State lines

Comm upgrade. The Washington State Patrol deployed an interoperable communications system for the annual National Governors Association annual conference this summer in Seattle.

The patrol used NetworkFirst mobile radio communications tools from M/A-Com Inc. of Lowell, Mass., a unit of Tyco Electronics Corp. of Harrisburg, Pa. NetworkFirst complies with the Project 25 standard for interoperability of digital land mobile radios used for public safety. The patrol bought the equipment through the Western State Contracting Alliance, a 15-state group that shares volume-discount contracts.

'We were looking for something that will work today and move into the future,' said Clark Palmer, commander of the state patrol's Electronics Services Division.

The NetworkFirst audio switch connects older analog radio systems in multiple bands with newer digital frequencies. It linked existing radio systems run by the King County Sheriff's Office, the Port of Seattle and federal law enforcement agencies, which use frequency bands different from the state patrol's.

EA grant. The National Association of State CIOs last month received a $500,000 grant from the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs to continue the development of an enterprise architecture to im- prove interoperability among state, local and federal government law enforcement agencies.

NASCIO's proposal described eight initiatives it will use the grant for, including developing a business case for a law enforcement EA, marketing an architecture and producing an implementation guide.

The program also will begin working with agencies outside the justice community, such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and Transportation, to expand the architecture and improve integration.

Over the past five years, the organization has created an EA video, three publications and a toolkit that in- cludes a governance framework, process models, and a security domain and application domain blueprints.

Health deal. Louisiana has renewed a five-year, $51 million contract with Affiliated Computer Services Inc. to manage services for several key health care programs.

The Dallas company will support several state health care systems, including the Primary Care Case Management Program, the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment Program and the Waiver Program.

Through these programs, ACS will continue its management services for the state's CommunityCARE, Kidmed, Community Supports and Services, Long Term Personal Care Services, and Personal Assistance Services programs.

ACS offers a toll-free statement referral assistance hotline for Medicaid and child health insurance programs, and a toll-free line for the Personal Care Services Program. Beginning in January, ACS also will provide a Nurse Help Line for all CommunityCARE par- ticipants.

The Kidmed program makes health services available to Medicaid-eligible, low-income residents of the state under age 21, while the CommunityCARE program im- proves access to medical care for Medicaid-eligible residents.

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