5/4/15 Weekly Workload Update

This is Public Service Appreciation Week. Have no doubt; there is no employee in state government more worthy of the public’s appreciation than DPA. I talk to a clients or providers every day. Are many of them frustrated by late benefits or decisions and concerned about help for their family or patient? Certainly they are. But, the people I talk to are also typically very grateful for the help and compassion they receive from staff.

As grateful as our clients may be, no one appreciates someone in public service more than their co-worker. What a grand team we have in DPA. Catch someone doing a good thing and praise them (there are tons of opportunities to say thank you around us every day).

Read the rest of the message and view charts..

4/27/15 Weekly Workload Update

Another week of hard work that paid off with a bit of a drop in the overall backlog, and every bit counts. Staff made the most of protected time completing almost 5,000 actions during the prior week.

Meeting SNAP interview requirements has been challenging. To help alleviate some of that pressure, staff from Program Integrity and Work Services will soon be assisting with interviews. To support their efforts, field services developed an interview guide. A recent test of the guide was very positive with an experienced ET able to do 18 interviews in a day completing the majority of them.

Read the rest of the message and view charts..

4/20/15 Weekly Workload Update

It is great to see the backlog of work drop for the second time this month! It is outstanding that, in addition to the backlogged work being processed, hundreds of Alaskans are still getting timely and accurate eligibility determinations and benefit issuances that help meet their basic needs. Keep on trucking!

Getting within federal and state timeframes for all applications is essential for the thousands of Alaskans that depend on DPA for food, shelter and health care. Furthermore, the backlog presents a risk of fiscal sanctions. Given the current budget crisis; it is a risk that must be avoided.

View the rest of the message and charts.

4/13/15 Weekly Workload Update

Let’s do the numbers! As official master of the obvious, I’d like to point out, for the first time since December 2014, the total number of applications out of timeframes has dropped when compared to the prior week.

Way to go team! The Commissioner’s immediate response to news was to voice her gratitude for the incredible people doing the work that made the difference. So, on behalf of Val, Quyana caknek! Thank you very much!

Read the rest of the message and view charts.

4/6/15 Weekly Workload Update

Pushing through this large workload must seem like a Sisyphean endeavor. However, unlike Sisyphus, doomed to eternity in Hades, when we find ourselves going through H-E-double hockey sticks, we don’t stop. We keep moving forward!

We can’t stop, because the work done by DPA is so meaningful for so many. It has purpose that motivates us to do the right thing. Every action taken and every conversation imbued with compassion and delivered with respect makes a difference to those we help whether they are clients or co-workers. I believe this sense of purpose is one of the things that inspire us to do the work. It is certainly one stimulus for the more than 300 DPA staff and helpers from other divisions who volunteered for over 100,000 hours of overtime between January and March.

Read the full message and view charts.

3/23/15 Weekly Workload Update

Thank you all for your diligence and perseverance addressing our current workload challenge. Every day the collective effort of field staff, folks from other DPA sections, and our volunteers from other divisions is making a difference.

This month we have seen a drop in the number of out of time frame applications for every program except Medicaid. Medicaid numbers continue to rise as we get caught up registering Medicaid applications received predominately from account transfers and the self-service portal. Of the almost 4,500 unregistered Medicaid applications in the queue in February, fewer than 2,000 remain to be processed. A concerted effort to complete these registrations will be initiated shortly and will likely result in additional bumps in the number of aged Medicaid applications.

View the rest of the message and charts.

3/16/15 Weekly Workload Update

Last week we saw a jump in the backlog over the preceding week and yet another bump this week. Do not despair or be disheartened! The work that ensures individuals and families get the services and support they need is still getting done. Last month, field staff completed almost 24,000 case actions (not including actions related to reports of change or pending a case for more information). The tremendous effort of field staff and our volunteers from other sections and divisions is making a difference that is not reflected in the perturbations of the backlog.

View the rest of the message and charts. (pdf)

3/4/15 Weekly Workload Update

Well, it looks like the curve we were turning last week turned out to be a switchback. The jump in our backlog this week is related to the batch of stale account transfers that were recently registered. Some of the transfers were reports of change and others were referrals for service. It is always difficult to absorb a large batch of work like the recent one, especially when some of the work might already be out of time frames. Fortunately, everyone’s efforts over the preceding week kept the backlog from growing even more.

View the rest of the message and charts.

2/23/15 Weekly Workload Update

Despite another slight uptick in the total applications over 30 days, progress is being made. Over 2,100 actions were completed during protected time last week. The 20,666 actions taken on applications last month was another great effort to meet immediate needs and to address the aged applications. Support units continue to pitch in with SD&T registering applications and working cases and SysOps also helping to register applications and work returned mail. Central Office staff are also handling returned mail and assisting at the JDO. What a team!

Even as it looks like we are beginning to turn the corner, there might be another bump in the road when another unanticipated batch of Marketplace account transfers is registered. It’s unclear whether or not these are recent account transfers or ones that could add to the backlog.

Read the rest of the article and view charts

2/18/15 Weekly Workload Update

As predicted, there has been another uptick in the backlog since last week. As mentioned previously, this appears to be a function of our focus on registering of the out of date applications and account transfers, and the aging of more recently received applications as well as factors we are still assessing. On a positive note, with open-enrollment closed we should see some relief from the numerous account transfers we’ve been receiving.

Read the rest of the message and view updated charts.