When Jessica Kahn, a GovTech “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers of 2016”, announced the latest strategy in her campaign to improve the delivery of Medicaid enterprise systems, Chris Lunt asked how he could help. Jess and he worked together previously when Chris was an “HHS Entreprenuer”, and built MAGI-in-the-Cloud, a SaaS solution for states to determine Medicaid eligibility.

She asked Chris (among other things) to bring new vendors into the space—particularly Silicon Valley companies that specialize in specific health care Enterprise disciplines. The rate of innovation in the Medicaid Enterprise has lagged behind the consumer space. The big impediment for specialized vendors is the large, monolithic nature of current Medicaid RFPs, but that is not the only challenge. Many Medicaid RFPs are prescriptive: describing a solution rather than the problem. And the procurement process itself is expensive and time-consuming. That overhead makes it challenging for states to break the Medicaid Enterprise into smaller parts.

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) has put out a serious set of recommendations for ways to improve this process. Inspired, Chris created his own farcical list offering a countering view: what not to do. He presented this list at the State Health IT Connect Conference 2016 in Baltimore:

Top 10 RFP Requirements Guaranteed To Annoy Vendors
10. We need a detailed description of your data center fire suppression system and the current condition of each fire extinguisher.
9. We are limiting RFP responses to companies that have an ‘X’ in them.
8. Must be submitted in person, handwritten, once you battle past the guards at our mysterious state capital…
7. Points will be awarded in a fair and considered… 100 points for Gryffindor!
6. We don’t understand this part of the project, so we just copied and pasted from another RFP: “Your rescue helicopter must contain at least thirty kilos of titanium…”
5. Remember there is no compensation, timeline,  or commitment to award: please submit your market research, design documents, complete project plan, and the recipe for your secret sauce.
4. Please have every client you’ve ever worked with fill out this questionnaire, and write an essay with the topic, “If my vendor was a vegetable, what vegetable would they be?”
3. The project award date will be announced when the current Governor leaves office, the legislature turns over, and our budget is approved.
2. For each team member please submit a resume and a current dating profile, including a selfie where they’re making a pouty face.
1. We require a fully custom COTS product built using agile waterfall running in an on-premise cloud solution.