NESCSO proactively invests in State employees to improve the effectiveness of Health and Human Service agencies.

NESCSO helps State agencies improve the effectiveness of publicly funded health and human services by investing in State employees

CMS Systems Technical Advisory Group

The Systems Technical Advisory Group (S-TAG) is a monthly meeting for State Medicaid agencies and the Centers for Medicaid and CHIP Services – Data and Systems Group to exchange information on how federal policy on Medicaid-funded information technology impacts states. Since 2016, NESCSO has provided administrative support to the S-TAG, growing State participation from 10 to include all 50 States and the territories. NESCSO works closely with the a federal and state S-TAG Advisory Council to ensure the monthly agendas are relevant and valuable.

S-TAG Co-chairs and Advisory Council

State Co-Chair: David Whitham, MA

CMS/DSG Co-Chair: Ed Dolly


David Levy, AK

Mason Tanaka, AL

Mary Arcenas, NJ

Christopher Ball-Corriere, TX

Shelley Dimick, Vermont

Christine Nolan, Washington


  • Limited to State, Territorial and Federal Employees*
  • Exceptions made at State request for individuals who are independent consultants and work in a similar capacity as State employees
  • Individuals who are employed by firms that respond to State competitive procurements cannot participate in the S-TAG calls
  • Please join our mailing list to be added to the schedule of conference calls.

*S-TAG Administrative support is provided by Joe Graves ( and David Huffman ( from NESCSO, a non-profit organization committed to supporting State HHS agencies.

Interoperability Resources

On May 1, 2020 CMS published the CMS Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule (CMS 9115-F) link:

NESCSO recognizes the potential for this Rule to significantly impact Medicaid programs.  For many State agencies, the Final Rule is the first introduction to Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)-enabled Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which have the potential to transform the way Medicaid agencies exchange healthcare data.  We also recognize that the Rule’s aggressive implementation timeframes may force States to comply quickly and lose this opportunity for thoughtful and strategic digital transformation.

 Through NESCSO’s support of a State Interoperability Workgroup, we seek to provide tools, resources, and opportunities for State collaboration so that the full potential of the Rule can be realized.

 We have developed the following resources that are publicly available:

S-TAG Primer on Patient Access API vSept212020

Draft RFP Language

Interoperability Workgroup Questions for CMS – November 4, 2020 – Access the questions for CMS by following the link: Interoperability Workgroup-Questions for CMS – November 4, 2020 (Interoperability-Workgroup-Questions-for-CMS-November-4-2020.pdf (

Good Faith Exemption Request – November 4, 2020 – Please follow the link to access the request Good Faith Exemption Request – November 4, 2020 (

CMS Interoperability Rule Implementation – Updated September 21, 2020 – Please follow the link to updated information regarding CMS Interoperability Rule Implementation – S-TAG_Primer on Patient Access API vSept212020 (