OCR is working with developers on an updated and streamlined Colorado Attorney Reimbursement Electronic System (CARES) billing and case management system which is designed to reduce the time OCR attorneys and their staff must set aside for data entry and retrieval and to reduce billing hassles by making financial information easier to manage and navigate.
In addition to the information below, you can view a recording of our webinar about the CARES transition. Please contact Rebecca Garrison at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
OCR opened the updated CARES application on Monday, April 2, 2018. Please see below for details; this timeline is subject to change.
|March 22, 2018 at Noon
||Webinar: Join us to get a first look at some of the new CARES system functionality, answers to common billing questions for the upcoming transition, and more!
View the Recording Here!
|March 23, 2018
||As of March 23, 2018, you no longer need to request excess fees for work done in March 2018. Please continue to bill all of your March work into old CARES through April 30th regardless of your allocation. OCR will review all of your billing for March carefully to make sure the billings appear reasonable and accurate. After March 2018, you will request excess fees in the new system as needed.
|April 2, 2018
||New CARES Application Open: Contractors and staff begin using the new system for case management and billing. All activities taking place April 1 or later should go in the new system. The former system will remain available for activities which took place before April 1 and for referencing previous data. Refer to your welcome email for detailed directions.
All OCR contract attorneys will automatically be added to the new system. To add your non-attorney staff, please provide their information on the request form at https://fs30.formsite.com/COCR/AddToCARES/index.html.
|April 30, 2018
||All time for work done through March 31 must be entered in the former CARES application for final payments out of that system. The former system will no longer save updates and changes after this date.
|May 1, 2018
||In May, the former CARES system will no longer save changes (any changes you do make are discarded overnight). On and after May 1st, you should only change and save data in the new system.
|May 15, 2018
||April invoices due in the new system. Invoices will be due by the 15th of the month from this point forward.
Reimbursement forms due to OCR for entering your office’s existing open cases from the old system into the new application between April 2nd and May 15th. Find the form here, and learn more via OCR’s listserv and our webinar.
What Are the Main Changes?
Based on contractor and staff input, the CARES team is enhancing the satisfactory features of the original system, adding case management features, and eliminating unnecessary or outdated functions. The updated technology will be more user-friendly and intuitive with the goal of saving contractor time and bringing important case management and billing information to the fore. For example, the application will feature helpful case alerts, will require less training and fewer clicks to navigate, and will be responsive to mobile devices.
The new application will have search technology built into most pages, allowing contractors to find attachments and other case information with greater ease.
The updated application will group billable activities by Chief Justice Directive (CJD) requirements to facilitate case management and compliance. These groups include Contact with Child, Hearing-Related Activities, and Legal Advocacy and Independent Investigation.
The new CARES system will no longer be based on a 30-day cycle; rather, it will feature improved billing and accounting functionality in the form of invoicing, allowing a more conventional approach to attorney billing. Contractors will enter activities as usual, and those activities will automatically appear on monthly invoices for contractors to pull up, review, and submit, allowing contractors to fix any errors to streamline payments. Invoices feature detailed totals and subtotals–such as dollars per case–enabling a flexible and thorough review by the contractor. OCR will pay contractors monthly. Though this means less frequent payments, it will allow greater control and clearer guidelines for contractors reconciling billing and predicting payments.
What will happen with the current CARES system and data?
The current CARES application will remain available going forward, but will not be available for new activity after April 1, 2018. You will be able to bill OCR for the time it takes you to transfer any data (e.g. cases) OCR is not able to migrate.