Friday Five – December 1, 2017

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December 01, 2017
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about the opioid epidemic, key health care decisions pending Congress, why Medicare and Medicaid should be integrated for dual-eligibles, and the impact of long-term care costs on the individual, their caregivers and family members.

1. AG Jeff Sessions announces new tools to address opioid epidemic

CBS News reports the Justice Department and Drug Enforcement Agency jointly announced new initiatives to address the opioid epidemic this week that will include $12 million in funding for law enforcement and a restructuring of the DEA’s field divisions.

2. Five healthcare fights facing Congress in December

As December arrives, The Hill reports on health care issues anticipated to be under discussion by Congress this month: reauthorization of health programs, such as CHIP; funding for Medicaid programs in Puerto Rico and the opioid response; repealing the individual mandate; and taxes associated with the Affordable Care Act. 

3. Trump backs bipartisan fixes to Obamacare markets

President Trump has signaled, according to The Hill, that he would support bills to shore up the individual insurance market by making cost-sharing reduction payments and providing funding for state-run reinsurance programs to help cover high-cost enrollees. These bills would be added to the tax plan, which currently includes removal of the ACA individual mandate. 

4. Advancing Medicare and Medicaid integration

The Center for Health Care Strategies released an infographic depicting why Medicare and Medicaid should be integrated for dually-eligible beneficiaries and key features of effective integrated programs. 

5. The double whammy of long-term healthcare costs

Long-term health care is expensive, not only for the recipient, but also for family members who may step in as caregivers. In this article from CBS News, more than half of caregivers report making adjustments to their employment, paying for a family member’s needs, and not putting their own health and financial security first.

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