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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

2007 GCN Award: CMS team develops a centralized accounting system to get a handle on an eighth of the federal budget

WHAT: Healthcare Integrated General Ledger Accounting System at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Health and Human Services Department.

MISSION: Administer Medicare and provide federal oversight of state Medicaid programs.

CHALLENGE: A combination of manual procedures and incompatible computerized accounting systems at several dozen regional Medicare contractors led to nonstandard billing, payments and reporting.

SOLUTION: Planned since the late 1990s, starting in 2005 and through this year, HIGLAS, an Oracle 11i-based accounting system, is online with 10 contractors. More contractors will get the system by the end of 2011.

IMPACT: There are far fewer errors, faster claims processing and reduced interest charges, which helps CMS determine the difference between accounts payable and receivable. COST: $853 million is the projected total; $527 million had been spent through fiscal 2007.

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