Wisconsin DHS Katie Beckett Program

  • Industry: State government
  • Client: WI DHS, Division of Long-Term Care, Bureau of Children’s Services
  • Number of Employees: 50
  • Population: 5.8 million
  • Tyler Client Since: 2019
  • Tyler Solution: Disability Case Management

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI DHS) administers the state’s Katie Beckett Program, which enables children with long-term disabilities or complex medical needs to receive medical care at home instead of an outside facility. The program supports children under 19 years old who may not be eligible for other Medicaid programs because their parents’ income or assets are too high. The Katie Beckett Program supports more than 8,000 children with special needs across Wisconsin.

Challenge: Manual Processes Created Eligibility Risks

Prior to 2020, WI DHS used a manual, paper-based process that collected and distributed client eligibility information “through snail mail and carrier pigeon,” quipped Deborah Rathermel, director of Wisconsin’s Bureau of Children’s Service, in the Center for Digital Government’s piece, “A New Approach to Digital Transformation.” More seriously, Rathermel noted that the old approach “was fraught with risk — every piece of the process had to work perfectly for a child to get from ‘ask’ to an answer regarding eligibility.”

The manual process began with field staff gathering large volumes of intake information using paper forms, including complete healthcare records. They would mail the client data to the central WI DHS office, where a staff member would scan the materials into a database and create a paper case file. The workflow was not only slow and labor intensive, but some applications and healthcare records got lost in the mail over the years. “We needed a more stable and interactive platform,” according to Rathermel.

Solution: Automated Eligibility Processing Based on Entellitrak

In early 2020, WI DHS implemented the Children’s Program Intake Platform (CPIP) based on Tyler’s Entellitrak low-code application development platform for case management. CPIP was configured to streamline and digitize the Katie Beckett Program’s eligibility process.

CPIP is an electronic portal that supports field staff under contract with the state who interact directly with children and families to determine eligibility for the program. Today, field staff simply upload the necessary information and any relevant notes directly into CPIP during the application process. Once information is in the system, it’s available to any authorized staff member, so questions about the status of an application or an appeal of an eligibility decision can be answered easily and quickly.

Field staff have reported they like the application and have found it helps them communicate among each other, both within their own regional office and with those in other regions.

Laura Knott

Wisconsin DHS staff member

“We have implemented temporary shared case responsibilities a few times due to maternity leaves, vacations, and elevated [case] numbers in a particular region. CPIP ensured timely communication occurred and families didn’t fall through the cracks.”

Results: Streamlined Programs, Reduced Risk

WI DHS has expanded the use of CPIP to intake activities for other programs, such as the Children’s Long-Term Support (CLTS) Waiver program, a home and community-based Medicaid service that supports children and young adults under the age of 22 who have significant developmental, physical, or emotional disabilities. As with the Katie Beckett Program, CLTS formerly relied on time-consuming, manual application processes. Now, standard workflows guided by CPIP let the state assess waiver applications and appeals faster. “This solution has the capacity to support use of this intake functionality statewide for any of our children’s programs running in all of our counties,” says Autumn Knudtson, deputy director of the Wisconsin’s Bureau of Children’s Services.

The solution allows the various state and county agencies currently administering these programs to use a shared database in order to more easily coordinate services. It also standardizes the intake process for determining program eligibility. Individuals from one agency are able to create a case and assign it to a different person or agency as needed.

By automating the process to enroll and receive services, CPIP makes both enrollment and service delivery faster, easier, and more secure for all families seeking services. It eliminates the need to mail hard-copy applications and physician signatures, reducing both the processing time and the risks associated with misdirected paperwork. It streamlines the process, so that children and families are able to receive services they need faster.

Case Study Highlights

  • The WI Katie Beckett program enables 8,000+ children with long-term disabilities to receive services at home.
  • The eligibility process used to be manual and paper-based, with risks for mistakes and lost paperwork.
  • The new Entellitrak-based intake platform automates and streamlines the eligibility process.

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