2018 Government Innovation Awards
Accelerating benefit requests with RPA
To reduce the time state workers spend on repetitive tasks, Ohio’s Department of Administrative Services has adopted robotic process automation in the form of bots.
The Disability Onset Alert Bot’s main job is to eliminate the backlog in the web-based Ohio Benefits system, which determines eligibility for public assistance. Operating for three hours a day, five days a week, the bot cleared a backlog of 3,000 cases in five weeks, said Deven Mehta, program director of Ohio Benefits. “Perhaps more importantly, 92 percent of the cases reviewed by the bot were processed from end to end, requiring no caseworker attention,” he added.
Baby Bot’s goal, meanwhile, is to reduce Ohio’s high infant death rate of 7.9 per 1,000 live births. The national average is 6.1. The bot was put to use in Hamilton County in May, and within two months, it had enrolled 372 newborns in a managed care plan on the same day that the county received their information, removing any delay in medical coverage. Previously, it took employees up to six days to process a newborn’s information, Mehta said.
The automation also notified caseworkers that another 316 newborns needed to be reviewed for benefits and provided a path to addressing the issue.
Baby Bot was set to be implemented in all 10 Ohio metro counties this fall, and the Disability Onset Alert Bot went statewide in mid-September.
Building on those successes, Ohio Benefits has launched the Self-Service Portal Case Linking Request Bot to help people who want to access their case information through Ohio Benefits’ portal. According to Mehta, that bot “will process the backlog of 24,000 requests in approximately four weeks.”
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