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DHHS makes progress in NC FAST backlog

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The DHHS says it has made progress tackling the backlog of applications in its NC FAST program. The DHHS says it has made progress tackling the backlog of applications in its NC FAST program.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Time is running out for the Department of Health and Human Services.

It has until Monday to clean up its food stamp backlog, or risk losing federal funding.

DHHS says the backlog has dropped more than 92 percent since late January, and they plan to work with counties through the weekend to finish other cases.

The state says medicaid applications in October slowed staff down, worsening the backlog. And sending state workers into counties to monitor work flow this week was a big factor in solving the problems.

The state hopes to finish the process Sunday evening.

DSS director Wayne Black told WNCN, improving functionality at the county level continues to be a learning process, and he hopes the faster service will continue past the USDA imposed deadline.

"We wanted to get this done, regardless of a federal threat," said Black.

Delays with NC FAST began after a software update went out July 15, leading to backlogs in the counties that handled the applications, according to officials. Counties also determined NC FAST didn't work well with a certain Internet browser.

The state agency also is still working through problems with the Medicaid billing system called NC Tracks, which came online in July.

 

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