2019 Digital Edge 50 Awards

Arapahoe County develops document system into beneficial platform

Arapahoe County developed HSconnects to process benefits claims faster. And by productizing the platform, it’s not just helping the needy; it’s helping its neighbors, too.

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Under pressure to drive revenue and digitize services, CIOs are increasingly shifting to product-based IT as a means for delivering business results quickly, improving customer experience, and providing opportunities to transform in-house solutions into marketable services. That’s the case for Fortune 500 companies and local government IT alike — as Arapahoe County’s experience in streamlining its welfare benefits processes attests.

When the state of Colorado introduced strict timeliness targets for the disbursal of welfare benefits, it created a challenge for the county governments responsible for administering them. With no commercial solutions available, Arapahoe County built its own document management system, HSconnects, to meet the challenge — and now offers a cloud-hosted version to neighboring counties.

Colorado’s counties have 30 days to assess requests for food assistance, and if they fail to meet the target in 95 percent of cases, they risk financial penalties.

But here’s the challenge: The target drops to just seven days if the request is from a family in dire need, something that may not be apparent until all the necessary documents have been collected and the family interviewed. If a county misses a deadline because it didn’t arrange an interview or obtain the right piece of paper in time it still counts against it.

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