantec Corp. products on its agency servers, said Mike Russo, Florida's chief information security officer.

NetRecon, Symantec's hacker-in-a-box enterprise software, resides on the state's agency servers and scans its networks for vulnerabilities, Russo said.

State agencies also are using the Cupertino, Calif., company's Enterprise Security Manager to enforce security policies, including the latest security updates mandated by HIPAA.

If, for example, the network policy is that all passwords must be six characters and all capital letters, then ESM could be programmed to check that, Russo said.

National post. Delaware CIO Thomas Jarrett was elected vice president of the National Association of State CIOs, the association announced last month.

Jarrett replaces Harry Lanphear, who recently vacated the post upon his departure as Maine's CIO. Jarrett plans to serve as NASCIO vice president for the remainder of the association's 2002-2003 program year.

Delaware Gov. Ruth Ann Minner tapped Jarrett to become the state's first CIO in Sept. 2001. The appointment was part of sweeping reforms in how Delaware manages IT services. As the state's first CIO, Jarrett has broad authority to ensure that technology is deployed on time and on budget in a way that meets the needs of state agencies.

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