Report 2016-128 All Recommendation 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 #1 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that counties are handling timesheet exceptions consistently and minimizing delays, Social Services should develop and issue procedures by July 2017 to require the counties to first attempt to correct timesheet errors for specific types of exceptions before mailing blank replacement timesheets to providers. Additionally, Social Services should review a random sample of exceptions at least quarterly to ensure that the counties are following its new procedures.

1-Year Agency Response

On May 31, 2017, CDSS released ACL 17-48 (Attachment C), providing direction to counties regarding the resolution of timesheet exceptions. CDSS has also implemented processes (Attachment A) and procedures (Attachment B), that CDSS Adult Programs Division (APD) auditor uses to perform monthly reviews of the timesheet exceptions identified using the data download file provided by the Case Management, Information, and Payrolling System (CMIPS) vendor. In CDSS' 6-month response, the Department had previously identified the Monthly Organizational Management Report (MOMR) would be used for this analysis; however, after analyzing the process, IHSS determined the CMIPS data download file was a more appropriate source of the data. IHSS began providing formal reports once the vacant auditor position was filled beginning with the December 2017 report. For a sample of the report see Attachment D.

  • Completion Date: May 2017
  • Response Date: March 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


6-Month Agency Response

CDSS released All County Letter (ACL) 17-48 on May 31, 2017, providing direction to counties regarding the resolution of timesheet exceptions. CDSS has also implemented a quarterly process to review the Timesheet Exceptions by County section of the Hewlett-Packard Enterprises (HPE) Monthly Organizational Management Report (MOMR) (see Attachments A, B, and C).

  • Completion Date: May 2017
  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

Social Services' new procedures address our recommendation to direct the counties to initially attempt to correct timesheet errors. We are still awaiting evidence from Social Services that its staff is conducting the quarterly reviews of exceptions.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

CDSS released a draft Timesheet Exceptions Report All County Letter (ACL) for stakeholder review in December 2016. CDSS released a revised draft ACL for stakeholder review March 2017. The ACL is now being finalized and will be released the end of May 2017. This ACL will also communicate that CDSS will be monitoring the counties' activities on a quarterly basis to ensure timely resolution is occurring (see Attachment A).

  • Estimated Completion Date: May 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


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.


Recommendation #3 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that counties follow a consistent and expeditious policy for responding to providers who report lost or stolen paychecks, Social Services should issue a policy by September 2017 that allows providers to request replacement paychecks after five business days from the issue date of the lost or stolen paychecks.

1-Year Agency Response

The ACL, which provides direction on reporting lost or stolen paychecks and how to request a replacement paycheck, is currently routing for final approval through the Department and should be released

March 31, 2018. Additionally, CDSS collaborated with the State Controller's Office (SCO) to identify the required timeframe for when counties can perform the action to replace a lost or stolen paycheck. The 10-calendar day timeframe, as previously reported, has been changed to five business days, which allows time for mailing and gives the State Treasurer's Office and SCO enough time to return cashed warrant information, and CMIPS to be updated.

  • Estimated Completion Date: February 2018
  • Response Date: March 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented


6-Month Agency Response

CDSS sent the draft All County Letter (ACL) for stakeholder review in August 2017. CDSS will release the final ACL by October 2017. The policy will allow providers to request a replacement paycheck after 10 calendar days from the issue date of the lost or stolen paycheck.

  • Estimated Completion Date: October 2017
  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending

Social Services states that its draft policy will allow providers to request a replacement paycheck after 10 calendar days from the issue date of the lost or stolen paycheck. This amount of time is shorter than the period of 10 business days specified in its original response to the audit. However, as stated in our report, we believe a more reasonable amount of time is five business days, which allows the average two to three business days for first-class mail delivery, plus two extra days for any unforeseen circumstances.


60-Day Agency Response

CDSS has met with the State Controller's Office to discuss its requirements for void and replacement of lost or stolen warrants. CDSS is writing and will release for stakeholder comment a draft All County Letter (ACL) by July 2017. CDSS will release the final ACL by September 2017.

  • Estimated Completion Date: September 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #4 To: Social Services, Department of

To assist counties in resolving exceptions efficiently and in managing their workload, Social Services should by December 2017 develop a timesheet exceptions report in CMIPS II that enables county staff to categorize common exceptions, identify providers with recurring exceptions, and track timesheet processing workload over a period of time. Social Services should also train county staff on the most effective use of these reports.

1-Year Agency Response

As described in Recommendations 1 and 8, in December 2017, CDSS APD auditor began conducting monthly reviews of timesheet exceptions data to ensure counties are resolving timesheet exceptions in a timely manner. See Attachments A and B diagramming the process flow and procedures, and Attachment D for a sample report provided to CDSS management.

  • Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: March 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Resolved

In its six-month response, Social Services described various steps it was undertaking to provide guidance and direction to counties on resolving timesheet exceptions. However, in this one-year response, Social Services indicates that its own staff are performing monthly reviews of timesheet exceptions, informing the counties of those exceptions, and working with the counties to address the exceptions. Although this approach differs from our recommendation of empowering the counties to use the exception reports, it appears to be yielding a similar desired result of educating the counties on identifying and resolving common exceptions.


6-Month Agency Response

CDSS released All County Letter (ACL) 17-48 on May 31, 2017, providing direction to counties regarding the resolution of timesheet exceptions and provided guidance on the utilization of the existing Timesheet Exceptions Report (see Attachment C). As previously communicated, CDSS will be conducting quarterly assessments to ensure counties are resolving timesheet exceptions in a timely manner (see Attachments A and B diagraming the process flow).

Additionally, CDSS submitted change requests to the CMIPS II vendor to modify existing data download files to include detailed timesheet and timesheet exception data. These data download files are expected to be released to the counties by October 2017. CDSS will be scheduling webinar trainings for county users in October 2017 to assist them in the tracking and resolution of timesheet exceptions.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

As noted in the CDSS response to Recommendation 1, CDSS released a draft All County Letter (ACL) in January 2017 to the counties providing guidance on the utilization of the existing Timesheet Exceptions Report. The final ACL will also communicate that CDSS will monitor the counties activities on a quarterly basis to ensure timely resolution is occurring. The final ACL will be released by the end of May 2017 (see Attachment A).

Additionally, CDSS submitted change requests to the CMIPS II vendor to modify existing data download files to include detailed timesheet and timesheet exception data. These data download files are provided to counties to assist them in the tracking and resolution of timesheet exceptions. This change is scheduled to be implemented September 2017.

CDSS is developing and will provide counties with training on use of both the timesheet exception report and the data download by December 2017.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #5 To: Social Services, Department of

To effectively communicate information to providers and reduce call volumes at counties, Social Services should implement functionality within CMIPS II by December 2017 to provide automated notifications to providers about the status of their timesheets and paychecks, including when timesheets are received and processed, when paychecks are processed, and whether there are exceptions on timesheets that would delay processing paychecks and whom to contact at the county to address those exceptions.

1-Year Agency Response

In November 2017, CDSS successfully implemented electronic timesheets in all 58 counties. As a part of the electronic process, all enrolled providers and recipients receive emails (Attachment H) as their timesheets are being processed, approved, and paid. Also included is the Timesheet History PowerPoint (Attachment F) which was recorded as a training webcast for providers and recipients. The recorded webcast can be found at: http://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/IHSS-Providers/Resources/Timesheet-Information

  • Completion Date: November 2017
  • Response Date: March 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Partially Implemented

Social Services implemented functionality within CMIPS II to provide automated notifications to providers who use the new electronic timesheets feature. Although Social Services reported in its six-month response that providers who choose not to use electronic timesheets are still able to set up an account in the application and check the status of their timesheets and paychecks, it did not address this provision in its one-year response or provide evidence of the provision's implementation.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

6-Month Agency Response

CDSS successfully implemented electronic timesheets in the pilot counties in June 2017, and is expected to complete the implementation in November 2017. This solution automatically sends email notifications to the providers and recipients who opt into this service throughout the timesheet process. Additionally, any provider, including those who do not use the electronic timesheets feature, can set up an account in the application and can check the status of their timesheets and paychecks.

  • Estimated Completion Date: November 2017
  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending

Social Services did not provide documentation to illustrate examples of the email notifications or the account used to check on the status of timesheets and paychecks.


60-Day Agency Response

With the implementation of the electronic timesheets which is scheduled to pilot in June 2017, and if successful, will go live statewide in July 2017, this solution will include a feature that automatically sends email notifications to the providers and recipients who opt into this service throughout the timesheet process. Additionally, any provider, including those who do not use the electronic timesheets feature, can set up an account in the application and have the ability to check the status of their timesheets and paychecks. CDSS also is evaluating options that could send email notifications to the providers and/or recipients when the paper timesheet has been received and processed through CMIPS II.

  • Estimated Completion Date: July 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #6 To: Systems Integration, Office of

To ensure that HPE is meeting its contractual obligation for processing timesheets, OSI should monitor whether the TPF is processing timesheets within five business days, assess penalties when warranted, and report the results of this monitoring to Social Services on a monthly basis.

60-Day Agency Response

During the audit, OSI was able to demonstrate to the California State Auditor that HPE met its contractual obligation of processing timesheets within five business days of receipt, 100 percent of the time over the previous 34 months, and no penalties had been assessed on HPE. For ongoing monitoring, OSI had HPE update the Monthly Operational Management Report (MOMR), effective January 2017, to include a monthly metric for the five-day requirement. OSI shares the MOMR with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) each month, and we jointly monitor timesheet metrics to ensure timely processing. If HPE were not able to meet the contractual obligation, OSI would assess penalties as warranted.

  • Completion Date: January 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #7 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that HPE is meeting its contractual requirements, Social Services should review timesheet processing data and reports and follow up with OSI to make sure it is taking corrective action if HPE exceeds the agreed-upon processing time frames.

60-Day Agency Response

CDSS now receives and reviews the HPE Monthly Organizational Management Report (MOMR). HPE updated the report as of January 2017 to include a metric to demonstrate that HPE meets the agreed-upon five-day processing time from date stamp of receipt at the timesheet processing center to transmittal of the warrant request to the State Controller's Office. Previously, the metric was available through an on-demand report.

The Department will continue to work with OSI on monitoring of vendor contract requirements.

  • Completion Date: May 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #8 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that OSI is adequately monitoring HPE and to allow for more proactive management of the IHSS program, Social Services should work with OSI to enforce the contract provision requiring HPE to submit monthly data on the number of timesheets with exceptions by county and the time taken to resolve those exceptions. Moreover, Social Services should develop a process for regularly reviewing these data to detect any discrepancies among the counties' processes for handling timesheets with exceptions.

1-Year Agency Response

CDSS receives and reviews the CMIPS data download file from the vendor, which provides a greater level of detail than the MOMR, that the CDSS APD auditor uses in conjunction with the CMIPS II system to drill down on cases to determine the reason(s) for any exceptions and the time it took to resolve the exceptions by county. The CDSS APD auditor identifies any counties out of compliance based on the aging of their timesheet exceptions and reports any findings to CDSS management (Attachment D). CDSS management then communicates with counties to ensure that the exceptions are being processed following CDSS policies and procedures as outlined in ACL 17-48. See Attachment B for the procedures used.

  • Completion Date: May 2017
  • Response Date: March 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


6-Month Agency Response

CDSS now receives and reviews the Hewlett-Packard Enterprises (HPE) Monthly Organizational Management Report (MOMR); HPE refined the report as of January 2017 to include the number of timesheets with exceptions by county and the time taken to resolve those exceptions by county. CDSS has implemented a process for an Associate Management Auditor to review the MOMR and identify any counties out of compliance based on the aging of their timesheet exceptions. Please see attached process flow for more details (see Attachments A and B).

  • Completion Date: May 2017
  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

Although Social Services now has access to monthly data on the number of timesheets with exceptions by county and the time taken to resolve those exceptions, we are still awaiting actual examples from Social Services demonstrating that its staff is regularly reviewing these data to detect discrepancies.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

CDSS now receives and reviews the HPE Monthly Organizational Management Report (MOMR), HPE refined the report as of January 2017 to include the number of timesheets with exceptions by county and the time taken to resolve those exceptions by county.

As mentioned in the previous response, CDSS has also submitted change requests to CMIPS II vendor to modify data download files, to ensure that the Department and counties can better track the processing of timesheet exceptions.

  • Completion Date: May 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented

Using the MOMR, Social Services now has access to monthly data on the number of timesheets with exceptions by county and the time taken to resolve those exceptions. However, our recommendation also addresses the need for developing a process for its review to detect discrepancies among the counties' processes for handling timesheets with exceptions. In addition, although Social Services communicated that it has submitted change requests to HPE to modify data download files, it did not indicate whether it has received or reviewed these data.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Recommendation #9 To: Systems Integration, Office of

To ensure that the reports it receives from HPE are complete and allow it to better manage CMIPS II and support the IHSS program, OSI should enforce its agreement requiring HPE to submit monthly data on the number of timesheets with exceptions by county and the time taken to resolve them.

60-Day Agency Response

The Office of Systems Integration (OSI) and the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) worked together to define metrics that are to be tracked monthly, including the number of timesheets with exceptions by county and the time to resolve exceptions by county. As of January 2017, the OSI had HPE update the Monthly Operational Management Report (MOMR) to include those metrics. The MOMR is shared with, and reviewed by, the OSI and the CDSS each month.

  • Completion Date: January 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #10 To: Social Services, Department of

To enable it to track whether EDD is meeting its contractual time frame for printing and mailing timesheets, Social Services should either modify its current agreement or require in the renewal of its agreement a method for tracking the time required to print and mail timesheets. Social Services should also perform monthly reviews of the activities performed by EDD and SCO to ensure compliance with the time frames for each agreement. Additionally, Social Services should implement a process to regularly test EDD and SCO processes to ensure that they are within the required time frames.

1-Year Agency Response

CDSS is currently working with the Employment Development Department (EDD) to establish the reporting necessary to confirm timesheets mailed. This requires additional information to be provided from the presort vendor, which may come at an additional cost to the CDSS. Once this solution has been completed and approved by both parties, the CDSS/EDD contract will be updated to reflect this new process, which may require additional funds.

Currently, SCO does not have a way to provide any additional reporting regarding IHSS warrants, as the IHSS warrants are combined with all the warrants that SCO produces every day. The SCO is already required to provide a warrant number and issue date for every payment record they receive. The CMIPS vendor reconciles the daily files received from SCO to ensure the number of records returned on the payment file from SCO is the same number that were sent on the payment file, and that all returned records have a warrant number and issue date. Additionally, CDSS Accounting reconciles and approves daily transmittals which identify the warrants processed and sent to SCO for processing.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 2018
  • Response Date: March 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending

Although Social Services informed us of the information made available to it from SCO, it did not address how it would regularly test SCO's processes to ensure that paychecks are issued within the required time frames.


6-Month Agency Response

CDSS is currently working on the detail design requirements with the Employment Development Department (EDD) to establish the reporting necessary to confirm timesheets mailed. Once this solution has been completed and approved by both parties, the CDSS/EDD contract will be amended to reflect the new report.

CDSS is working with the State Controller's Office (SCO) to complete the detail design on the confirmation from SCO that warrants were processed and mailed. Upon the final approval of the design, the CDSS/SCO contract will be amended.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending


60-Day Agency Response

CDSS is currently working on the detail design requirements with EDD to establish the reporting necessary to confirm timesheets mailed. Once this solution has been completed and approved by both parties, the CDSS/EDD contract will be amended to reflect the new report.

CDSS is working with the SCO to complete the detail design on the confirmation from SCO that warrants were processed and mailed. Upon the final approval of the design, the CDSS/SCO contract will be amended.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


Recommendation #11 To: Social Services, Department of

To more effectively address common problems reported by providers and recipients, Social Services should develop a formal process to document and address patterns of concerns conveyed through complaints. Specifically, the process should include a method for Social Services to identify and aggregate the complaints it receives, to analyze that information to determine whether there are common themes or broader issues to address within IHSS, and to obtain sufficient information to substantiate responses to the complaints. The process should also include steps to clarify ambiguous issues raised in the complaints and define clear deadlines and the steps to take when responding to complainants if those deadlines cannot be met.

1-Year Agency Response

CDSS has added an additional field in SharePoint to categorize the concerns to better understand common themes, which could help identify potential larger concerns including payroll, overtime violations, eligibility, county issues, and timesheet issues. CDSS has revised its procedures to reflect changes made to the SharePoint tracking process (Attachment E).

  • Completion Date: June 2017
  • Response Date: March 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented

In addition to providing us with its updated procedures, Social Services provided an example of a report from SharePoint showing how these procedures allow it to identify common themes.


6-Month Agency Response

In January 2016, CDSS established a process using SharePoint to log and track all correspondence responses that are received in the CMIPS unit. CDSS has added an additional field to the SharePoint to categorize the concerns to understand common themes that could help identify potential larger issues including payroll, overtime violations, eligibility, county issues, and timesheet issues. CDSS has revised procedures to reflect changes made to the SharePoint tracking process. Please see attached procedure (Attachment D).

  • Completion Date: June 2017
  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Partially Implemented

Social Services' updated procedures now reference the use of an additional field to categorize concerns. However, Social Services has yet to provide us with examples of reports or excerpts from SharePoint showing how these procedures allow it to identify common themes.

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

60-Day Agency Response

In January 2016, CDSS established a process using SharePoint to log and track all correspondence responses that are received in the CMIPS unit. This application enables CDSS to categorize the concerns to understand common themes that could help identify potential larger issues. CDSS is revising procedures to reflect changes made to the SharePoint.

  • Completion Date: May 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented

Although Social Services is now using SharePoint as a resource for logging and tracking information pertaining to common problems reported by providers and recipients, it has yet to demonstrate its efforts to categorize concerns into common themes that could identify issues of interest. Social Services indicated that it is currently revising procedures, so we will review its progress as reported during its six-month response to the audit.

  • Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation

Recommendation for Legislative Action

To facilitate providers' efforts to report their time, and to reduce the potential for providers to be inadvertently suspended from the IHSS program, the Legislature should amend state law to define the pay period as two workweeks. Moreover, the Legislature should modify state law to require weekly hours as the basis for authorizing services but continue to allow flexibility for recipients to adjust the hours their providers work across workweeks in a manner similar to the provisions of the current law.

Description of Legislative Action

Assembly Bill (AB) 237 (Gonzalez) would specify that a "payroll period" for providers of IHSS and waiver personal care services means two work weeks. This bill was last amended on April 19, 2017, and is pending in the Senate Human Services Committee.

AB 2329 (Obernolte) would specify that a "payroll period" for IHSS providers means two work weeks. This bill was introduced on February 13, 2018, and is pending in the Assembly Human Services Committee.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: March 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Legislation Introduced


Description of Legislative Action

Legislation has not been introduced to address this specific recommendation.

  • Legislative Action Current As-of: December 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: No Action Taken


Recommendation #13 To: Social Services, Department of

Until state law is changed to facilitate providers' efforts to report their time and to reduce the potential for providers to be inadvertently suspended from the IHSS program, Social Services should inform providers of the weekly maximum number of service hours for each variation in the length of the month, rather than using a standard conversion that results in providers claiming more hours than their recipients are authorized.

1-Year Agency Response

Remains Uncorrected/Disagree with Recommendation. CDSS continues to provide information and direction to providers and counties regarding violations. In

January 2018, CDSS included a timesheet stuffer (Attachment G) in all paper timesheets and sent a mass email to all providers who submit their timesheets electronically, to advise them on how to appropriately claim hours for February and avoid violations. The timesheet stuffer and email also contained information that providers can use throughout the year to avoid violations.

  • Response Date: March 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Will Not Implement

Although Social Services continues to disagree with our recommendation, it did offer guidance to providers on how to avoid exceeding their weekly maximum number of service hours for a specific month.


6-Month Agency Response

Remains Not Implemented/Disagree with Recommendation. See 60-day response.

  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Will Not Implement

As referenced in our assessment of the 60-day response, the focus of our recommendation stems from our concerns that Social Services' use of a standard conversion has caused confusion among providers. As we note on page 35 of our report, providers who use the standard conversion prescribed by Social Services are susceptible to reporting more hours in a month that are authorized to the recipient. On page 34, we reported that staff at each of the five counties we visited told us that understanding the relationship between workweeks and pay periods was difficult for many providers. We also noted on page 33 of the report that nearly 50 providers were suspended after receiving a third violation in December 2016.


60-Day Agency Response

As part of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulation implementation activities, CDSS explored this option. The State of California (SOC) 2271 (IHSS Program Provider Notification of Recipient Authorized Hours and Services and Maximum Weekly Hours) and the SOC 2271A (IHSS Program Recipient Notice of Maximum Weekly Hours) were originally drafted to include a grid of the 12 months that would be populated with the standard Weekly Hours for each month. Feedback from program stakeholders on this option was that it was too difficult and confusing. Therefore, the current maximum weekly hours approach was implemented providing guidance to providers on the maximum number of hours they can claim in a week without an approved exception. In either option, a provider is still required to claim the hours they actually work, which may be either above or below the amount on the notice, and the provider is allowed to work over the amount without receiving a violation as long as they do not exceed the normal amount of monthly overtime or if there is an approved exception.

  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Will Not Implement

The focus of our recommendation stems from our concerns that Social Services' use of a standard conversion has caused confusion among providers. As we note on page 35 of our report, providers who use the standard conversion prescribed by Social Services are susceptible to reporting more hours in a month that are authorized to the recipient. On page 34, we reported that staff at each of the five counties we visited told us that understanding the relationship between workweeks and pay periods was difficult for many providers. We also noted on page 33 of the report that nearly 50 providers were suspended after receiving a third violation in December 2016.


Recommendation #14 To: Social Services, Department of

If the Legislature amends state law as we recommend, Social Services should modify the timesheet format to incorporate the weekly authorization for services and the new two-workweek pay period. Social Services should also reconfigure its timesheet to require that all information be entered on one side of the document, including the signatures of the provider and recipient.

1-Year Agency Response

CDSS continues to successfully process over 1 million timesheets each month and the trend of exceptions is consistently decreasing. (see Attachment I). The Department has conducted several timesheet webinar trainings (see Attachment J) for the IHSS recipients and providers, and have posted recorded webcasts on the CDSS website that are available to view at any time. Additionally, with the statewide implementation of the Electronic Timesheet System (ETS), CDSS continues to see the enrollment increase daily. With the use of ETS, the providers will not be able to submit a timesheet with errors, and they will be prompted if/when they attempt to submit a timesheet that will exceed their expected overtime limits.

  • Response Date: March 2018

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Will Not Implement

Although Social Services cites the efforts it has undertaken to educate recipients and providers, we continue to maintain our belief that the State should reconsider an earlier proposal to simplify the use of timesheets, as we state on page 34 of our report. We directed our recommendation to the Legislature to amend state law to define the pay period as two workweeks. Social Services expressed concerns that a two-week pay period would result in frequent situations in which the pay period crosses months. However, a similar situation already exists under the current timesheet format in instances when a workweek crosses over between two pay periods, as we state on page 32 of our report. Despite this concern and other issues that Social Services cites, we believe that the State should consider the extent to which the current timesheet format has caused confusion among providers, particularly in not adhering to workweek limits and being at jeopardy of suspension from the IHSS program.


6-Month Agency Response

Remains Not Implemented/Disagree with Recommendation. See 60-day response.

  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Will Not Implement

We continue to maintain our belief that it may be time for the State to reconsider an earlier proposal to simplify the use of timesheets, as we state on page 34 of our report. We directed our recommendation to the Legislature to amend state law to define the pay period as two workweeks. Although Social Services is concerned that a two-week pay period would result in frequent situations in which the pay period crosses months, a similar situation already exists under the current timesheet format in instances when a workweek crosses over between two pay periods, as we state on page 32 of our report. Despite this concern and other issues that Social Services cites, we believe that the State should consider the extent to which the current timesheet format has caused confusion among providers, particularly in not adhering to workweek limits and being at jeopardy of suspension from the IHSS program.


60-Day Agency Response

While moving to a two-workweek pay period and weekly authorization may benefit providers when completing timesheets, it creates other issues. Nearly one-hundred percent of IHSS recipients receive IHSS as a Medi-Cal benefit. Each IHSS recipient is associated with one of the four IHSS programs: Personal Care Services Program (PCSP), IHSS Plus Option (IPO), Community First Choice Option (CFCO) or the IHSS Residual Program (IHSS-R), each of which are a separate funding source, and the first three are Federal Financial Participation (FFP) Medi-Cal programs. Each month a recipient is associated with one of the four programs/funding sources. Recipients may change programs/funding source from month to month depending on their circumstances. If a two-week pay period were utilized, it would create an alignment issue with Medi-Cal which would impact both program claiming of federal funding and the Medi-Cal share-of-cost spend down process. Utilizing a two-week pay period results in frequent situations where the pay period crosses months, so if a recipient changes program/funding source from one month to the next, then the pay period would be associated to two different funding sources creating significant claiming complexities. The second challenge is with the Medi-Cal share-of-cost spend down. When a provider submits a timesheet for a recipient with a Medi-Cal share-of-cost, the CMIPS system does an automated call to the MEDS system to look for any remaining share-of-cost amount and makes the appropriate deduction from the provider payment. For each call, the MEDS system can only look for a single month's remaining share-of-cost for both months. This would require a system change to the MEDS system. Since IHSS is a Medi-Cal benefit, these are critical issues.

  • Estimated Completion Date:
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Will Not Implement

As we state on page 34 of our report, we believe that it may be time for the State to reconsider an earlier proposal to simplify the use of timesheets. We directed our recommendation to the Legislature to amend state law to define the pay period as two workweeks. Although Social Services is concerned that a two-week pay period would result in frequent situations in which the pay period crosses months, a similar situation already exists under the current timesheet format in instances when a workweek crosses over between two pay periods, as we state on page 32 of our report. Despite this concern and other issues that Social Services cites, we believe that the State should consider the extent to which the current timesheet format has caused confusion among providers, particularly in not adhering to workweek limits and being at jeopardy of suspension from the IHSS program.


Recommendation #15 To: Social Services, Department of

To ensure that it can quickly identify potential concerns with the number of timesheets received at the TPF, Social Services should develop procedures to review its timesheet volume report on a daily basis. Alternatively, Social Services could work with OSI to modify the reporting function within CMIPS II to require automated notifications to management when the timesheet volume report identifies an instance when the volume of timesheets falls below the threshold specified.

6-Month Agency Response

CDSS has developed a process for an Associate Management Auditor to review the Daily Timesheet Volume Report every day during peak payroll processing weeks to ensure the number of timesheets received is in alignment with expectations. If an issue is identified, the appropriate action will be taken. Please see attached process flow for further details (see Attachments A and B).

  • Completion Date: July 2017
  • Response Date: September 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented


60-Day Agency Response

CDSS is developing procedures to continue to monitor the daily electronic notification from the TPF confirming the volume of timesheets processed. During the pay periods each month, CDSS will run the Timesheet Volume Report and review it for any low thresholds by county and take appropriate action if/when necessary. If it becomes clear that automating this report would be worth the expense, CDSS would submit a change request to send an automated notification to CDSS if volumes are under the thresholds established for the county.

  • Estimated Completion Date: June 2017
  • Response Date: May 2017

California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending


All Recommendations in 2016-128

Agency responses received are posted verbatim.