Aldon Streamlines Coding for Health Insurance Company
November 4, 2008 Alex Woodie
Without a change management system in place, the Children’s Mercy Family Health Partners (CMFHP) had a difficult time keeping track of the RPG and .NET development occurring on its business applications. Since installing Aldon‘s change management system, CMFHP is enjoying higher productivity in its IT department and streamlined workflow and auditing.
The CMFHP is a non-profit “safety net” health plan owned by Children’s Mercy Hospital and Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri. The company provides low-cost and no-cost health care coverage to struggling individuals in the state of Kansas (through contracts with Kansas HealthWave) and in Kansas City, Missouri (through contracts with MO HealthNet).
The organization relies on a mix of System i and Windows servers to run a variety of applications, including claims filing, case management, Medicaid reporting, check tracking, and others. These applications were written in a combination of RPG and .NET, and need constant updating by the organization’s staff of nine programmers to keep up with changing laws and requirements.
Unfortunately, CMFHP had no formalized processes to manage IT projects or to control access to source code. As a result, source code modifications could easily be erased or duplicated, putting the integrity of critical applications in jeopardy, and potentially costing CMFHP a failed HIPAA audit.
CMFHP recognized the need for a formalized change management process, and brought in Aldon to implement one. The organization installed Aldon’s application lifecycle management (ALM) software, thereby providing a single repository that controls the RPG and .NET source code and enforcing corporate best practices and procedures for IT projects.
Aldon’s software enables CMFHP to fully manage its inventory of applications, source code, and services, says Paul Burkhart, IT development manager for CMFHP. “Developers can quickly find and rapidly assemble applications and see who is working on what,” he says. “Our .NET programmers are now able to consolidate the source for our various applications into a single repository. This feature has been invaluable for them.”
The software also provides CMFHP with process automation, Aldon says. For example, CMFHP can automate the software promotion process to ensure that source code is promoted only when certain criteria have been met, such as software testing has been completed, or it’s passed the user acceptance phase, the software company says.
Complying with the HIPAA mandate is also easier with Aldon’s change management software in place. After implementing the IT requirements of HIPAA, the reporting component of Aldon’s software makes it easier for CMFHP to prove compliance on an on-going basis.
“Improving development efficiency was our number one goal and Aldon helped make that happen,” Burkhart says. “Not only have we improved application quality and delivery, the IT staff quickly embraced the new processes and are more productive as a result.”