Alameda Co. uses business analytics to improve social services

California’s Alameda County is using IBM analytics technology to make their Social Services Agency (SSA) more efficient and detect possible fraud or abuse, the company announced yesterday during their Information On Demand 2009 conference in Las Vegas.

According to IBM, new system analytics will benefit County caseworkers and clients by providing a host of tracking and reporting tools designed to improve service delivery and decrease wait time for those looking to receiving assistance benefits like social security, Medi-Cal (the state’s Medicaid program) and CalWORKS (the state’s welfare-to-work program). By providing a consolidated picture of all the benefits a client is receiving, across six different social programs, caseworkers can utilize automated emails, text messages or calls notifying them when important changes occur in the status of a case.

The new system allows Alameda SSA to be proactive in delivering service, Don Edwards, assistant agency director at Alameda Social Services Agency, said in a statement. SSA staff can utilize dashboards to see real-time gaps in funding and resources from multiple payment and case management systems. They can also use a shared view of case management to make sure all stakeholders have access to the same information, knowing the information is accurate.

Another benefit of IBM’s business analytics, is that Alameda SSA caseworkers can now more easily detect fraud and abuse with program claims by using tools that will red-flag irregularities in less than a minute rather than weeks, months or longer. The ability to quickly identify people that are not entitled to benefits they are receiving could saves taxpayers millions, the company said.

The new system was implemented in less than six months, and it utilizes IBM Cognos reporting and dashboards, as well as IBM Data Warehouse, DB2 and Entity Analytics, according to the company.

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