Monday, June 04, 2007


I have to say that it's been a while.  You know, summer is upon us which is generally a very busy time in the offices.
That being said, I have to comment on Media Coverage.  You know, every article out there talks about CHIP.  CHIP CHIP CHIP.  Don't get me wrong, CHIP is a great program.  But you know what?  It's not the ONLY program.
What's more- those people on chip have a decent income.  No, they aren't RICH.  But they aren't getting $200 per month in income either.  That being said, no attention is given to Medicaid (which is also a program that can help improve the health of Texas children, and pregnant women, etc).  You only hear about how HARD it is to get CHIP.  Lost paperwork.  You know what?  Medicaid is having those issues as well.  So is the Food Stamp Program.  Tanf.  You know what happens when a family that is in the "new and improved computer system" TIERS program and they can't get their benefits?  They don't have money for FOOD. 
It just seems like to the Joe Public taxpayer, CHIP is a win-win.  It's health insurance for those who make too much for WELFARE (which is how Joe Blow sees Medicaid) and you have to pay for it.  So it is fine with Joe Public.  But do you think Mr. Public feels that way about a Medicaid card?  A Lone Star card? 
Guess what?  There are people out there who are still suffering at the hands of Hawkins and Co.  TIERS is dealing with it's caseload because it's been sent back to the ART workers.  The STATE EMPLOYEES.
Go figure.

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Anonymous said...

I have been out of the loop for a while. Is the call center or TAA doing anything at this time? Is everything back in the state offices? Just wondering?

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know that TIERS still has it's shortcomings, I had a client come into the office today complaining that she was denied medicaid and food stamps. Seems her childrens birthdates were mistyped when the case was converted, and they were all over 21, no medicaid and were sanctined for E & T.....The client is only 25. Her kids are like 3, 5 and 8. I've been seeing this client for the past 12 years (she would come in with her mother.....) She went to planned parenthood and was enrolled without her knowledge in the womens health program. She now wants out so she can get her benefits taken care of at the local level. I had to apologize and tell her to call 211...I hate that. Complete loss of control. Now, she may have to quit school to work full time in order to feed the family. She was trying to break the welfare cycle, but won't be able to right yet...

Anonymous said...

That above is horrible. How can a state g0 from being number 1 to this? It is sickening!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's sickening, and just imagine how much this same scenario is being played out across the state?

We used to offer such quality services, and could help fix anything locally- give a client a face/name of someone who was on their side when things like this happened...but now? "Call 211" is all we can do.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the employees currently at the call center are going to roll over into HHSC positions--if HHSC is supposed to hire 1000 new employees to deal with this mess, as Hawkins & Co. have publicly claimed, and TAA is out of the picture more and more with each passing day. I often wonder if those 1000 are the current 1000 TAA folks in the call centers.

I heard about 200 TAA currently work at the Austin call center, 400 in the Midland call center, I'm guessing 200 in the Athens and San Antonio call centers as well. In some ways, it would make sense and maybe even be a good thing if that were the case depending on the person's qualifications of course--atleast people might have some familiarity with the programs involved vs. anybody else on the street.

I think the major, major problem with the TAA-managed call center scenario was TIERS and their MaxE program not talking to each other. If these TAA call center people had been state employees all along, there wouldn't have been a security requirement for a MaxE program, no need for duplicate data entries for case work, less chances for incorrect entries in cases, less delays due to unproductive duplicative work being redone over and over, etc. Basically, it might have worked out much more smoothly for all involved.

Hindsight is 20/20, and while I don't work directly with TW or LTCS or anything, this is just my observation from the perspective of someone standing right outside the ring. I'm hoping we do get this back into State employees' hands where it belongs in the first place.

One of the things that really irks me to no end is how in one minute Hawkins & Co. tells everyone they have "stopped the expansion of TIERS"...then continue push out TIERS further anyway in the form of the Women's Health Program.

Blatant lie if you ask me.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment about continuing to push TIERS with the Women's Health Program. Keep in mind it also happened with the foster care/adoption cases.

I feel really bad for that client who got signed up for WHP through Planned Parenthood.

What happened to discussing with the client all of the programs and asking what they wanted to apply for??????

Many, many clients had to be converted once that decision was made. So many workers across the state, not just Austin area, are now being trained on TIERS in order to keep up with the workload because it is too much for the ART workers to handle. It seems like a "back door" way of getting the state into TIERS.

Also, I love this blog. I was doing a Google search and found this by accident. I have bookmarked it and check back every few weeks or so. I love the politically correct statement at the top of the page stating that this is the opinion of a private citizen and future client ... does not represent the opinions of HHSC.

Good move!