Cuyahoga County Expands Call Centers to Improve Access and Timeliness of Medicaid Enrollment

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Aida Idiaquez, (216) 987-8433;

Cuyahoga County, Ohio - In January of 2017, Cuyahoga County launched a pilot program to accept applications for Medicaid over the phone. The county has now expanded the call center to all of The Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Division of Job and Family Services (JFS) neighborhood family service centers. Real-time eligibility determination is done while a customer is on the call. Voice signature, interactive voice recorder, and virtual hold are some of the features that the call-in model offers. The system improves upon the previous in-person, often multi-step process which could result in unnecessary delays for individuals seeking support.

“One of our most important strategic priorities is our focus on providing a superior customer service,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “Our call centers are an important step towards improving our customer experience. We are committed to broadening access and to making our service delivery as efficient as possible.”

As of October 30, 2017, the Call Center teams at the four neighborhood family service centers have handled 26,604 calls. This number goes back to the first call center pilot, which started on January 25, 2017. Robust data is available through the call center and the County is tracking the data to make sure the system remains efficient and effective for customers.

Average wait time is less than one minute and first-time resolution of a client’s needs is 76% for applications and 90% for renewals.

"Together we are providing real-time solutions for addressing a basic need for our most vulnerable residents to access health care coverage," said interim JFS administrator, Christy Nicholls, MNO, JD.

The county plans on expanding the services offered through the call center and is working with the State to increase capacity for eligibility and maintenance of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other benefits.

Customers who are seeking to apply for Medicaid can call 1-844-640-6446. To learn more about the Cuyahoga JFS call center roll out and plans for the future, link to the Center for Community Solutions.