Child Development Management Information System (CDMIS) December 4, 2006
Improving Data Accuracy
It’s hard to believe, but do you know that some agencies are submitting data in a monthly 801A report for children/families who DID NOT RECEIVE ANY SERVICES during the report month?
And here’s another, equally amazing fact: some agencies are neglecting to submit data for children and families who DID RECEIVE SERVICES during the report month!
And how is the Child Development Division (CDD) discovering this? When CDD monitoring teams visit agencies, they are using the monthly 801A submissions as the basis of their on-site reviews.
We’d like to help you improve the accuracy of your monthly reporting so that your agency doesn’t find itself in the embarrassing situation of having to explain why what you reported doesn’t match up with what CDD finds on-site. Please remember that agency staff responsible for data reporting must take the time every month to verify that the data they are submitting accurately reflects the services that were provided. Staff can’t just copy forward the previous month and stop there. Staff must verify that any families/children who did not receive services in the report month are deleted from that monthly report. And staff must verify that any families/children that began receiving services in the report month are added.
Inaccurate and incomplete data are very problematic. It is your agency’s responsibility to ensure that the data you submit are both accurate and complete. Data collected in the monthly 801A report are routinely used for numerous purposes including (1) to meet federal reporting requirements, (2) to respond to data requests from the Legislature and Administration, (3) to aid the CDD in making decisions regarding the funding allocations for your agency and your county, (4) to aid your CDD consultant during compliance and monitoring reviews, and (5) to select a random sample of files for review by the Alternative Payment Monitoring Unit. For these reasons it is imperative that agencies carefully verify that the data submitted in each monthly 801A report are both accurate and complete. Since the data are used in so many critical ways, failure to submit accurate and complete data can potentially result in adverse consequences for your agency.
In order to assist you, the CDMIS will be updated early in 2007 by the addition of a checklist of steps for accurate reporting. Furthermore, we will be asking the person responsible for submitting your agency’s data to certify that in fact they have verified the accuracy and completeness of each monthly submission. We hope that this checklist will help agencies improve the overall accuracy of their data submissions and thereby reduce the potential of adverse consequences for each agency.
As always, agencies are welcome to contact CDMIS Staff for assistance with any CDMIS reporting questions including how to properly add and/or remove families or children from the 801A report. Stay tuned for more CDMIS UPDATES. CDMIS staff welcomes your comments, as well as suggestions for topics to be discussed in these CDMIS UPDATES.