LANSING - The Michigan Department of Community Health's (MDCH) state-of-the-art Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS), called CHAMPS (Community Health Automated Medicaid Processing System), recently received certification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS).

This is a significant milestone which comes 18 months after MDCH, in conjunction with the Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB) and technology development partner CNSI, went live with CHAMPS in September 2009.

"This truly was a team effort," said Olga Dazzo, Director of the MDCH. "I am so proud of our DCH employees who spent countless hours developing a system to better serve Michigan's residents. Of course, we couldn't have done this alone - and we couldn't have had better partners than DTMB and CNSI."

CMS notified MDCH of its CHAMPS certification after a team of six reviewers from CMS regional and central offices conducted a week-long CMS on-site review. In order to validate federally outlined functionality for the CHAMPS system, CMS team members reviewed documentation, participated in functional demonstrations, and requested specific updates from the certification team. Prior to the on-site visit, there were weeks of preparation and reviews when MDCH and CNSI team members presented various components of CHAMPS and the electronic Claims & Administrative Management System (eCAMS) system architecture to the CMS review team.

"CHAMPS serves as a shining example of how technology can reshape and improve the way government works," said David Behen, Chief Information Officer for the State of Michigan. "Through a strong partnership with the Department of Community Health, we've been able to deliver on the promise of a better processing system for Medicaid."

The certification of CHAMPS is critical to qualify the state to receive the maximum CMS funding for CHAMPS' operations. This certification also demonstrates that Michigan meets federal guidelines for Medicaid by conforming to a comprehensive set of criteria created by the CMS review team in accordance with CMS' new certification toolkit.

CMS reviewers concluded their week-long on-site visit with an exit conference. They acknowledged Michigan is a leader in this arena and referred to CHAMPS as "a 21st century system", "second to none", and "the avatar of MMIS."