TANF grant. Thus, time series of administrative data for AFDC will end. Still, administrative data may be useful to evaluate and track caseloads in each state. In fact, PRWORA requires states to file quarterly reports detailing demographic information, employment status, earnings, and forms of assistance provided for a sample of TANF recipients. However, given that current federal regulations provide no matching money for the development of the quarterly reports (the federal government previously shared in the costs of program administration and reporting) and the lack of a quality review process, workshop participants raised questions about how reliable those data will be.

Workshop participants noted that administrative and quality control data on the Food Stamp Program may prove useful for some kinds of analyses of welfare program trends and outcomes. For many food stamp recipients, a time series of administrative data will continue.

The usefulness of administrative data for evaluating health care services, costs, and quality has been affected by changes in the health care industry, particularly the rise in managed care. Traditionally, public health insurance programs have used fee-for-service payment plans that create a paper trail linking payments to services that can be analyzed, and claims data for the Medicaid and Medicare programs have been used to evaluate health care services funded by these programs. However, the growing use of managed care plans, which often charge a flat annual payment for services, means that there are no claims data documenting services and costs for increasing numbers of beneficiaries (see Harvey, 1996).

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