Source: Guillermo X. Garcia, San Antonio Express-News (TX), 05/10/2006 12:00 AM CDT
Effective immediately, state workers again will be responsible for processing applications for assistance programs such as food stamps and Medicaid after myriad problems resulted with the private company hired to do the job. Bermuda-based Accenture LLP won an $899 million, five-year contract early last year to take over the state’s public assistance eligibility system. The switch comes about as state Health and Human Services officials acknowledge flaws with several components of the system, which is supposed to help applicants compile the information that’s used to determine eligibility for public assistance programs.
Source: By Corrie MacLaggan, AMERICAN-STATESMAN (TX), Thursday, April 06, 2006
…….. State officials have put on hold a controversial call-in system for Texans to apply for food stamps and Medicaid, Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Albert Hawkins announced Wednesday. Hawkins is calling for better training for the system’s private-sector customer service representatives and improvements in how data from applications are tracked. Officials will re-evaluate the system’s readiness in 30 days, to ensure that call center employees are better able to resolve complicated cases, he said.
Source: Associated Press (TX), Feb. 16, 2006, 3:45AM
Federal officials are closely watching the state’s effort to streamline its health and human services eligibility system, expressing concerns in recent letters about the speed of the transition and its impact on customer-service quality and client satisfaction. …. Using the new computer system, the state plans to replace 99 of its 310 eligibility offices with four call centers run by a private technology company. …. On Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, an arm of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, authorized funding for the project only through June, saying it wants to evaluate the system’s performance before releasing more money. In a letter to the commission, Richard Friedman, the director of CMS’ division of state systems, said his agency had a number of concerns about the project, including increased costs, contingency planning and details about who will make eligibility determinations.
Source: Jon R. Luoma, Mother Jones, November/December 2002
Contamination, riots, rate increases, scandals. From Atlanta to Manila, cities are confronting the true cost of water privatization.
Source: Corrie MacLaggan, Austin AMERICAN-STATESMAN (TX), Friday, December 02, 2005
Colorado’s cancellation this week of a $10.5 million contract for voter registration software is raising concerns about Texas’ nearly $1 billion contract with the same company to enroll residents in public assistance. …. Accenture, a global consulting and technology firm, took over operation of Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program call centers Monday from Affiliated Computer Services Inc. It is expected to begin operating Texas’ eligibility call centers for food stamps and Medicaid in 2006. The Texas State Employees Union on Thursday urged state officials to delay implementing the contract.