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					                                  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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