Striking a balance between speed and accuracy; SNAP PI is like a biathlon!

March 14, 2019

Take your time, but hurry up. How many of us have heard that old cliché before? If you are in the business of SNAP program integrity, the answer is ALL THE TIME. SNAP PI teams have the daunting task of delivering fraud prevention safety nets and fraud detection and investigation support that does not slow down benefit processing timelines. Meanwhile, they continue to process administrative actions and hearings, support criminal prosecutions, and ensure timely and accurate overpayment collections. Don’t miss any fraud but at the same time do it quickly so that there is no delay in the delivery of this vital nutrition safety net for American families. 

Speed vs. Accuracy. Can we really have them both?

The challenges to the balancing act certainly exist. Resources are often slim, with 40 million people in the US receiving SNAP benefits each year. Investigators are drowning in data. Eligibility Data, State and Federal Data Matches, EBT Transaction data, worker referrals, and more are constantly streaming to the investigator. The clock ticks. Which leads and matches do you work to provide the most value and accuracy? Wading through to the finish line is as clear as mud.

But all is not lost – there is hope!  Leading-edge State SNAP agencies are working on leveraging technology and training to improve their delivery and reduce fraud rates.

Yes, we can achieve the delicate balance between speed and accuracy but we must enable our PI teams to deliver their best. And, surprise, the answer isn’t more staff. Our PI professionals are passionate about their role in the delivery of SNAP benefits and protecting the integrity of the program, but they need support.   The formula must include:

  • MODERN TOOLS to manage analysis across large and disparate data sets
  • Case Management systems that provide a TRIAGE process and support the case workflow from start to finish
  • AUTOMATION of processes to increase the output potential of each individual investigator
  • TRAINING and professional development to stay on the edge of emerging fraud trends and best practices

With this support in hand, SNAP PI can have that “just right” balance between speed and accuracy. And, we can have faith in the integrity of SNAP and ensuring its benefits are going to those most truly in need.