Department of Health and Human Services CIS/319 Computers and Information Processing Maria Teal January 12, 2010 Professor Erick Joel Department of Health and Human Services New and enhanced information systems can assist State administrators in preventing, identifying and recouping improper payments in their subsidized child care programs. Using these information systems can help support many of the processes involved in the administration of subsidized child care programs, including intake, eligibility determination, case management, provider management and payment, and reporting (Child Care Bureau, 2007).
Using automated systems help Department of Health and Human Service workers perform their jobs more efficiently and can improve the program by assisting in the program rules to prevent and identify improper payments. Within the Department of Health and Human Services the Improper Payments Act of 2002 identifies and prevents improper payments in all Federal programs and is used to measure and report their progress. Programs include the subsidized child care program that is implemented by the States using funds from the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) (CCB, 2007).
In order for the reduction of the improper payments to be subsidized for child care programs the Child Care Bureau (CCB) initiated several projects to understand the States’ efforts and to assist with addressing the improper payments. Through an ongoing investigation the CCB concluded that more information was needed on solutions that could assist in the prevention or identification of improper payments and guidance about information technology investment approaches and procurement practices. (CCB, 2007).
According to the CCB a few solutions that challenge the improper payments include screening tools, eligibility automation, and data matching, electronic activity tracking and reporting. The solutions address these challenges of preventing and identifying improper payments by • Providing an accurate record of the time and physical location of the child care services • Eliminating errors related to manual paperwork which can include vouchers, invoices and attendance sheets • Reduce errors related to issuing checks by the automated payment system (CCB, 2007).
Taking an inventory on a regular basis of the hardware and software will help decision makers in assessing technical approaches. If the Department does not possess the hardware/software then they may require significant internal investment or a decision to contract with a vendor. In conclusion, technology helps to address the challenge of identifying and reducing improper payments in subsidized child care programs. Each State has a unique technical and programmatic environment in which the child care automation needs is impractical and improbable.
Child care programs may have opportunities to partner with other programs which can include TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) or Food Stamps to be included in broader IT investments within each State. This will help determine eligibility, case, vendor and financial management and payment, reporting and data analysis. Using different technology solutions States have used to meet Federal and State mandates helps increase productivity, reduce and prevent improper payments. References Child Care Bureau. (April 26, 2007). Child care administrator’s improper payments information technology guide.
Retrieved April 11, 2010 from website www. acf. hhs. gov/programs/ccb/ccdf/ipi/it/it_guide. doc ———————– Step 1: Strategic Analysis Gather Stakeholder Needs Strategic Plan Analysis Technical Environment Inventory Define Business/Service Processes Identify Budget Constraints Perform Baseline Study Define User Requirements Step 2: Alternatives Analysis Legal Analysis Political Feasibility/Executive Sponsorship Technical Analysis Usability Assessment Feasibility Analysis Identify Constraints Assess Cost-Effectiveness Perform a Risk Analysis Calculate Return on Investment (ROI)