ATLANTA and WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A new report funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that the National Accuracy Clearinghouse (NAC), a state-to-state data sharing program, could save up to $193.4 million annually by reducing dual participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), if used by states nationwide. The report, prepared by Public Consulting Group (PCG), evaluated the effectiveness of the NAC's pilot program in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi.
The report stated: "A strong argument can be made that the pilot savings and the NAC's potential warrant continuation and expansion of the project." The NAC is a technology-based solution developed by LexisNexis® Risk Solutions to identify dual participation across states and public assistance programs through a shared database of eligibility information that is updated daily. The project, led by the State of Mississippi, initially was funded by a $2.5 million grant from the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service. Although the NAC was developed and piloted in these five states, it was designed for expansion to other states, as well as other programs (e.g., Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); Medicaid; Unemployment Insurance; Public Housing; etc.).1
"The USDA's Food and Nutrition Service has saved millions in just the five states participating so far," says Haywood Talcove, CEO, Government, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. "We are excited the report found that the NAC performed brilliantly and has been recommended to create multi-state data sharing models nationwide. We are proud that our advanced computing, linking and identity matching technology enabled this successful public project."
The report focused on four key findings:
- Has the NAC resulted in a reduction in dual SNAP participation? The report reviewed dual participation rates before and after the pilot and found that a reduction occurred in each of the pilot states. For example, Alabama and Mississippi each experienced an 81 percent reduction in dual participation, followed by Louisiana, which saw a 71 percent decline in dual participation.
- How effective have states been in utilizing the NAC to prevent dual SNAP participation? All the pilot states successfully utilized the NAC to achieve reductions in dual participation. The report found that Alabama and Mississippi's prevention efforts have been "extremely successful (sic), with consistently less than 10 percent of possible instances resulting in dual participation." Each participating state identified significant value through the use of a real-time solution that identifies dual participants prior to benefit issuance.
- How does the NAC compare to the use of the current Public Assistance Reporting and Information System (PARIS)? The report found that the NAC is "a more robust and effective means for curbing SNAP dual participation." It indicated the NAC had the following strengths in comparison to PARIS: "in the capacity to support the prevention of dual participation, supports constructive interstate communication, allows for easier identification of 'false positives,' and identifies individuals that would not be flagged by matching only Social Security Numbers."
- What is the NAC's return on investment? The report noted that the "pilot-wide net impact of the NAC totals more than $5.6 million" in just the five pilot states in SNAP overpayment prevention. The report indicated "that this estimate is conservative – it focuses on the prevention of dual participation and not early (nearly immediate) detection that the NAC can also support…" The NAC also identified over $4.4 million in improper payments during its initial identification of dual participants.
Since the pilot period ended in June 2015, the NAC has been saving the five states an estimated $5.6 million per year. Additionally, LexisNexis Risk Solutions began accepting data at that time from new states and Health and Human Services (HHS) programs to determine their impact and savings as the NAC expands and adds these new states and HHS programs to the solution. "Leveraging outside data sources and looking at each component of an identity as it is submitted, the NAC states have been able to benefit from a wealth of identity intelligence," said Richard Grape, NAC Director, State and Local Government HHS Programs, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. "While cross-program savings are currently undergoing evaluation, all indications reveal substantial cost savings for public assistance programs significantly beyond those currently witnessed in SNAP."
The report was submitted to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate, under Section 4032(c) of the Agricultural Act of 2014, following completion of the pilot program.
For more information on the NAC, please visit www.NationalAccuracyClearinghouse.com.
About LexisNexis Risk Solutions
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1 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the Interstate Data Exchange between Participating States Utilizing the National Accuracy Clearinghouse (NAC) *** SNAP and DSNAP ***
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