Oklahoma Uses PARIS for Cost Avoidance

Oklahoma Department of Human Services Office of Inspector General (OKDHS/OIG) was awarded a state partnership grant for implementation of PARIS in late 2005. Oklahoma was mentored by Utah Department of Work Force Services in this effort and participated in their first match in November 2005.

The project's goal was to improve program integrity by revealing individuals who are not reporting or under reporting receipt of Federal wages or VA benefits and those illegally receiving benefits from more than one state provider. OKDHS did not have access to such information prior to the award and implementation of PARIS. Oklahoma's Office of Inspector General was assigned the responsibility of data match analysis and distribution.

As a result of participation in PARIS during calendar year 2006, OKDHS identified 3,236 discrepant cases and realized $779,349 in cost avoidance in the main programs it administers. In addition, OIG identified for recovery over $70,000 in overpayments and expects to recover more from additional overpayment cases already identified. OKDHS passed the one million dollar mark in cost avoidance and the $250,000 mark of overpayments early in their second year of participation in PARIS.

With respect to Food Stamps, on March 31, 2006 the State reviewed information from a PARIS interstate data exchange match on a recipient that appeared to travel from State to State to obtain food stamp benefits ($152.00 a month in each State) using the same Social Security Number (SSN). The PARIS match was with the States of Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee and Mississippi with indications of concurrent receipt of food stamps in these four states and Oklahoma.

In less than a couple of hours, we used the information the recipient had provided (an Arkansas state issued identification card (REAL ID)), tracked his food stamp usage, talked to our neighboring social service agencies and were able to also identify concurrent receipt in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana for a total of 8 states with dual receipt. All the States are current members of PARIS except Texas.

With the information from PARIS, we were quickly able to determine this recipient's travels from state to state as follows by using certification dates available from the PARIS match:

  1. MISSOURI 9-12-05
  2. OKLAHOMA 9-16-05
  3. TEXAS 9-19-05 (and again on 1-24-06)
  4. TENNESSEE 9-29-05
  5. ILLINOIS 10-17-05
  6. LOUISIANA 10-31-05
  7. ARKANSAS 11-17-05
  8. MISSISSIPPI 12-28-05

OIG was nominated for and received a "Quality Award 2007" for the PARIS project from the OKDHS. This award came with a $2,000 stipend which will be used to send an additional individual to the next PARIS national conference.