Tuesday, March 13, 2007

TIERS reflections

I was going back and reading some archives from April of last year- and came across these gems:
These were found in THIS post (under comments):
1st, a comment that was left by an Accenture employee (what a difference a year makes, no?):
Folks, sorry to break up the lovefest but the "entry level" workers at the San Antonio office are doing you job better than you are with less training. The problem is not that the data entry people can not work cases as fast as you revered state workers can, it is that TIERS is a slow and most of the time monotonous program that requires lots of time. I have talked with many, many of the state workers who have come to observe. Many of them were critical or, at least, wary of all these entry level people doing the work.

After a few short days they commented to me at how great of a job they were doing and that the entry level staff had a greater grasp of policy in the few short months that had been working, than many of the people in the offices. No telling what these entry level people will be like once they get the hang of the process.

One state worker said that the problems people are having on the floor are the same problems experienced by state people. Lucky for us, we have state workers and former state workers who work on the floor to answer policy questions and bring everyone up to speed.

So, for all of you smart and intelligent state workers who seem to think that the world can not revolve without your knowledge, get over it.

This is a pilot program, once more, one that is only several months old. Everyone is still coming up to speed with the ungodly program of TIERS.

It will take TAA time to fix what you, the collect state worker, spent years screwing up. Why do you think they privatized it?
And then this comment left by Fr. John who explains alot about TIERS:
Fr. John Whiteford said...
TIERS was not screwed up by HHSC workers. I was on a TIERS advisory committee before they signed the contract to develope the piece of crap system that they now have. They had field staff from every region in the state to provide feedback on what we needed in a new system. Problem was, they already knew what we needed, and just presented their ideas to us. We provided feedback to the extent that we could, but they weren't really interested in what we had to say. Then, as soon as they signed the new contract, they disbanded this committee, and so we never had a chance to provide feedback based on how the actual program worked.

This program was supposed to have been rolled out in 2001, they spent 300 million dollars on it, and it is a piece of crap. SAVERR, for all of its problems, is still a far faster, and more reliable system.

Those of us who have taken issue with the Accenture contract have never blamed the staff at Accenture for the problem. The problem is with a system that cannot work. I don't care how good the staff at accenture are, or get, they will not be able to save the state money with this system, because too many cooks are involved in determining eligibility, and if you had ever done interviews from start to finish (from taking the application, to the point of issuing the benefits, and all points in between) you would know why it is always worse to have more than one person involved in the interview process. It is too difficult to figure out what the previous person saw or did not see, when you are trying to figure out what the next step should be. It is better to have one person interview the client, and then do the follow up steps.

When I was a worker, and had to finish a case another worker had started, I generally had to call the client, and practically do another interview to make sure that the previous person didn't miss something, because in the old system, whoever actually certified the case was ultimately responsible for the case, regardless of what mis-steps anyone else might have made.

How then can you expect a HHSC worker to take a case from someone that they have never seen, and do not know, and trust the case work that they did. Either the worker will end up re-doing that work, or they will simply rubber stamp what the Accenture worker did. Neither alternative is an improvement on the old system.

Also, anyone who has ever done interviews will tell you that doing a face to face interview gives you a lot more information than doing one over the phobe, because people are much more comfortable lying over the phone than they are looking someone in the face.

At the end of the day, if we want quality cases that give people what they are actually eligible for, we should be doing face to face interviews.

In fact, doing occassional home interviews (like we used to do back in the day) gives you even more information than an in office interview can.

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