Report 2016-128 Recommendation 2 Responses
Report 2016-128: In‑Home Supportive Services: The State Could Do More to Help Providers Avoid Future Payment Delays (Release Date: March 2017)
Recommendation #2 To: Social Services, Department of
To reduce the likelihood of inadvertent errors on replacement timesheets, Social Services should create functionality within CMIPS II to allow replacement timesheets to be printed with data that had been submitted correctly on the original timesheet. Social Services should develop a plan by August 2017 that outlines actions, such as assessing the cost and seeking funding from the Legislature if necessary, that will be taken to create the functionality.
1-Year Agency Response
Remains Uncorrected/Disagree with Recommendation: CDSS continues outreach to providers who use the paper timesheet process, by including timesheet stuffers with their paper timesheets. The timesheet stuffers (Attachment G) include instructions on how to fill out paper timesheets correctly, avoid violations, and encourages providers to use the electronic timesheet solution. In December 2017, CDSS held online training sessions with providers, specifically covering instructions for completing their timesheets accurately. Additional training was provided in January 2018. CDSS is in the process of recording a webcast that will be posted online with the intent to give providers a tool to help them fill out their timesheets. The webcast can also be used by counties to train new providers as they enter the program.
- Response Date: March 2018
California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Will Not Implement
Social Services indicates that it will not implement the recommendation, although it describes other actions it has taken to inform providers about how to properly complete paper timesheets.
6-Month Agency Response
CDSS has determined pre-printing legible entries on a replacement timesheet is not possible, as the system is unable to determine what is correct. For example, the original timesheet may have been rejected due to a time entry on one of the days the provider or the recipient is ineligible. Pre-printing ineligible time entries would only cause additional confusion and lead to further errors. In addition to the inability of the system to determine what entries are correct, CDSS also has a federal mandate to implement an Electronic Visit Verification (EVV), which will eliminate the paper timesheet for IHSS. The EVV is required to be implemented by January 2019.
- Estimated Completion Date: January 2019
- Response Date: September 2017
California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Will Not Implement
As we describe in the audit report, the electronic timesheet solution does not take into account the population of providers who will continue to use paper timesheets and may benefit from the functionality that allows replacement timesheets to be printed with data that had been submitted correctly.
60-Day Agency Response
The federal 21st Century Cures Act was signed into law December 2016. This new law requires all Personal Care Services Providers utilize an Electronic Visit Verification system as the means for reporting time worked by January 2019. CDSS is currently analyzing the federal requirements and assessing impact on the IHSS program. The law requires an electronic check-in/check-out that captures the time worked and type of service provided, in addition to the information currently collected with paper timesheets. This system could be designed to provide immediate feedback to the provider to support correct reporting of time, and would eliminate paper timesheets altogether. This new federal requirement could address this recommendation if the EVV system were designed to provide real-time prompts that would help to mitigate potential timesheet errors. Also, in the interim, CDSS is currently working with stakeholders on the implementation of electronic timesheets. This automated solution for submission of timesheets offers immediate feedback to the provider of potential errors as they are completing the timesheet entries. Electronic timesheets are scheduled to pilot in Riverside, Sacramento and Yolo counties at the beginning of June 2017. If the pilot goes well, the electronic timesheets will be made available statewide by the end of July 2017. Although the use of electronic timesheets is currently optional, it is an immediate way to begin providing support with timesheet completion.
- Estimated Completion Date: July 2017
- Response Date: May 2017
California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending
Although Social Services highlights the upcoming implementation of electronic timesheets, it acknowledges that their use is currently optional. As we describe in the audit report, this solution does not take into account the population of providers who may choose to use paper timesheets and may benefit from the functionality that allows replacement timesheets to be printed with data that had been submitted correctly.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.