Virginia Department of Health Working With WIC September 2008 Fall Edition This Issue State WIC Regulations Implemented May (2008) WIC Regulations 1 New WIC Program state regulations governing the Virginia WIC Program became effective May 26, 2008. These newly adopted regulations were approved by the Board of Price Survey Forms Health. Authorized stores, interested applicants and corporate retailers can access these WIC Program regulations through the Legislative Information System (LIS) website at: Vendor Manual 2 http://leg1.state.va.us/ Replacement Pages Once you access the website, you will have to: Sanctions 1. Click on "Virginia Administrative Code" under "Searchable Data- bases" Price Survey Dates 3 2. In the search box, enter (with no spaces) "12VAC5-195" since that refers to the title, agency and chapter. Training Videos 3. In the search box, identify the specific chapter you want to review. Cashier Mistakes 4. You can review and/or print out individual chapters of the regula- tions. E-WIC 4 Help Wanted NO LONGER ACCEPTING PRICE SURVEY FORMS MICR Errors 5 review their store Effective Management System July 1, (RSMS) is an internet- information and current 2008, the based application that prices with the State Contract reauthorization 6 S t a t e was implemented in the Agency. The change also Agency no fall of 2004. The system provides timeliness in the Food Packages 7 State Agency’s l o n ge r is designed to allow new accepts paper Retailer store applicants to apply monitoring and the Stamp Images ability to analyze price Price Survey forms or for WIC Program paper WIC Retailer authorization and changes and trends that Lactose Reduced Milk 8 Applications. All retailers authorized retailers to can have an effect on are required to submit update WIC approved store reimbursement store prices and new items pricing data. levels and other business applications using the functions. online Retail Store The elimination of the Management System. paper forms ensures all retailers have equal The Retail Store access to update and The Virginia Department of Health is an Equal Opportunity Employer PAGE 2 WO R K I NG WI T H WI C S E P T E MB E R 2 0 0 8 Vendor Manual Replacement Pages Distributed In August (2008), Vendor Manual replacement pages and updated forms were dis- tributed to all authorized stores, corporate contacts and other interested parties. In addition, these replacement pages can be accessed and printed from our web- page at: http://www.vahealth.org/wic/retailstorepubs.asp All policy issues have been removed from the Vendor Manual. These issues are solely outlined in the state WIC regulations. REVISED SANCTION SCHEDULE With the new Certain violations require a buys, i.e. secret shopper authorization period and number of incidents in order buys. A secret shopper will the new retailer agreement, to be a chargeable offense conduct two to six buys at a our Federal authorizing that carries a penalty such particular store on separate agency, the United States as a fine or disqualification. days. Out of the 6 Department of Agriculture The number of incidents compliance buys there needs (USDA), has approved our creates a “pattern” which is to be 4 incidents of the same revised sanction schedule. required in order for the violation to create a pattern. This sanction schedule is violation to be valid and Previously only 3 incidents used to list possible carry a sanction. Previously, were required to create a violations that may cause a a pattern required 3 pattern. store to be fined or incidents, but with the Under cover buys are disqualified. The schedule revised sanction schedule 4 required by USDA in order has five classes of violations incidents are now required. to monitor stores for which are listed as A1 compliance with federal and through E1. The E1 class is state regulations and a warning, violation, the A1 policies. If you have any class is a state violation questions about compliance with a monetary penalty or issues, please contact the 1 year disqualification, a B1 Virginia Prevention class is a federal violation Specialist, Alex Acharya, at with a 1 year (804) 864-7811 disqualification, and C1 and D1 classes are critical program violations with a 3- 6 year or permanent disqualification. The most notable The Virginia change to the revised WIC Program contracts sanction schedule is the with independent num b e r of i nc i den t s contractors to conduct required for a pattern. undercover compliance S E P T E MB E R 2 0 0 8 WO R K I NG WI T H WI C PAGE 3 Price Survey Due Dates The WIC Program will no longer send out reminder letters to stores that prices are due. Prices are due as follows: Prices must be submitted no later Prices in effect on: than the following due dates: September 24th of the year October1st of the year January 25th of the year February 1st of the year May 25th of the year June 1st of the year Sending out quarterly reminders via paper is costly and time consuming. We are all constantly challenged with finding ways to reduce our cost in managing the business requirements of the WIC Program. Therefore, it is up to each store and corporate contact to keep track of when prices are due to the Virginia WIC Program. Share a copy of this schedule with the person(s) responsible within your company for completing this task. If you want to receive an email reminder, please send an email note to the Vendor Manager at: Sheila.Brewer@vdh.virginia.gov. Coming Soon - New 2008 Cashiers Common Mistake Can Cashier Training Video Affect Store Reimbursements We are excited to offer you the new A review of rejected FI's shows that cashiers are 2008 WIC Cashier Training Video often mixing up the totals of infant formula, infant this October. The 20 minute video cereal and juice FI's. The price of the infant will be accompanied by a 2008 WIC formula is incorrectly being entered on the FI for 3 Trainer’s Resource Guide. boxes of infant cereal or 2 frozen juices while the price for the infant cereal or juice is being entered “This is an excellent training tool on the formula FI. Of course, this causes the This is an for new cashier's as well as a cereal or juice FI to be paid at a lower price and excellent returned stamped "over maximum allowed", while training tool review for the experienced the formula FI with the lower price is paid at the for new cashiers.” much reduced incorrect price. Train your cashiers cashiers as to handle each WIC FI separately and be careful to well as a review for the experienced cashiers. Use always enter the amount correctly. Also, have the Retailer Supply Request your bookkeeper double check the amounts are Form to order a copy in DVD or entered correctly prior to deposit. If you have any VHS format for your store. questions, please call your WIC Program Vendor Liaison. PAGE 4 WO R K I NG WI T H WI C S E P T E MB E R 2 0 0 8 e-WIC..What’s Up? Over the last have an e-WIC solution, EBT for other programs, and couple of months although many states are is implementing an on-line the Virginia WIC planning to implement one system using standard P ro gram ha s over the next several years. magnetic stripe cards. been conducting N e w M e xi c o r e c e n t l y Nevada will be implementing a feasibility study completed a statewide an on-line e-WIC with JP of implementing the WIC implementation process. Morgan EFS, which is also Program version of EBT, Texas, which has issued their EBT provider. Kentucky called e-WIC. The Imadgen 500,000 e-W IC cards, has contracted with CDP, Inc. Consulting Service wants to expects to complete its rollout to develop an on-line e-WIC thank all the retailers that in 2009. Texas reports that solution in conjunction with completed the on-line survey, over a million e-WIC their new WIC information participated in interviews, and transactions are processed system. This system is being allowed us to conduct test each month, often with no created as an open source transactions at their stores. errors and usually with only 5 system that can be ported to Preliminary findings indicate to 6 participant complaints. other states for processing in- that WIC purchases are Wyoming is in the process of house. difficult for participants and changing from its current retailers. These interactions system to the Texas/New The Virginia WIC Program is are prone to errors, many of Mexico system. The off-line, excited about moving forward which could be eliminated by smart card (e-WIC) system with this project; as we using a card at the used in anticipate both participants point of service these three and retailers will see large (POS). Larger states is benefits by eliminating paper chains that have “looking forward to lanes, faster n o w transactions in-checkout food instruments. Moving a l r e a d y fewer mistakes by cashiers, integrated implemented an e- and faster payments.” with 14 forward, we will continue WIC solution in different providing updates to retailers other states are e le c t ro n ic as well as make every effort eager to change c a s h to respond to your comments over to e-WIC in Virginia; register systems. Michigan is and concerns. looking forward to faster half-way through converting transactions in-checkout their state’s WIC retailers to lanes, fewer mistakes by e -W I C . They have cashiers, and faster contracted with a private payments. company (ACS), which is also providing the state with Currently, only a few states YOUR HELP WANTED If you have an idea for an article or want to share your thoughts on what you think we should cover in our newsletters; please send a note or call Gregory Chappell, Editor (540)580-1438 Gregory.Chappell@vdh.virginia.gov. S E P T E MB E R 2 0 0 8 WO R K I NG WI T H WI C PAGE 5 FOOD INSTRUMENTS WITH MICR CODE ERRORS Occasionally, some local agencies may incorrectly print food instruments (FIs) without the proper MICR font and/or toner on the bottom portion of the FI. (See example below). This section of the food instrument (check) enables your depository bank to route a deposited food instrument to (CSC Covansys) our banking services contractor for reimbursement. If a WIC participant brings in food instrument(s) that have an incorrect MICR font, partial and/or missing numbers please advise them to return to their local WIC office who can correct their food instrument(s). • If you accept any food instruments printed with the incorrect MICR font, give your Vendor Liaison a call. This will enable us to identify the local agency with the problem and have them correct the printing trouble as soon as possible. • Do not deposit these food instruments in your bank as they will be returned unpaid and service fees may apply. • Send the original food instrument(s) directly to the State Office for reimbursement right away. Remember to keep a copy of all food instrument(s) mailed for your records. We will process an ACH credit (direct deposit) to your financial institution for food instruments which meet all pre-payment edits and are received within the spend dates. Correct MICR Font: <4170043327<:06119684: 2509248< <4170043327<:06119684: 2509248< TUNA’S SIZE IS CHANGING All manufacturers of canned tuna September. your store receives an FI with the are downsizing their cans to 5oz. old size indicated, it is okay to Starkist has completed their can • Bumble Bee and Private Label accept this FI as you normally size change and the rest of the tuna will be making their would. Make sure to deposit the FI manufacturers will be completing change in October. following WIC guidelines as you their conversion as follows: The Virginia WIC program will be would for all other FI’s. • Chicken of the Sea will be making changes to the price survey making the size change in to reflect this change in size. Until the changes to the FI take place if PAGE 6 WO R K I NG WI T H WI C S E P T E MB E R 2 0 0 8 CONTRACT REAUTHORIZATION In June, the Division of WIC and of 858 “retailer” slots are upo n t he num ber of Community Nutrition Services allocated based upon the participants residing in a completed a statewide number of eligible participants. specific community (56 store evaluation of the qualifications of applicants); and approxim at ely 850 stor e applicants. This This year’s evaluation process evaluation • Voluntary withdrawal or was initially piloted in process failed to meet other selection December (2007) identified requirements (12 store and rolled out across the “best applicants). the Commonwealth qualif ied” during the months of s t o r e February, May and applicants. A total of approximately 750 June. This evaluation process These “best qualified” store store applicants (including 41 was the first time that all stores applicants were identified based new store authorizations) were equally competed for available upon the prices each submitted selected from this evaluation “retailer” slots. All interested for a standard market basket of process. stores, regardless of their WIC approved foods and previous authorization status formulas. were evaluated using price competitiveness as the sole Store applicants not selected selection criteria. have been advised of the All selected stores will be Agency’s selection decisions. authorized under a new Retailer All store applicants have the Agreement, which became right to request an administrative The Virginia WIC Program effective July 1, 2008. The review of their selection status, continues to use a retailer Retailer Agreement is effective which includes participating in limiting criteria, which means the for a three (3) year period. an informal settlement meeting number of stores at the city/ and/or a full administrative county level is identified. The appeal hearing. Additionally, number of stores needed to A total of 850 store applicants’ these stores are eligible to ensure adequate participant qualifications were evaluated. reapply in six months. The WIC access for each city/county is The primary reasons that stores Program is proceeding with based upon the number of were not selected for holding administrative reviews if eligible participants that reside in authorization under the 2008 and when requested. that community. Two different Retailer Agreement include: ratios are used, one for urban or m or e densely po pulat ed communities and a lower ratio for rural communities. United • Non competitive prices (21 States population census data is store applicants); used to determine which ratio • Past redemption history of a applies to each county/city. lower than standard number Locations that are more densely of participants served by the populated have fewer slots store (45 store applicants); assigned to them, since these stores are geographically closer • Insufficient demand exists to each other. Statewide, a total for certain stores based S E P T E MB E R 2 0 0 8 WO R K I NG WI T H WI C PAGE 7 2009 Food Packages Changes The WIC food packages are changing to better meet the nutritional needs of WIC participants. The new food packages align with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and infant feeding practice guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The next WIC Food List will be printed and distributed in spring (2009). It is anticipated this new Food list will include the following changes: Baby foods: fruits & vegetables Fruits and vegetables (fresh & canned) Baby foods: meats Soft corn and whole wheat tortillas Brown rice Whole grain cereals Canned salmon Whole grain breads Some of the other changes mandated under Federal regulations have already been implemented by the Virginia WIC Program, i.e., prescribing low fat milk, reduction in quantity of adult juices, eggs, cheese, etc. For many of the new food options that will be offered, we have begun the process of documenting the food package implementation requirements for Virginia. We are surveying participants and shortly will be contacting retail stores to obtain their feedback on these important Program changes, as well. Federal law requires that all state WIC Programs implement the new WIC food package changes by October 1, 2009. The Virginia WIC Program will implement these changes by the stated federally mandated deliverable date. You can review the Interim Federal Rule online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/lawsandregulations/default.htm Before you deposit those Food Instruments - Reminders!!! • WIC food instruments must be deposited within 14 days of the last date to spend printed on the food instrument. • In July (2008), the number of FIs rejected and returned unpaid for this single error increased more than 300%. • When stamping your WIC FI’s for deposit, make sure all five digits of your WIC authorization number are legible. • For maximum legibility, the stamp pad used should be a solid, dark ink and the best quality possible • You should stamp deposited food instruments with a solid impression of the vendor stamp. See below for examples of bad image impressions: VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH D I V I S I O N O F W I C A N D C O M M U N I TY N U TR I T I O N S E R V I C E S 1 0 9 G O VE R N O R S T R E E T, 9 T H F L O O R R I C H M O N D , VA 2 3 2 1 9 RETAILER ADDRESS Phone: 804-864-7800 FAX: 804-864-7854 On the WEB: www.vahealth.org/wic/retalstore.asp Be sure to post a copy of this newsletter so that all your employees can benefit from any WIC changes or training provided in this edition! LACTOSE REDUCED and LACTOSE FREE MILK Lactose is a natural sugar found in milk. People who can not digest lactose have a medical condition called lactose intolerance. This condition causes gas, bloating, cramping and abdominal pain. Individuals who are lactose intolerant need to drink milk which is lactose reduced or lactose free. Lactose reduced or lactose free milk products vary in the amount of fat they contain. WIC participants can purchase lactose reduced or lactose free milk that contain fat in any of the following amounts : Skim (fat free) ½% 1% 2% Whole Lactose reduced and lactose free milk is approved by the WIC Program (please refer to the Virginia WIC Approved Food List under “Other milk products as stated on the FI.”) Remind your cashiers that lactose reduced or lactose free milk can only be sold to WIC participants when prescribed on the WIC food instrument. If you have any questions about when participants can purchase lactose reduced or lactose free milk products or which products are approved by the Program, contact your assigned Vendor Liaison or the State Agency.
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