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Michigan Applies Advanced Technology to Manage Critical State Human Services Programs at the Local LevelContacts:
David Akerly, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Department of Human Services (DHS)
(517) 373-7394 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kurt Weiss, Public Information Director, Department of Technology, Management & Budget
Steve Puleo, Corporate Communications, OptumInsight
LANSING, Mich., May 2, 2012 - More than 1,000 Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) county managers across the state are using advanced technology to strengthen caseworker productivity, contain costs, identify potential fraud and abuse, and improve the health and well-being of beneficiaries who rely on DHS's food, medical, and cash assistance programs.
The state believes the new county-level data analysis and reporting tool will help achieve significant savings and improve services by enabling local managers to make critical decisions about staff, programs, and budgets based on specific local and regional needs - without awaiting action or direction from executives in Lansing. The technology supports Gov. Rick Snyder's call for Michigan's state government to focus on innovation and rapid decision-making to reduce costs and improve service and efficiency within state government.
The new technology was developed by DHS and the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB), in partnership with OptumInsight, the state's long-time business intelligence partner.
Using the tool's analytic capabilities, easy-to-understand reports, and "dashboard views" of information, DHS county managers in 115 offices across Michigan have, for the first time, the local capability to:
The tool also helps social workers in the field better manage their caseloads to respond to client needs. Michigan social workers have experienced a growing number of cases brought on by staffing cuts and the economic downturn. In 2004, workers managed an average of 200 cases; today, the number has soared to an average of 600 cases per social worker. Caseworkers can now deliver more timely and effective services to beneficiaries. For example, information spanning all assistance programs is now available in one place, enabling a single caseworker to assist clients with multiple benefit programs.
The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) awarded Michigan first place for the county-level solution in the "Data Information and Knowledge Management" category.
The technology is linked to the information-rich DHS/DTMB Lansing-based business intelligence and decision support data warehouse, also implemented in partnership with OptumInsight, which helps DHS manage virtually all of its programs. The county solution also works in conjunction with DHS's nationally recognized "Bridges" program, a fully automated and integrated eligibility determination and benefit issuance process for the state's cash assistance, medical assistance, food assistance, child care, and low-income home energy programs. Because of its link with Bridges, the county-focused tool is called the Bridges Information Management Mart, or BRIMM.
Shelby Solomon, OptumInsight president, Government Solutions, said: "OptumInsight is grateful for the opportunity to have worked with Michigan during its many years of national leadership in using advanced technologies to control costs and deliver health and human services more effectively. The county-level solution is the latest example of the State's commitment to constantly improve the way it serves beneficiaries and taxpayers."
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