Monday, February 29, 2016

On point with PEAK: IT helping Coloradans in need

Findings from the 2015 Colorado Health Access Survey recently revealed that 93 percent of Coloradans now have health insurance while only 6.7 percent still do not have health insurance.

It is clear that Colorado’s health, wellness and economic security landscape is changing. Our OIT teams work every day to maintain and enhance the systems necessary to support these changes.

Two essential technologies for the state of Colorado, the Colorado Benefits Management System (CBMS) rules engine and the Program Application & Eligibility Kit (PEAK) online portal, enable residents who are most in need to screen and apply for food, cash, and medical assistance, as well as childcare, and early childhood programs. These critical systems have seen tremendous growth and success in recent years with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and an increase in demand for public benefits.

The infographic below characterizes the impressive growth that PEAK accomplished over the last year. From 2014 to 2015, there was a 45 percent uptick in applications submitted through PEAK. This translates to a huge benefit for our county partners, alleviating a substantial portion of their demanding workload. It also means that Coloradans who may not otherwise be able to apply for benefits, because of geographic or physical limitations, can visit Colorado.gov/PEAK to apply for programs from the comfort of their own homes.

In addition to the PEAK achievements depicted in the illustration, CBMS (the statewide database through which all food, cash and medical assistance applications and eligibility determinations are processed) realized some extraordinary year-end accomplishments as well. By December 2015, the CBMS database size reached 5.5 terabytes and housed more than 700 pages and 8.5 million lines of code! This system, which now has 4,600 registered users, also sent more than 12 million pieces of correspondence to Coloradans last year.

The OIT CBMS/PEAK team has learned to be lean and efficient as state and federal requirements require constant system modifications. We will continue to enhance these systems that impact more than a million Coloradans and are honored and privileged to serve alongside all of the hard working individuals that make a difference in the lives of others.

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