Description: This passage is mainly about access florida login. This passage is about the ACCESS Florida program, which is an innovations in American Government Awards finalist, presented before the National Selection Committee in 2007.
Now we turn to the state of Florida for the automated community connection to economic self-sufficiency, and the microphones are running at Jennifer lang is here within, thank you, good afternoon, the world of customer service is changed, when I flew to Boston for this presentation, I traveled on an electronic ticket purchased online.
I checked myself in at the computer terminal at the airport and I printed out my own boarding pass, in Florida we’re using many of the same technologies to improve customer service for applicants and recipients of Medicaid, food, stamps and temporary cash assistance while decreasing costs and improving effectiveness, we call our business model access Florida.
Let me contrast how access Florida works compared with the traditional public benefit program, in the old model people apply at agency offices, they generally fill out paper applications and other forms, they spend an inordinate amount of time waiting to be seen and go through an extensive interview.
The interview might be conducted with the aid of computer terminal, and customers wait is staffed to go through the tedious process of key entering their information, we used to call this technology, in Florida, families needing help now can apply anywhere and anytime using the access Florida web application.
Customers enter their own information, while people may apply from any computer that can access the web, they can also go to a variety of other sites, we have over 2500 community partners, partner sites include workforce one stops, health clinics, hospitals, homeless shelters, public libraries and many other locations.
At a partner site, applicants can access computer to apply or check on the status of a previous application, drop off or fax information to us, access a helpline telephone to get assistant using the technology or simply find out about the status of their case, they can also visit agency offices, but they won’t find the same process that they did a few years ago.
Today our lobbies have self-service computer terminals, greeters to answer questions and telephones to access help lands, plastic chairs have been replaced by upholstery and seating areas have been redesigned to reflect a more professional environment, to improve service call center, agents are available by toll-free number.
We have three customer call centers in Jacksonville, Tampa and Miami with over 500 employees, when our eligibility staff review the web application, they are assisted by an automated process, the technology people call it data streaming, as a former eligibility worker, I call it magic, the web application moves the information at a lightning speed into our mainframe computer system, pausing when necessary for the eligibility worker to make decisions to authorize benefits.
Another important part of the process is document imaging, our staff have constructed a web-based document management system to which commercially available scanning devices connect, these devices permit documents to be digitized in index, so the information is available to eligibility staff using our secure network anywhere in the state.
There are no more paper files, so far the results have been remarkable, in 2002 we had slightly over 7,200 eligibility employees, now we have 4109 more than a forty percent reduction, at the same time, our workload had increased, we had about 1.9 million public assistance clients in July 2002, now we have about 2.2 million, annual cost to taxpayers has been reduced by 83 million dollars.
Since we’ve implemented the web application in mid 2005, the acceptance by Floridians has been astounding, in March, eighty-nine percent of our applications are electronically submitted in signed, of those seventy percent come by internet, they are from home computers or computers and partner sites rather than our offices which are connected by internet.
We also ask customers to complete a satisfaction survey at the end of the application, in March eighty-one percent of more than 30,000 respondents said that they were able to complete the application without help, and ninety percent rated the experience either easy or fairly easy, while the significant improvements that we have made are far from finished.
We’re moving toward a system where customers will manage their accounts online through a web-based system that talks to our main computer, use of data, match it to automate verification of identity and Citizenship and card swipe technology to access case files which are also planned, the access model is highly adaptable across the country.
Representatives from more than 40 states and national organizations have visited to learn more about our process, we welcome the opportunity that the innovations award would provide to share our experiences more fully with others, Jennifer and I will be glad to address your question, thank you for the first question.
I’m curious what effect this has on the rate of fraud, you’ve expanded a lot of community partners, does that create a greater danger? Does the technology make it easier to catch people who are trying to cheat the system? Part of the process changes that we put in place where we have expanded our front-end fraud prevention staff, and we give them special data tools to try to catch problems up front.
We haven’t seen the increases that you would be talking about, Ellenshaw you note that you have achieved 83 million dollars worth of administrative cost savings in a year, I wonder if you could say where that those funds go and whether the department has made any effort to reinvest them in services.
That’s a net figure, we say more than that and we invest in technology, and some of the technology that goes into the document imaging and scanning equipment is generated by savings above the 83 million, the 83 million dollars is in ongoing savings, almost half of that is federal match money which as money we don’t crawl down, the other half is state general revenue reductions of which the legislature would have the ability to program to other needs.
So none of it goes into expanding services for the population that you serve, over and above the 83 million dollars, there are savings that go into changes in renovating our waiting rooms and new technology, but the 83 million dollars is a net annual figure.
Maria, as I understand the application, the part of the genesis of this is the intention for outsourcing of going private, so can you explain to me how that process seems to have unintended consequence of improving the relationship between the client? Is it by accident or how does it do this?
No, it is not by accident, there are multiple goals, you’re correct, there are multiple triggers for this, one was hurricane season, in the 2004 hurricane seasons, Florida was hit by four storms, we were in a situation where we had more applications for disaster, food stamps than it was humanly possible to process.
And part of our innovation came out of that experience of having to come up with a better way, then we built on that experience, then there was development of a case study because it was under consideration to privatize, and we developed an internal case study or proposal and there were private proposals.
And the governor looked at those and decided to use the insourced public sector approach rather than the outsourced private sector approach for the innovation, the savings targets that you would get with outsourcing though we committed to, but we also wanted to improve access to our customers.
The other part of it in a post welfare reform era is to get away from welfare centric approaches, because most of our clients particularly families with adults are working now, so we have to have work centric approaches, because people simply don’t have time to spend hours and days in the welfare office to get the benefits off.
This wants to help us grapple with a problem that we’re going to be facing with, and what you’re doing is very commendable, as you have said in the beginning, you’ve got an electronic ticket, we now find in all areas that information technologies are being applied and indeed we have given Awards in the past on this committee to start back, what comes to add way back with the Giuliani administration?
So as information technologies are applied more and more widely, what becomes the innovation? I mean how do we think about the quality of innovation? In fact what you’re doing sounds very like you’re taking somebody else when somebody else is doing another area and applying it to your area.
Welfare systems are notorious for applying 19th century solution to 20th century problems, so I think to apply cutting-edge technology to our issues is an innovation, I think no one has done this on the scope that we have done, and I think that certainly is cutting edge.
The final point that I will make is that it is part of a fundamental change in our relationship with the people that we serve to empower them and to assist in that process, and I think that’s very different from what we do that in the past, thank you very much for that answer, what if I might ask other finalists who are in bringing to us information technology innovations.