Between 2013 and 2014, the State Fund Program made enhancements to the fund claim application for reimbursement of corrective action costs associated with releases from Underground Storage Tanks (USTs). The purpose of these enhancements was to simplify the process, eliminate errors, and save time for all.
Over the past ten years, the State Fund Program received more than 30,000 claims totaling $500 million. Due to errors and incorrect rates being used by applicants, only 69% of costs were approved. The cost to applicants and claims staff was significant. Even those applicants that properly prepared claims were forced to wait longer to get paid due to increased review times.
In the past, the Fund often allowed applicants to correct these errors, resulting in a high number of suspended claims. Even though the opportunity to correct the errors was provided, applicants often failed to follow up. As this process was eliminated, the number of fully denied claims grew from 4% in 2010 to 10% in 2013. For these reasons, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management determined that modification of the application was needed.
The electronic State Fund application added a number of enhancements:
- Information is entered only once by the applicant and is automatically copied to other parts of the application.
- Rates and totals are automatically calculated for each invoice based on the date the cost was incurred (because rates have changed over time), in turn reducing errors and increasing the percentage approved.
- Dropdowns for selected items were added, further reducing errors and saving time.
- The application shows an error message, when the amount requested on the application does not match the invoice summary, reducing errors.
- The application shows an error message when required fields are not complete, reducing omissions.
- The applicant submits the claim electronically allowing data to be exported electronically for review and processing, reducing data entry errors and saving time.
Results to Date:
The following are the projected improvements by the end of 2014:
- Elimination of temporary staff positions used to screen applications for completeness when submitted.
- Reduced time to prepare claims by 5-10%
- Reduced errors and omissions during claim preparation by 30-50%
- Reduced time to review claims and make payments by 20-30%
- Increased percentage of costs approved by 15-25%
Underground Tanks Technical E7
Indiana Department of Environmental Management