“Just the clerk”…. NOT!

For the last 5 years I have been the Admin Clerk II/Office Assistant I/Office Assistant II (a couple reclasses there) otherwise known as clerical support staff member, of the Division of Senior & Disabilities Services Quality Assurance Unit which has gone through a couple name changes too and is now Provider Certification & Compliance. In 5 years I have seen a number of people come and go along with retire. I have had several bosses and now a couple different supervisors too.

While my job title says “just a clerk,” I am far more than clerical support. I trouble shoot computer hardware questions such as “Why did my keyboard quit? Can you fix it?”, “What is going on with the printer? Can you fix it?” to software issues such as “Where did the setting for ____go? I really need to know where it went!” or “Why did it just do ______?” or “Do you know how to make Excel/Word/Outlook/DS3 Database do _____?” My standard answer is always “Sure I can likely fix that, give me a minute.”

I answer those kinds of questions along with “Can you fix this mechanical pencil?”, “Do you happen to have any ________ in your supply stash?” I also deal with our providers questions having to do with their certification applications, “How long will it take to be certified?”, “What forms do I need?”, “New Regulations? New forms? When are those going to be available?”

Beyond simple questions however, are the more complex issues. Such as the reports generated weekly telling the staff which providers have not turned in paperwork on time. How many applications we have in the unit and whose office they are in. Alternatively, how many applications we can expect and which months will busiest so we can plan on how to keep the stress levels down by sharing the load.

Other things I have done include setting up the system in Excel and entering the Critical Incident reports until IT could build a database. The spreadsheet not only tracked critical data points but also was robust enough to provide statistical data for Senior Management to use in reports for the Center for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS aka the Federal Gov).

Over time holes in tracking data or management’s wishes of tracking certain data sets has led to my Friday Brainstorms. One such brainstorm sparked a long-term project I am still involved in related to a hidden group of contract providers and tracking who they serve on the recipient side. It required working with the Database Administrators to identify all the data points we wanted to track and then a way to connect the contractors with the certified providers.

Another long-term project that has borne fruit just recently has to do with the Archiving and Off site Storage of Open and Closed Provider files. It required working with managers all over the division to change the File Plan and then have it approved with the Commissioner. Once approved it has required database updates which are finally complete and finally the training of a volunteer to do data entry of several thousand files in 30++ boxes of data. This data entry project is ongoing but the big portion of the project is complete and is about to move on to the next phase for which I am designing the procedures and instructions for.

Up until recently, I also was doing a pre-screening of every application that came in… some months this was 20 but most it was 40-60 applications. This processing required not only date stamping but database entry, quickly screening to ensure all required forms and pages were present and notification of the provider of what was missing. It also in the case of new providers required record creation, setup of a Background Check Account via collaboration with the BCU and notes of what was completed and the location of whom the application had moved. This required I become familiar with the regulations and the unique requirements of multiple applications and 15 service types.

Just last week the new regulations for our most popular Medicaid Waiver Services were signed into law. To get to that point took the team 3 years of writing and designing of new forms, decisions regarding what the requirements should be and why we needed or did not need certain items. As a team, we held more than a few meetings to discuss each item in detail and interpret each requirement in as many different ways as possible. Ultimately, we now have a functional set of regulations, Conditions of Participation, and a new set of application forms that will hopefully be easier to complete for the providers and faster to process for the Certification staff.

As you can see I am not “just a clerk” as I do many more things that setup files, maintain files, and send out mail. I have higher level functions that could be considered out of my current job class and I also have the education to do many more things that just the little bit mentioned here.

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