Support of NAMRS
WRMA was responsible for designing and building the NAMRS system using a flexible architecture to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. Reporting to NAMRS is done on a voluntary basis and within two years, WRMA achieved 100% participation from 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia. WRMA provides technical assistance, training, and IT support for the program; produces annual reports and meets data requests; and conducts ongoing stakeholder engagement for system improvements and approval from the Office of Management and Budget for data collection under the Paperwork Reduction Act. Based on feedback from the states, the APS TARC provides a quarterly requirements register and an annual enhancements plan with potential system improvements. APS TARC staff further support system improvements through special projects to understand and improve state participation and provide technical consultations to address technology issues.
Research and Evaluation
Each year the APS TARC works with ACL to identify research projects to help develop innovative practices in APS. This work includes single-year research projects, including studies of the effects of COVID-19 and opioid epidemic on APS programs. In contrast to the short-term projects, the APS TARC is now in the second phase of a multi-year evaluation of the national APS system, seeking to understand policy, practice, and process outcomes. Phase one results have been reported to ACL and presented in webinars and at various conferences. Phase two results include briefing papers and other public materials focused on understanding and improving the APS system.
Using predictive analytics to predict risk of adult maltreatment known to APS
ACL, in collaboration with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), launched a project to explore the use of predictive analytics to predict and prevent adult and elder maltreatment. The project, Predicting Risk of Adult Maltreatment (PRAM) leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other “big data” tools to investigate patterns of risk and protective factors across multiple data sources to determine if there is an association with (reported) incidence of adult maltreatment. As a first step, NAMRS data were associated with additional, publicly available data sources to develop algorithms that identified community-level risk factors associated with increased risk of APS system involvement. The project continues to use existing data sources, where possible, including NAMRS and state and local APS data, Census data, and Medicaid Home and Community Based Services and Medicare payment data. In addition, the project will explore using data-driven risk scores to make decisions about case processing and quality assurance in APS. The team will develop and test algorithmic tools that can be tested by APS agencies. The goal of the project is to create and improve interventions to prevent, and effectively intervene in, adult and elder maltreatment, and as an outcome, improve disabled and older adults’ quality of life and health quality outcomes, and reduce health care expenses.
For more information on this project, feel free to reach out to Nicole Fettig.
Provide Technical Assistance for Program Improvement
The national technical assistance program administered by WRMA provides assistance to state and local APS programs on a variety of topics from practice to policy. WRMA provides webinars, briefs, toolkits, a listserv, state and conference workshops, and more to assist APS programs in enhancing their effectiveness. Our monthly webinars engage thousands of APS professionals on topics such as documentation skills and using data to improve APS services. Our subject matter experts include staff with a variety of state, local, and national expertise with decades of direct experience in APS. In 2021, our team shifted quickly to provide additional technical assistance to states receiving COVID-19 relief and American Rescue Act Plan funding. States were required to quickly allocate funding for program improvement in a variety of areas from technology improvement to enhancing training systems and investigation supports. The APS TARC provided a rapid response by hosting listening sessions and webinars around topics and designed and implemented within a short time frame an operational planning template for states to use to report on their program improvement plans. The APS TARC team also quickly identified and acquired new subject matter experts to act as liaisons with the states for technical assistance.