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May 31, 2012 | By | Posted in General News

New database tracking PA welfare spending

Data includes prescription spending, doctors fees
 
By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent
 
HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare on Thursday announced a new “transparency portal,” which gives users information on department spending.

The database on the Department of Public Welfare Open Government web page includes fees set by the department for doctors and suppliers, provider-reimbursement rates, facility audits and benefit enrollment data.
 
“We want to clear up any confusion about the people that we serve, what our programs do and, most importantly, how we spend taxpayer dollars,” said Department of Public Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander.
 
One section provides a searchable database on how much is paid by Medicaid for prescription medication. Another breaks down how many residents receive benefits, along with how many applications for welfare programs are accepted and rejected monthly.
 
Already, the website provided information on the department’s budget, statistical data, facility-inspection results and legislative testimony.
 
More shifts to online data collection could be coming in other areas of government. Earlier this month, the House State Government Committee moved a measure to require online filing for campaign finance, which awaits action in the House.
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