State of the State Health and Human Services: A Thought Leaders Survey.

Author:Shaver, Kim

Are you interested in what H/HS thought leaders are sharing about their priority initiatives, greatest challenges, and next steps? If so, this article is for you!

Who Is Sharing What?

This article provides highlights from the annual State of the State HHS Thought Leaders Survey conducted by CompTIA's Human Services Information Technology Advisory Group (HSITAG) in partnership with the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA). The purpose of the research is to gain and share insights regarding agency information technology (IT) issues, challenges, trends, and perspectives.

The research findings are based on input from 39 H/HS thought leaders across the United States. To help provide some context regarding what perspective the responders brought to the survey, it may help to understand that 36 percent identified themselves as IT professionals and 42 percent weighed in from the policy, program management, or operations arenas. The remaining responders identified as "other," including job titles such as Department Secretary and Chief Innovations Officer.

While the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program was ranked the highest for programs supported, or managed, by those responding, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Medicaid followed a very close second and third. Also reputably represented were child welfare, child care, and child support, in that order. Programs identified as "other" included a wide range of H/HS programs such as housing, juvenile justice, substance abuse, and mental health.

What Were Thought Leaders Asked About?

In addition to understanding broadly what the state considers its top initiatives in the coming year, the 2019 survey explored, in more detail, state involvement in four major categories:

* Service Delivery Modernization/Transformation

* Emerging Trends and Technologies

* Modularity

* Data Analytics

What Will States Focus on in the Coming Year?

Fueled and funded initially by the mandates of the Affordable Care Act, few would argue that system modernization has been a primary focus of many state agencies over the last decade. Based on the survey findings, this trend continues. When asked about the top three initiatives for the coming year, modernization was a clear front runner. In fact, out of the top four initiatives states reported focusing on next year, three involved technology modernization, including:

* Eligibility system modernization (No. 1)

* Modernization of data warehouse capabilities...

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