Thursday, October 19, 2006


I'm going to ramble some as my thoughts are scattered.....

1- has everyone heard about the new 2-1-1 menu options? Now, if you are a TIERS client (and there are many statewide) you can't call 211 unless you are in Travis or Hayes Counties. You are referred to your local office. Problem with that is every office doesn't have a worker/clerk available to do TIERS inquiry. So, if the client comes in for help about their case, and it's an office WITHOUT an ART worker, then what? Figures.

2- how is that jsap job placement going for everyone? How about AccessHR? Had any problems with leave? Savings bonds? If you haven't - consider yourselves lucky. This privatization is GREAT (/sarcasm)

3- have you workers been told that you surely can work weekends and late if you have to in order to stay somewhat caught up? Is this an option that is given to you more as a demand rather than something to help you out? Wow- I guess TPTB think we don't have households to take care of or kids to care for.

4- if you are a client, or someone who helps clients (Advocacy Inc and San Antonio Food Bank!)- please enourage them to contact FNS. FNS regulates the Food Stamp Program. Having to wait 40-50 days is against policy. Problem is, it's not the fault of local office staff, but rather this scheme to line someone's pockets through contracts....local office staff are doing all they know to do to do everything as fast as possible. But interview 15-20 clients per day, 4-5 days per week leaves little to no time to finish cases UNLESS that worker wants to work Saturday AND Sunday. This misconception that the public has that all we do is 'push a few buttons' to make it happen isn't so. I wish it were that easy. I'd encourage all clients to show up for office appointments rather that do by phone. Yes, it can be inconvenient- but I can assure you that a client that shows up **proof in hand** will get finished THE SAME DAY THEY ARE INTERVIEWED in most cases. Otherwise, it's more waiting.

5- Lead times are out of control. Management of lead times has become unrealistic. The offices are not staffed enough to maintain the 'staus quo' and acceptable lead times.

Clients are going without, employees are working in an unorganized chaos- while Albert Hawkins touts that we have a stable workforce. I'd love to see Mr. Hawkins come on in and sit in a lobby one day. These clients are FURIOUS at the long waits for appointments, the inability to get through to their workers on the phone (because we are all on phone interviews) and having to wait to get questions answered.

Oh, and "Hi!" Accenture (I know y'all still read here!) any insight? Y'all all caught up over there?


Anonymous said...

Yes, anyone who dials 2-1-1 will go straight to an I&R specialist after making a language selection, unless they are in the pilot area. Those callers will receive an IVR prompt about looking for local services or applying for state benefits.

I&R specialists have been notified and trained on where to direct callers looking to apply for state benefits.

To the best of their ability, TIERS clients are being transferred to TAA; SAVERR clients are being referred to the local office.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know where to post this at....

This is the link...

Strayhorn Calls For End of Accenture Contract, Special Master to Oversee Transition, Children to Get Insurance, in Review of Health and Human Services Commission

(Austin)--Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn today recommended the state immediately terminate its contract with Accenture, the private company which was hired by the Governor's administration to administer health and human services to needy Texans.

After her five-month review of the Accenture contract, she reported to the members of the Legislature who had requested the review that she had uncovered wasteful spending and poor contract management by the Health and Human Services Commission.

"The contract with Accenture must be ended. This project has failed the state and the citizens it was designed to serve," Strayhorn said. "I recommend that the contract with Accenture should be ended and that the Legislature pass emergency legislation that removes HHSC's direct management of the project and places responsibility with a turnaround team composed of experts who can effectively manage state resources and stop the drain on tax dollars."

Strayhorn's report found that since Accenture began operations on December 1, 2005, CHIP enrollment has plunged by 8.5 percent, 27,567 children through August 2006. Enrollment in children's Medicaid also fell during this time by 2.9 percent, 53,937 children. Children who were inaccurately denied benefits were in fact eligible.

"In addition," Strayhorn said, "I found that rather than saving money in this biennium, this contract will cost the state almost $100 million more than budgeted while fewer children and families receive the needed benefits."

"I believe the Accenture call center contract is a textbook example of wasteful government spending," Strayhorn said. "The contract with Accenture is fundamentally flawed - it provides Accenture perverse incentives to process applications slowly, inefficiently and incorrectly. It pays Accenture for whatever it spends, regardless of the quality or accuracy of that effort."

Strayhorn recommended the next Legislature approve a special master to oversee the agency's transition from Accenture's management of the program and stop the drain on tax dollars. And most importantly, make sure children receive the health insurance for which they are eligible. In addition, the Legislature should review this administration's 27 major policy changes that have resulted in even more children losing health insurance.

"The turn-around team transition should be funded by the $20 million in excess profits Accenture made while mismanaging its contract," Strayhorn said.

"It is my clear responsibility to look after the fiscal concerns of this state," Strayhorn said. "My administration will stand on performance and accountability. This contract has been mismanaged at virtually every turn."

Strayhorn's review on the Accenture contract was initiated at the request of Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, Rep. Carter Casteel and Rep. Carlos Uresti, who last May asked the Comptroller's Office to analyze, investigate and report on the contract's impact on the state's healthcare system.

Anonymous said...

Fed Up with Management in HHSC/DADS!

We all complain about interviewing excessive numbers of clients each day. Let's all remember that the work is not be distributed evenly to all staff and never will be as long as management caters to certain employees. I am so tired of hearing how so and so can't do anything in this office - well, Why did you hire them, and if they can't do anything then Why haven't you fired them. You as the supervisor have chosen not to challenge them, you accept the whining and you let them do as they please. It is not a fellow employees concern or problem that a co-worker cannot perform up to the job standards they are hired for or kept on to do, and as the supervisor you should not be reeling you comments to other employees. Is this not a
"confidentiality" issue - O'h but then this word "confidential" doesn't mean at rat's ass to our supervisor. If an employee is not capable now of doing any job in this agency, what are they going to be doing at rollout. If they can't read AREV now, how on earth will they be able to function in TIERS. Advisors now doing TIERS are having problems, you may not be laughing about this now, but I will be then.

The managment team doesn't care and as always will give most of the work to reliable staff (despite our complaints)- these are the employees who are showing up for work more frequently than the rest. We must all realize, we may not have been placed in the new system - but at this point you do have a job and are receiving not only a paycheck but the benefits - let's grow up!

The employees going above and beyond, get stuck will all the extra work, receive absolutely no
respect and never get distinuqished. Management has lacked for years in some offices, and because of retaliation being at an all time high - the employees are just too scared to speak out and admit the problems when top officials ask - so the problems go on, and on. No relief will ever come with rollout, just because employee is tenured, does not by any means indicate they will be able to perform, even after training, the job they have been chosen for - WAKE UP AUSTIN!

I say keep ACCENTURE and local offices go PRIVATIZED - only then will those employees that don't want to step up to the plate they can step-on out the door. Private industry FIRE'S abusers. A warm body is one thing - but abuse is another.

Austin has insinuated for years now that they don't care about the employees doing the job, all they care about is the clients we serve.
How soon you forget who has done all the work to get the state the enhancement bonuses.

We can all complain about TIERS and ACCENTURE, however someone needs to clean-up shop in some state offices and everything might improve for all, including the highrate of turnovers. Address the issues and stop shoving them under the carpet.

Let's also remember abusing work rules including time and leave is "stealing" anyway you look at it, this is "FRAUD'. Let's look at what this has gotten the ENRON folks.

Anonymous said...

Special answer to "Fed up".....

Report 'em....If they aren't holding their own, if they are abusing the system, if they are in a supervisory position and are showing 'em. Screw the chain of command, go to whomsoever you feel comfortable reporting it to (within reason, of course.) We are all unhappy campers right now, and a fellow employee taking advantage of a situation just makes things worse. If you open your mouth, then maybe someone else will have the testicular fortitude to do the same. At the very least, maybe it will get back to the parties concerned and they will clean up their acts. Best case is that the word will trickle down, and everyone will straighten up, or leave. We had employees in our office that didn't care, as they were being let go with the roll out. Luckily, someone let management know that there were two hour lunch breaks being taken, and that there were numerous trips to the mall, and this activity stopped. I say luckily because now that the roll out is on hold, we may have to put up with the co workers indefinitely.
Don't let something smolder.