The Department of Health and Human Services on Oct. 28 will publish a final rule to amend processes for states to obtain federal assistance for acquiring information technology to support public assistance programs.

The rule makes changes to the Advance Planning Document process, which governs financial assistance and was designed to mitigate financial risks, avoid incompatibilities among systems and ensure an I.T. system supports a program's goals and objectives. The final rule reduces submission requirements for lower-risk I.T. projects, increases oversight of higher-risk I.T. projects, and makes numerous technical and process changes.

Some of the technical changes are long overdue, prompted by provisions in a 1996 law and the Health Care Financing Administration's name change to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The rule, titled "State Systems Advance Planning Document (APD) Process," is available at

Joseph Goedert


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