Friday Five: The aging population will need more in-home services: How will states adapt?

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March 01, 2019

In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about the aging population in Appalachia, models of success in addressing social determinants of health, an increase in robotic process automation use, and Wyoming’s final vote against Medicaid work requirements.

1. Aging in Appalachia: State programs stretch to care for the elderly as young people leave the state

Currently, 16% of the West Virginia population is older than 65. By 2030, that number is expected to grow to 23%. West Virginia Public Broadcasting reports the aging population has led to long waitlists for assistance, especially since many younger residents have left the state for jobs and economic opportunities. State-run organizations are facing an increasing burden to serve residents in need of assistance.

2. 3 top strategies to address the social determinants of health

More health organizations want to address social determinants of health, but there’s not yet a proven best strategy of how to do so. However, according to Patient Engagement HIT, models addressing food security, affordable housing, and medical transportation have shown some initial success. 

3. The state of states: How governors plan to address health-related social and economic factors in 2019

The National Academy for State Policy analyzed the health-related social and economic factors that governors mentioned in their 2019 addresses. These topics are more likely to be a policy focus for the state over the coming year. The most popular topics include education, jobs, infrastructure, opioids, and the environment.

4. Robotic process automation gains momentum

According to an article in Information Week, use of robotic process automation (RPA) has increased 57% over the past year and global spending on RPA software is on track to break more than $2.4 billion by 2022. RPA allows employees to focus on high-value tasks while reducing the risk of human error and speeding up processes.

5. House kills Medicaid work requirements on final day of 2019 session

This week, the Wyoming House of Representatives voted against a proposal to implement Medicaid work requirements. The Casper Star-Tribune reports the vote was dramatically different than almost a week earlier, when the House voted to keep the bill under consideration. The move was expected to save the state $5.6 million, but many Representatives argued there was little data on how individuals might be affected.