Agencies Continue to Struggle with Delivery of Citizen Benefit Services

I recently teamed up with 1105 Government Information Group, a well-respected organization that’s widely known in government circles, to conduct a comprehensive survey around the stiff challenges associated with Citizen Benefit Services. To say we’ve found some compelling results among the nearly 300 responses would be an understatement. 

These very same issues are also the pain points I continually hear about when talking to agencies. While several survey questions spawned interesting responses, the overall takeaway shined crystal clear: government agencies are ill-equipped to process entitlement claims efficiently.  Whether it’s a lack of visibility, controls, or far too many manual processes in place, agencies continue to struggle to meet this challenge. As a result, billions and billions of dollars are squandered as improper payments – either mistakenly awarded, inaccurately paid/spent, or paid wrongfully.

Pegasystems is not the only one seeing this disturbing trend. In a March report to Congress identifying cost savings mechanisms, the independent Government Accountability Office targets improper payments as one of the largest areas to scrutinize.  President Obama has asked agencies to decrease the amount of improper payments taking place, which some say costs taxpayers as much as $125 billion last year.  It’s for those reasons and more that we took the time to dive deeper into this problem. Our survey found:

  • 70 percent of respondents felt their agencies didn’t have adequate resources and business processes in place, or could use more in order to efficiently process claims in a timely fashion. 
  • 73 percent said an increase in automation would help their agency reduce the errors associated with eligibility determination and program enrollment. 
  • Perhaps even more telling, only 17 percent of respondents knew that their agency had a plan to address the new Improper Payments Act. (The survey polled management-level employees at agencies.)

I’m discussing this same topic on Wednesday (March 23) at 11 a.m., in a webinar with analyst firm IDC. There, I’ll be joined by Thom Rubel, IDC Government Insights Vice President of Research, who will also highlight the problem. You can hear best practices and trends of agency benefits services delivery from a leading government research organization. And attendees will also learn about a proven eligibility/enrollment solution that improves benefit delivery and reduces improper payments. I’d love to hear your thoughts during (or after) the webinar.