Cabinet officials tell legislators that benefind is improving and will get better in the future

07/20/2016 06:45 PM

FRANKFORT – Officials from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services told members of the Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare on Wednesday that they continue to iron out the problems with benefind, the Bevin Administrations portal for needs based assistance programs like Medicaid and food stamps, which was launched on February 29.

CHFS officials presented much of the same message last week to members of the Program Review and Investigations Committee.

Office of Administrative and Technology Services Executive Director Bernard “Deck” Decker said that one big issue, long phone wait times, has been reduced significantly from a high of 2 hours.

“Right now, we’re between 20 and 25 minutes wait time on the DCBS call line,” Decker said.

But even with the somewhat rosy picture painted by CHFS officials, stories abound across the state of Kentucky’s most vulnerable citizens continuing to have problems with the portal.

Rep. George Brown, D-Lexington, criticized officials that benefind was, and in some cases, still is, full of flaws which ultimately hurts Kentucky’s most needy citizens.

“I think there were a litany misstatements and missteps which were made to the people of the commonwealth and we were assured that benefind was the cure all, and it was going to move us forward, and we found out that it was not,” Brown said.

Cabinet officals say continuous system improvements moving forward will include:

- Ongoing monitoring to confirm that the system is operating in a reliable, repeatable fashion without need for additional resources in the DCBS offices. – The conduction of consistent reviews of system operations to confirm positive trends and fewer defects that impact constituent service or caseworker productivity.
-Verification that the architectural framework software is stable.
-Continuing to plan and prioritize to confirm future releases incorporate all pre-defined contractual agreements and identified system improvements.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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