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Revamped plan for IT services at Department of Health and Hospitals approved

Last Modified: Thursday, October 04, 2012 11:09 AM

BATON ROUGE (AP) — The state Civil Service Commission has signed off on a heavily revised proposal revamping information technology services at the state Department of Health and Hospitals.

Unlike a prior plan, The Advocate reported there would be no state employee layoffs.

Various IT functions would be spread out among four different entities — DHH, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the University of New Orleans and a private vendor, Venyu Solutions.

DHH is projecting a $1.12 million savings over three years from the current $37.8 million expense.

DHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein said the savings are only part of the benefit of the revamped operations, which he said also should help the agency respond more timely to state health care needs.

The commission earlier rejected approval of DHH's proposed expansion of a $16.8 million, three-year contract with the University of New Orleans to cover IT services provided in-house by 69 classified state employees.

The move would have resulted in the layoff of those employees.

At the time, Civil Service said DHH's proposal lacked documentation that it would save money and increase efficiency.

Greenstein acknowledged the initial setback as he sought commission approval.

"You gave us some very helpful suggestions and we took those suggestions very seriously," he said. "In this plan, there are no layoffs, which is considerably different than before."

DHH Undersecretary Jerry Phillips said 19 employees do IT work at DHH.

Of those, eight would be transferred to UNO, which will provide user support for the system.

UNO has an IT contract that will be expanded at a three-year cost of $13.39 million.

Other employees will remain at DHH handling network administration and legacy system support, he said.

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