Dell Health Care Services Target State Governments

Now that the health care reform bill is signed into law, Dell is looking to offer local state governments a set of IT services designed to help meet new federal regulations regarding issues such as Medicaid. Since its acquisition of Perot, Dell is moving deeper into the IT services field, especially in the health care and government markets.

Dell is looking to offer state governments a health care check-up.

On June 9, Dell officially launched its latest IT services initiative, called Dell State Health Services. Spending on IT health care is expected to increase about 4 percent in 2010, according to Gartner, and Dell and other service vendors are looking to expand their offerings in the wake of federal health care reform.

In this case, Dell is targeting state governments that have to deal with an onslaught of new federal health care regulations, such as changes to Medicaid and electronic health care records. With Dell State Health Services, Dell is looking to offer IT consulting, as well as a host of hardware and software products, call center integration and data center services.

While Dell has been pushing IT services and consulting for many years, its 2009 acquisition of Perot Systems for $3.9 billion gave Dell a firmer foothold in this market to better compete against the likes of IBM, Hewlett-Packard and IT outsourcing firms such as Infosys.

With Perot, Dell also bought a company with deep ties to a number of specific vertical markets, including health care, local and state government and manufacturing. The federal health care bill allows Dell, as well as other IT companies, a way to tie in their health care and government consulting services.

When it announced the State Health Services program, Dell also pointed to its own example of helping Massachusetts implement its Massachusetts Commonwealth Care Health Plan, which looked to reduce the number of uninsured in the state, while offering small businesses a way to buy health care coverage for their employees.

The type of health care exchanges Massachusetts created at the state level are similar to the types of federal health care exchanges that are part of the government's health care overhaul.

For Massachusetts, Dell created hardware and software systems that addressed issues with medical billing, financial data, patient data and call center integration to make the exchange in that state work.

"Dell is already providing consulting services to several states, and we look forward to putting our expertise in providing solutions to the nation's only state insurance exchange, as well as our experience supporting the health care and government industries, to work for other states," Melissa Boudreault, the director of Dell State Health Services, wrote in a statement.

Earlier in June, Dell announced a partnership with Practice Fusion to deliver new types of electronic health records to small medical practices.