FedHealthIT’s Executive Vice President, Susan Sharer, recently had the chance to connect with Mike Wilmoth, COO at ApprioHealth, a division of Apprio Inc., and Mark Patzschke, VP of Corporate Growth at Apprio Inc., to discuss SAFe , bi-directional partnerships, recommendations for Government, and how they are preparing for 2020.

People, Process, Technology

It is important to be in constant communication with industry and Government to know which direction Federal Health IT is moving toward. Over the past several years, CMS has exhibited that it is forward focused on new technology and readily embracing it. The addition of Rajiv Uppal as CIO and the experience he brings from United States Digital Service (USDS) creates an opportunity for CMS to apply USDS’ best practices, knowledge and experience that will benefit the agency and all its clients.

A lot of programs are moving to the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) which allows for faster time to market, greater transparency, quality and all stakeholders collaboration. In addition, DevOps and Microservices have been a big push. CMS’ BIA program is operating through SAFe, stated Mark Patzschke, VP of Corporate Growth, Apprio Inc.

Along with Apprio’s SAFe support and adoption, we created a large Agile collaboration space right outside CMS’ gates. It aligns us with CMS’ mission and allows teams to be co-located and embraces staff working closely together.

What Trends Do You See?

CMS and other Federal agencies possess legacy systems that are out-of-date and reside on their on-premise data centers, but now we see a big push to modernize these systems utilizing open source software, Cloud Migrations and Agile, DevOps. It is very important for the Federal contractors/vendors to be bi-directional partners in listening, suggesting and adapting the agencies’ direction and focus, Patzschke said.

In addition, all agencies are conscious of the dollars they are spending and ensuring they get the most value for the money. That could create challenges in regards to modernization efforts, but initiatives that include Agile, DevOps and Microservices have the ability to produce savings.

Within both the Government and commercial sectors, there is a trend toward consumerism as well as a focus on how to continue to improve patient interaction and outcomes.

With all this technology and tools at our disposal, we don’t want to lose the long-term focus on reducing the costs of Healthcare. We believe that AI can come into play as a means of looking to the root problem and solving issues, and helping providers do better, rather than relying on reactive activities such as pulling back claims, stated Michael Wilmoth, COO of ApprioHealth.

What Recommendations Do You Have for Government?

The migration to open source needs to be an integral part of future discussions. This could be a major cost savings by not having to pay the absorbent software licensing fees. Open source is not an overnight strategy but rather needs a segmented approach that will move the government from point A to point B.

Potential cost savings for software license renewals could be through tool consolidation. Could several tools potentially be consolidated into one? What would the level of effort be for the consolidation versus the continuation of the multiple licenses? The challenge here is that various centers/divisions/departments within an agency each have their own preferences for software/tools etc., but there could be economies of scale achieved should a tool consolidation occur within the agency.

Additionally, agencies continue the migration to cloud platforms as there are certainly cost benefits in moving that direction. Understanding that no one wants to be the last group standing in the on-premise site model, agencies should embrace a methodical strategy for the successful transition.

Our History and Moving Forward

Apprio has been supporting numerous Federal Healthcare initiatives for more than 20 years. Services range from assisting the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) in its response to natural disasters with an electronic medical record (EMR) and patient tracking system, to legacy system modernizations for other Governmental agencies.

More recent activities include assisting the FDA in risk identification through social media avenues by evaluating social trends and identifying any potential adverse events.

One of the more interesting and impactful efforts include supporting Business Intelligence Analytics (BIA) at CMS. The BIA program has been in existence within CMS for more than 10 years and is an integral component in supporting CMS’ reporting, data migration and data extracts capabilities. Apprio provides BI Tool administration and maintenance support activities for the entire suite of BI/ETL tools used by CMS which includes: Informatica, IBM Cognos, MicroStrategy, SAP Business Objects, Esri and SAS EBI. Each of the six Tool Administration teams are responsible for performing daily operations for the Development, Validation and Production environments, stated Patzschke.

About Mark Patzschke, VP of Corporate Growth at Apprio Inc.

Mark Patzschke serves as Vice President of Corporate Growth for Apprio’s Federal health practice. Patzschke builds on Apprio’s existing strength in this domain, where the company already serves major Federal health agencies, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, the Federal Health Architecture, the Department of Veterans Affairs and others. In his role, Patzschke oversees Federal health growth and operations and helps to advance the company’s vision in the public sector as Apprio enters the third decade serving Federal health programs. He also oversees the company’s largest Federal health contract vehicles, including SPARC, CIO-SP3 and HCaTS.

About Michael Wilmoth, Chief Operating Officer, ApprioHealth

Michael Wilmoth lead’s the operations of ApprioHealth, which is the commercial division of Apprio Inc. As COO he brings 22 years of experience within the eligibility, disability, motor vehicle accident and workers compensation areas. Wilmoth’s expertise in managing risk and compliance strategies, providing regulatory and policy prowess, and executing high-level strategic planning will result in the technology to deliver enhanced customer value and to maximize revenue for customers.

About Apprio Inc.

Apprio Inc. is a provider of specialized technology solutions, particularly for the health, defense and homeland security markets. The company provides innovative IT and program services in Healthcare IT, emergency response management and financial management. Apprio delivers the methodologies, discipline and thought leadership provided by the large integrators, with the cost structure and collaboration offered by smaller firms. For more information, visit www.apprioinc.com website.

About ApprioHealth

ApprioHealth, Apprio’s Commercial Healthcare Division, partners with private-sector Healthcare organizations to provide meaningful solutions to improve operational and financial performance–all while positively impacting patients’ satisfaction. ApprioHealth’s approach combines proven workflows, leading-edge secure technology and a dedicated team of healthcare professionals to consistently exceed customers’ expectations. Through a combination of patient advocacy and education, ApprioHealth helps patients make more informed decisions about their care. For more information, visit www.appriohealth.com website.




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