Microsoft Recognizes Massachusetts Model for E-Government That Redefines How Citizens Interact With Government

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 6, 2001 — Microsoft Corp. today joined with government officials in Boston to unveil MassCARES, an emerging technology that will forever change the way in which government delivers services such as child care, health insurance and after-school programs to families in need. MassCARES builds upon a decade of successes in which Massachusetts has utilized collaborative database strategies to implement the most dramatic reduction in youth homicide in the country, the sharpest reduction in the number of uninsured children, and an expansion of after-school programming. Microsoft also announced that Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift will receive the company’s Health and Human Services Award, honoring the most innovative e-government technology vision and solution in the United States.

“MassCARES is a perfect example of how Microsoft® technology is helping governments change the lives of the people they serve,”
said Charles Stevens, vice president of the Enterprise and Partner Group at Microsoft.
“Massachusetts, Microsoft and SEI have created a revolutionary model for state and federal governments worldwide — a model easily replicated by other government services whether they are focused on education, public safety, the environment or other programs.”

Stevens said Microsoft’s e-government vision is to provide the public sector with great software so it can lead the information society by delivering services that can be accessed anytime, anywhere and from any device. The Health and Human Services Award was created to recognize the best examples of Microsoft’s partners in the public sector.

“By using new technologies to integrate existing data into our human services delivery system, we can ensure that we are delivering services to those who need it most, in the areas that are most in need,”
said Gov. Swift.
“In addition, we hope to eliminate duplication of effort and gain some real efficiencies in the process.”

Over the past decade, Massachusetts saw the nation’s most dramatic drop in the youth homicide rate, including a period of more than two years without a juvenile homicide. Massachusetts was recognized by the Kaiser Family Foundation as the national leader in reducing the number of uninsured people and in increasing Medicaid enrollment by nearly 300,000 previously uninsured residents. The commonwealth also saw a dramatic rise in after-school programs that provided 10,000 children with services over the past five years.

“Working with schools, law enforcement and community-based providers, we have forged strong partnerships to tackle historically unsolvable problems — reducing juvenile violence, ensuring health access for children and families, and expanding after-school programming,”
said former Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary and MassCARES designer William D. O’Leary.
“Microsoft’s leadership in e-government enables us to take quantum leaps in providing a single point of access to essential government services and redesigning the delivery of services.”

How MassCARES Works

MassCARES (Massachusetts Confidential Access to Resources through an Electronic Storehouse), a technology designed by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) in conjunction with Systems Engineering Inc. (SEI), a Waltham, Mass.-based consulting firm, integrates existing state data and new technology to create an environment in which people can do the following:

  • Analyze information more accurately

  • Share information among state, local and federal agencies

  • Better form strategies around delivery of resources to citizens

  • Collaborate and leverage resources among agencies and providers

  • Track and monitor outcomes

MassCARES leverages the Microsoft Windows® platform and will leverage the Microsoft .NET Enterprise Servers, consisting of three main components that combine to make the five advances shown above possible. The Central Information Storehouse (CIS) represents the foundation of the MassCARES model. The CIS is a single database that provides a central, unduplicated count of the 1.2 million consumers EOHHS serves. EOHHS, the largest state agency in Massachusetts, provides a vast array of services, including healthcare, child care, substance-abuse services, domestic-violence services, early-education programs, and a wide range of protective and social services. The CIS database consists of information such as types of services needed, agency involvement and location of individuals.

The online analytical processing (OLAP) tool provides MassCARES with the ability to access and analyze the client and service data in a user-friendly way. The drag-and-drop method, used to analyze and examine data on thousands of consumers in a given area, offers policy-makers an unprecedented ability to strategically plan and implement service delivery strategies, ensuring the most efficient and effective use of government resources.

The third component of the MassCARES initiative is made up of a variety of Web-based applications that will enhance service delivery to consumers and will allow citizens to interact with government and access services like never before. These Web-based applications include the following:

  • Resource Locator. This tool provides state agencies, health and human services providers, and individuals with a user-friendly way to track down the services available to them in their area. For example, if the user enters a few simple keywords such as food, drugs or housing, the resource locator will identify food pantries, pharmacy assistance providers, or emergency and low-income housing providers.

  • Eligibility Wizard. This provides consumers or potential consumers with a single point of entry into a host of health and human services programs, eliminating the need for individuals to bounce from agency to agency applying for specific types of assistance. When information such as age, income and family size is entered, the Eligibility Wizard will not only provide a comprehensive list of programs, but also begin the enrollment process right over the Web.

  • Case Monitoring. This secure online system allows authorized caseworkers to review and monitor client progress through a cross-agency view of information in the CIS.

  • Risk Factor Reporting. This periodic reporting tool enables early identification of at-risk consumers. It allows standard reports to be created by tracking progress on a number of key indices.

MassCARES Web-based applications will be available at by Jan. 1, 2002.

About Systems Engineering

Founded in 1982, Systems Engineering specializes in creating and implementing information systems for customers in both the public and private sectors. SEI is a medium-sized privately held company with a long history of developing system applications that balance customer needs, flexibility and sensitivity to confidential information.

SEI was recognized as one of the 500 fastest growing private companies in the nation by INC Magazine in 1998, and won the Deloitte Touche FAST 500 award for being one of the fastest growing technical companies in the country in 1998 and 1999.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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