Study shows growing need to validate benefit determinations Automating government eligibility process maximizes use of limited budgets
COSTA MESA, Calif., July 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent study conducted by the Governing Institute and commissioned by Experian, the leading global information services company, confirms that government benefit agencies can greatly improve their eligibility verification processes through automated data analytics.
Historically, assorted health and human service programs have been compartmentalized, with each benefit agency having its own data collection system, eligibility requirements and program rules. The technology to streamline processing by allowing one agency to match its data against other content repositories, though available, has not been in place. The result has been frequent re-entry of information causing processing delays, slowing response time and increasing manual labor costs. These shortcomings have limited agencies' ability to detect and combat fraud.
Click here to view infographic to see results on how preventing fraud is key to improving eligibility verification.
The Governing Institute survey of 150 state and local government leaders shows several areas of concern for benefit agencies. Notably, those surveyed cited a need to validate applicant information and the desire for reliable fraud detection and prevention tools. Nearly 70 percent of respondents cited the need for improved accuracy of their eligibility decision-making, and almost 60 percent of respondents believed that false income reporting was seen as the greatest cause of fraud.
The study also found that while only 70 percent of benefit agencies report currently verifying information, even fewer re-verify an applicant once they are in the system. Yet, 88 percent of respondents described eligibility verification as either "very important" or "one of the most important" issues they face. And more than half the government officials responding (53 percent) believe that the issue of eligibility fraud will increase in importance to their agency over the next two years.
"Our government agency clients rely on Experian for their data, analytics and fraud prevention needs," said Barbara Rivera, president and general manager, Experian Public Sector business. "For example, leveraging public and private data sources to validate identity and financial information provided by an applicant is just one way that data can be used to maintain the integrity of the program and the eligibility determinations. This Governing Institute survey confirms that there is still a huge untapped potential for adoption of these tools."
The Governing Institute survey highlights the fact that benefit-eligibility verification is still in its early adoption stage. "A number of technology controls can help improve the fraud situation," the analysts found. "These include fraud detection and monitoring." However, a mere 26 percent of respondents are currently taking advantage of these types of systems.
The research points out the many obstacles agencies face when attempting to combat abuse. In addition to insufficient resources (budget and personnel), respondents cited difficulty integrating data from multiple sources and inadequate fraud-detection tools as the greatest hurdles to preventing eligibility fraud. According to the survey, 67 percent of respondents said they were either concerned or very concerned about fraud affecting their organizations and the programs they steward.
About the GOVERNING Institute
The GOVERNING Institute advances better government by focusing on improved outcomes through research, decision support and executive education to help public sector leaders govern more effectively. With an emphasis on state and local government performance, innovation, leadership and citizen engagement, the Institute oversees GOVERNING's research efforts, the GOVERNING Public Official of the Year Program and a wide range of events to further advance the goals of good governance.
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2013 was US$4.7 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.
For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.
Experian and the Experian marks used herein are service marks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.
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