Innovating in Iowa

August 27, 2015

Categories: Thought Leadership


This year, Des Moines, Iowa offered more than butter sculptures and 2016 presidential candidates; the city also hosted the 2015 Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference (MESC).

MESC is an event that gives states, vendors and policy representatives an opportunity to learn about cutting-edge Medicaid innovations, from new multi-payer data systems to one-stop credentialing services to effective uses of actionable data. Throughout the conference, presenters and attendees at almost every panel, booth and coffee station discussed two key ideas that we’d like to tell you about: modularity and the Cloud.

Modularity, in its simplest terms, allows for complex software to be broken down and implemented separately by related function, data links or other criteria. On the heels of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid’s recently released Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which focused heavily on modularity and reuse, MESC attendees discussed what this trend means for their systems’ procurement, governance and implementation processes. For most, modularity is a step in the right direction. It allows for shorter development cycles, reusable code and better program management. In short, modularity helps states and, by extension, taxpayers see results faster—something we can all get excited about.

Cloud Computing, which we covered in this blog before, is what allows for modularity to happen. With its inherent scalability, states are able to implement segments of their Medicaid systems on an as-needed basis. Michigan, for example, has been able to leverage this cutting edge-platform with much success (read more about Michigan Medicaid as a Service (MMAAS) here).

We would be remiss however, if we talked about Cloud without addressing the all-important concern of privacy and security—natural hot topics at this year’s conference. At the “Evening with Frank Abagnale” event hosted by CNSI and LexisNexis, the legendary-forger-turned-FBI-fraud-expert emphasized that with over $900B lost annually to white collar crimes, it is our job as civil servants to ensure  we invest in keeping our systems and information secure. “Fraud and theft happen when someone either fails to do something or does something they shouldn’t,” Abagnale explained. “Security is everyone’s responsibility, and we must close the doors before criminals find their way in.”

MESC 2015 attendees didn’t just walk away with a conference bag full of tchotchkes and catch phrases (although they did that too). They walked away with fresh ideas and tangible examples of how to make the delivery of health care better for everyone. Check out some of the presentations from MESC here.

From all of us at CNSI, thanks for joining and see you next year in St. Louis! 

What did you learn at MESC 2015? Tell us your thoughts by commenting or finding us on Twitter @CNSICorp.


This blog entry was written by Amanda Moskowitz, CNSI’s new marketing and communications manager. She will write about industry trends, health care policy, and essentially anything innovative. Amanda brings with her nearly a decade of private, government, and non-profit communications experience, and two years performing stand-up comedy, which allows her to infuse both humility and humor into her writing. She believes that whatever the technology, there will always be a need to share the words written in our mind. Feel free to contact Amanda at