ACF Interoperability Initiative
Interoperability refers to the ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information and to use the information to make better decisions. The term is often used in a technical engineering sense and also in a broader sense, taking into account social, political, and organizational factors that impact performance.
Too many barriers stand in the way of clients getting the services they need. “Interoperability”—a national effort of technological and programmatic coordination—is poised to eliminate many of those barriers. Today, the emergence of “interoperable technology” offers an unprecedented opportunity to connect systems across traditional boundaries in exciting and rewarding ways. This interconnectivity represents the cutting edge for development of new service models and approaches to maximize positive outcomes for children, families and communities.
ACF-OA-PI-13-01 describes the waiver process for the use of federal funding for Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) software products in human services programs
State Systems Interoperability and Integration Project Grants - Updated August 15, 2013
The seven “State Systems Interoperability and Integration Projects” (S2I2) grantees are halfway through the one-year grant award period. The planning grant is helping California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New York and Oklahoma with their efforts to improve interoperability and integration across health and human services information technology systems. Funding for the S2I2 grants comes from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Partnership Fund for Program Integrity Innovation.
- California is promoting understanding of interoperability statewide and is developing a Governance Model.
- Colorado is building a Client Information Sharing System (CCISS) that will facilitate collaboration and data sharing across their Department of Human Services and six other domains.
- Illinois is developing a sustainable Governance Model.
- Indiana is automating and improving the state’s Vital Events Registry (IVER) information, collection, and data-sharing.
- Maryland is defining interoperability and its impact on client outcomes at the practice level: "Life of the Case" Workflow Analysis Model, and Return on Investment Models and Calculator.
- New York is developing an online reporting portal called Children’s Passport (CP) that will capture data from multiple sources but will only focus on the health data using this grant money.
- Oklahoma is building a roadmap that will help redesign the Eligibility and Enrollment system, and to integrate Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).
ACF recently conducted the first on-site visits to the seven S2I2 grantee states in February and March 2013. On these site-visits, we found that overall states are gaining significant lessons in their quest for improved interoperability and system integration. A few states are successfully leveraging past project efforts with their interoperability projects. Other states are collaborating with each other on addressing similar hurdles and have even started sharing technical expertise and lessons learned.Commencing in April 2013, all the S2I2 grantees engaged in monthly conference call webinars to discuss and share project challenges and best practices.
A presentation for the 2013 NCSEA Policy Forum on the opportunities available to states for developing eligibility and enrollment systems under the Affordable Care Act exception to OMB cost-allocation requirements
Resources Available from ACF to Advance Interoperability Initiatives
Resources related to cost allocation in health and human services systems
The Cost Allocation Methodology (CAM) Toolkit helps states determine equitable distributions of software development costs to federal and state benefiting programs over the system development lifecycle.
A compendium of interoperability documents is designed to help state human services agencies connect with their health counterparts and maximize Affordable Care Act benefits.
The National Human Services Interoperability Architecture (NHSIA) proposes a framework to facilitate information sharing, improve service delivery, prevent fraud, and provide better outcomes for children and families. For further information, contact the ACF interoperability team at (firstname.lastname@example.org).
NIEM—the National Information Exchange Model—is a community-driven, government-wide, standards-based approach to exchanging information. For further information, contact the ACF interoperability team at (email@example.com).