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DMHSAS Numbered Memo 2010-11

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State of Wisconsin
Department of Health Services
Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

Date: November 29, 2010

DMHSAS Numbered Memo 2010-11

Index Title: Human Services Reporting System (HSRS) Mental Health and AODA System Technology Changes and Optional Encounter-Level Reporting

To:     DMHSAS Listserv

For:   
Directors, Departments of Human Services
Directors, Departments of Community Programs
County Mental Health Coordinators
County Substance Abuse Coordinators
Area Administrators and Assistant Area Administrators

From: John Easterday, Ph.D., Administrator, Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

Subject:  Human Services Reporting System (HSRS) Mental Health and AODA System Technology Changes and Optional Encounter-Level Reporting

Document Summary

Architecture, platform and database components of the HSRS mental health and AODA client data reporting system will be replaced with newer technology, improved flexibility and it will also permit reporting of encounter-level (claim- or session-level) records. With the exception of optional encounter-level reporting, there will be no major changes in data items reported. The new system and conversion process intends to accommodate County capabilities and readiness. A two-year phase-in period is being planned. Counties are requested to contact the Division within 60 days concerning their readiness to transition to the new replacement system.

Background The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides Wisconsin with $28 million and $7 million in block grants for substance abuse and mental health services respectively. The two block grants ensure a base for community services and support service system improvement. There are reporting requirements under these two federal block grant programs and the HSRS mental health and AODA modules contain required data that is reported to SAMHSA. Sixty-seven County agencies report HSRS data through Department-sponsored systems as follows:

  • 31 County agencies enter HSRS data via the current state on-line screens.
  • 17 County agencies enter HSRS data via the current state on-line screens and also have their data extracted to the WISSIS system by a private IT vendor.
  • 14 County agencies enter HSRS data into their own local database and submit batch files to the state via the current state File Transfer System.
  • 5 County agencies are transitioning from the current state on-line HSRS data entry to entering the HSRS data into their own local database and submitting the HSRS data to the state using the new Encounter XML batch file submission system describe below.

HSRS is a 27 year-old legacy mainframe system using old programming code. The current HSRS can be cumbersome and expensive to change while newer technology promises to be less expensive and more flexible. More and more County agencies are implementing their own local data systems and building an improved capability for submitting batch files to the state instead of manual data entry. At the same time, the federal government is encouraging states to develop systems that collect claim-like, encounter-level data. Upgrading outdated HSRS components and permitting encounter-level data is now necessary. We envision a two-year phase-in, phase-out period. Two HSRS mental health and AODA reporting approaches will be phased-in using the newer technology and components:

1. Agencies with sufficient local electronic database capability may submit complete HSRS mental health and AODA data using an Encounter XML batch file submission protocol which has been tested and implemented in several Wisconsin counties. This system will permit encounter-level records. This system can eventually replace the File Transfer System and will also be available to other counties who wish to upload data files instead of performing on-line data entry. Counties may request to transition to this system at any time. Detailed information on this system is available on the DHS webpage, Encounter Reporting for HSRS http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/LTCare/encounter/hsrs.htm 

2. A new, web-based, on-line mental health and AODA data entry system (provisionally named Program Data Collection System - PDCS) will replace the current HSRS Host On-Demand "green screens" data entry system. In addition, this system is being designed to permit WISSIS programmers to create and operate a data extraction protocol so that County agencies participating in WISSIS may continue to do so. This system too will permit encounter-level reporting and is expected to be available as early as August, 2011.

With the exception of permitting encounter-level records there are no major changes expected in the type of data reported (unless federal reporting requirements change). Due to the differences in data requirements between AODA and mental health, there will still be somewhat distinct modules for mental health and AODA data in the new systems. The two modules will be integrated where appropriate. Currently active client records will be migrated to the new system and historical data will be migrated over time. We appreciate the input County agencies have provided and we always welcome suggestions.

Action Summary:

County reporting agencies are requested to review their capability and readiness to transition to one of the two new reporting approaches and contact Mike Quirke (AODA) or Tim Connor (Mental Health) by February 25, 2011 with a general statement of readiness and challenges to making the transition to one of the two new data submission approaches. The Division will assist in any way it can to facilitate the transition.

If you would like further clarification or details about the changes or if you have any suggestions about the design of the two replacement systems then please contact Mike Quirke and Tim Connor using the information under the 'Central Office Contact' heading below or you may contact the HSRS SOS Desk for IT questions (contact information below). Additional information is available on the Human Services Reporting System (HSRS) webpage and the attached "Summary of Wisconsin Counties Readiness to Implement a New HSRS Batch Encounter-Capable System" document.

For additional information and questions regarding this memo:

Regional Office Contact:

Not applicable

Central Office Contact:

Mike Quirke
Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
Bureau of Prevention Treatment and Recovery
1 W. Wilson St., Room 851
Madison, WI 53703
Telephone: (608) 266-7584
E-mail: Michael.Quirke@wisconsin.gov 

Tim Connor
Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
Bureau of Prevention Treatment and Recovery
1 W. Wilson St., Room 851
Madison, WI 53703
Telephone: (608) 261-6744
E-mail: Tim.Connor@wisconsin.gov 

Human Services Reporting System (HSRS)
SOS Help Desk
Telephone: (608) 266-9198
E-mail: dhssoshelp@wisconsin.gov
Human Services Reporting System (HSRS) webpage

Attachment:

SUMMARY OF WISCONSIN COUNTIES' READINESS TO IMPLEMENT A NEW HSRS BATCH ENCOUNTER-CAPABLE SYSTEM

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Last Revised:  December 02, 2010