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We’re reporting from the floor of the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) ISM Conference at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. As mentioned in a previous post on the Top 3 Issues in HHS Technology, we’re looking at breakout sessions on key HHS issues, including work requirements, modular modernization, and user-centered design.

On Monday, we attended the panel on “Work Requirements Changes are Afoot,” with representatives from Mississippi and Kentucky. The takeaway was that more often than not, agencies can work together to share systems for mutual benefit.

Overheard: “Get out of silos and work together”

Sandra Giddy, Director of Workforce Development at Mississippi Department of Human Services, said that in Mississippi the governor mandated that they “get out of silos and work together.”

Case in point, Kristi Putnam, Deputy Secretary for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services explained how they partnered with the career center for a solution for the Medicaid community engagement requirement (their version of work requirements). Her department was trying to determine:

“How we were going to implement what we call a community engagement requirement? How are we going to provide the infrastructure support? Who’s going to provide these services for those individuals looking to meet the community engagement requirement as a part of eligibility?” Putnam detailed.

“We were having conversations with workforce development about sending out an RFP, but they said, wait a minute, we already do this, we already provide these services. So we started working closely with our local workforce boards, starting with SNAP Employment and Training.”

We need one system

“As soon as the decision was made to partner with our career center to provide these services for our beneficiaries, we said, well, we need one system,” Putnam said. “So we created a change agent network, and we brought in different representatives from the career center to help design the system. There was a lot that would have been lost had we used the current system used for SNAP.”

“So with the partnership and design of a new solution, we were able to integrate these programs into what would become our integrated workforce solution. We rolled out the SNAP piece in January, and as of July 1, though we are still waiting on approval of the waiver, our Medicaid recipients can go in there and volunteer. They have access to their functionality in the system today.”

“On October 1, this solution is going to be replacing the current case management solution. So after October we’ll be integrated. We’ll continue to work with other agencies to get more of their data and more information from them. We do share data between our eligibility enrollment solution with our workforce solutions. It saves time as we do see that a lot of the populations cross over.”

Our flair

If you’re at ISM, be sure to stop by and see us at the GovWebworks booth, #710. We have some awesome buttons to help you express yourself (see image above).

You do want to express yourself, don’t you?” Now if you feel that the bare minimum of flair is enough, then fine. But some people choose to wear more and we encourage that, okay? (It’s an Office Space reference, just in case you somehow missed that movie and were wondering.)

While you’re here, ask our consultants about solutions for human services agencies to support children and families, build thriving communities, and drive economic self-sufficiency.

As a custom development company, we are dedicated to defining solutions that fit with existing processes, and delivering them in a transparent and predictable way.

Some areas where we’ve already made a difference:

  • Benefit-based Work Requirements
  • Benefits Eligibility
  • Child Care
  • Child Support
  • Community Health
  • Workforce Enablement

Learn more

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