Government Gains with CODE PA

An interview with Dan Rosenberg and Bry Pardoe of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Office of Digital Experience

In our Government Gains series, we’re talking to dedicated public servants to learn three things about a recent project they’ve worked on that shows what’s possible when people ideate, collaborate, and innovate within government.

For this installment, we spoke with Dan Rosenberg, Head of Product, and Bry Pardoe,  Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Office of Digital Experience (CODE PA). Their team is on a mission to help Pennsylvanians connect to state agencies and services in effective and innovative ways. They recently worked on a project where they built a seamless digital experience for people in the state who are filing cases with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department when their insurance coverage for a service or procedure has been denied. We spoke with them about what made this project challenging—and rewarding.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in this project?

When coverage for a service is denied, and after consumers complete the internal appeal process with their insurer, Act 146 allows consumers to go to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department and have independent medical experts review their case. This external, independent certified group will make a final, binding decision about whether the care should be covered. Navigating the healthcare system can be overwhelming to many consumers. Our challenge as CODE PA was to create a digital experience that was both comprehensive and pragmatic. We thought it was important to strike a balance between “collecting all of the right information” and “making it easier and more accessible for our residents.”

How did you approach this challenge and how did you decide which tools to use to solve it?

CODE PA is on a multi-year mission to significantly improve the existing “form paradigm.” Forms are ubiquitous across government, so it’s an area where we can make a lot of impact. Along with making the Act 146 process both comprehensive and easy, we also wanted to focus on the educational information provided up-front for residents.  We took this opportunity to build a front door in our web presence that provides answers to questions that are commonplace: Is this form for me?  Where do I go with additional questions?  What can I expect next?   

Where will the lessons you learned here be applied in the future?

That’s a great question that we hope to find out! For Act 146, we are watching things like the average time to submit a form and the number of customer service calls about the form. This will help us understand which aspects of the design model we want to carry forward to future initiatives and where we need to push for additional changes to improve the interactions. We are really excited to see this project come to fruition and where we go next from here.

To learn more about CODE PA’s work and hear other great stories of collaboration and innovation in government, register for Code for America’s annual Summit—happening May 28-30, 2024 in Oakland, CA.

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