As the House Agriculture Committee gets ready to shape and vote on the farm bill that will fund the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) after 2018, the Subcommittee on Nutrition recently conducted a hearing to evaluate technology and modernization in the SNAP program. I was honored to have the opportunity to testify in front of the committee, discussing ways that technology and modernization improve the customer experience, streamline delivery of services and ease administrative burden.
Here are a few highlights of what I was able to share with the committee on behalf of Conduent:
- We believe that EBT and the end-to-end SNAP eligibility process would greatly benefit from a greater embrace of mobile technologies.
- Mobile solutions from EBT processors like Conduent can not only provide customer service on EBT accounts, but can be a vehicle for program communication, education and incentive for healthy and nutritional choices.
- Mobile solutions can also dramatically benefit the eligibility management process, offering more streamlined approaches to document intake, verification, communication and appointment scheduling.
- Federal restrictions currently prevent states from seeking private sector assistance with the SNAP eligibility process—easing these restrictions in order to allow performance of certain components of eligibility services would reduce the burden on merit employees so they can focus more specifically on the more complex aspects of case management.
- Authorizing the use of private sector staff in constituent call centers to handle client contact during the application and case management process with tasks such as conducting interviews certifying households, and scheduling appointments could potentially reduce costs in infrastructure, facilities and other overhead.
- Most states use some form of data warehouses and business intelligence tools, but far more could be done. Advanced fraud analytics specific to EBT take fraud detection and mitigation to a much higher level. Predictive modeling is the key. Our Intelligent Analytics Portal (IAP) uses a weighted formula to factor in 20 different key fraud indicators to produce targeted lists of suspicious behavior that states can use as a foundation for investigations.
I was honored to share these important tools, insights and suggestions with the Committee. My full written testimony and the testimony of the other witnesses can be found on the House Committee on Agriculture’s website.