Magazine article Policy & Practice

Streamlining Customer Service

Magazine article Policy & Practice

Streamlining Customer Service

Article excerpt

With a focus on quality of service, New York City's Human Resources Administration launched its Medicaid Assistance Program. The program has redesigned the application and case management process for public health insurance. With five model Medicaid offices now open, some of the dramatic results include:

* A reduction in client prescreening and application process from two interviews on separate days to one visit;

* A decrease in the time clients wait to complete the prescreening and application process, from 51/2 hours to 30 minutes; and

* A decrease in the time clients wait for eligibility determination, from as many as 30 days to 14 days.

How did staff do it? Each office formed a work team of five members, including the site manager, eligibility workers, and administrative staff. The team members were asked to step out of their formal job roles and observe how work was currently being done in the center. The group was then asked to use the findings as a starting point to create new ways of working to improve the quality of service and reduce "cycle time"--the time it takes for a client to complete the application process. …

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