Policy: Electronic signatures – The State of Arizona had not made use of electronic signatures for the application process and policy changes were needed to enable AHCCCS and DES to accept electronic signatures on applications. It was necessary to structure the application so that once the electronic signature was obtained, the application information could not be modified, thus tying the signature to the information and preventing later tampering.
Technology: Interface between Health-e-Arizona and DES computer system – One of the main advantages of using Health-e-Arizona is that it saves time and labor on the application processing end for DES and AHCCCS, the two state agencies who are charged with eligibilizing applicants. The majority of applications are processed by DES, and the project partners felt that maximum savings would be achieved by establishing an interface between Health-e-Arizona and the DES computer system. The interface would link applicants in the two systems and provide the official disposition of the case from the DES system to the Health-e-Arizona system. With the support of high level DES officials, the interface design has been completed and is in the final stages of testing and implementation.
Rollout: Expanding the use of Health-e-Arizona – Use of Health-e-Arizona was initiated in June, 2002, at El Rio Health Center, the largest community health center in Arizona. Later its use was expanded to other Federally Qualified Health Centers in Pima County. Now the task facing the project partners is to train the other clinic and DES staff around the state to use the system and accept and process applications in this manner. The partners have agreed on a rollout schedule and expect that all community health centers and federally qualified health centers in the state will be using Health-e-Arizona by the end of 2003. At the same time, the challenge is to bring the other two groups of users into the system, that is, hospitals and emergency rooms, and small businesses. These two groups have not been as directly involved in the design and implementation of Health-e-Arizona to date, and their addition to the system will require additional planning and funding. Both sectors have expressed interest expressed in using Health-e-Arizona.
In summary, Health-e-Arizona is a system inspired by the desire to use the latest technology to help low income, uninsured families access all their health care options in the most efficient and effective manner. At the same time, it is designed to reduce cost and effort for both the private and public partners in the project, thus making its use a win-win situation for all parties.
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