Computer System Change results in day-care payment delay : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Day-care payment backlog resolved

Ramsey County cuts checks, says system change to blame


Checks covering late payments for 300 claims filed by people who provide child care for Ramsey County will be in the mail today, the county's human services director told its board Tuesday.

Tom Fashingbauer said this will clear up the last portion of a backlog that has led to delays of two to three months for some day-care providers. The problems occurred after the county and the private contractor processing the claims switched to a new system on Oct. 31.

Most of the 1,400 providers in the program offer day care for the children of working parents with incomes low enough to qualify for public subsidies of that care. Some are former welfare recipients.

``I don't foresee our being in this situation again,'' Carol Rohde, executive director of Resources for Child Caring, said Tuesday. The nonprofit organization issues and processes claim forms submitted by day-care providers; the county issues checks after that work is completed.

Several County Board members received complaints about delayed day-care payments in recent months. Constituents also have contacted commissioners about late payments for two other programs -- foster care and emergency shelter for children. Last week, board members heard from two providers and ordered the staff to fix the problems soon.

Fashingbauer said the county will start a system of direct deposits in providers' bank accounts to deal with delays in foster care and emergency payments. Those delays have been of shorter duration -- a matter of days, rather than months, but they have been occurring for years.

January payments for those two services often have been late. Fashingbauer said the department will try to pay those at the end of December. This may require board action to allow money budgeted in the new year to be dispensed in the previous month.

Rohde said the solution to the problem with day-care payments did not happen only after board members expressed concern.

``We've worked really hard to clear this up all along,'' she said, and staff members started putting in long weeks of up to 80 hours in November.

Resources for Child Caring has had a contract with the county to process the claims since 1983. This year, Rohde said, the county will pay $780,000 for those services. She said there never have been problems of this magnitude in the past.

The problems occurred after the Oct. 31 switch to a new system under which the county pays child-care providers twice a month. Previously, parents of the children in day care were paid once a month, and they reimbursed the providers.

Part of the problem, Rohde said, was that providers, not used to the forms, improperly filled them out.

But computer glitches also were a big factor, she said. One example involved unexpected difficulties in transferring the database of providers and parents from the old to the new system. Instead of easily being able to move the file in minutes, employees found that they had to manually enter the information in the new database.

By last Friday, 300 late claims still had not been processed; a claim is filed for each child, and Rohde did not know how many providers were involved. About 100 of those claims date back to November, with the others about equally divided between December and early January.

-- Carl Jenkins (, February 02, 2000


Carl Jenkins....Thanks from the old forum regulars. There are few good Y2K related posts. Most of the rest is OT/garbage. Keep up the good consistant posts.

-- shockwave (, February 02, 2000.

Seem like several Y2K related posts today...stuff is now being disclosed (can't be hid any longer?).

-- Mad Monk (, February 02, 2000.

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