Friday Five - April 14, 2017

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April 14, 2017

This week in our Friday Five series, MAXIMUS is sharing our Insights video on bridging health equity across communities as part of National Minority Health Month; examining why the new Office of American Innovation “just might work;” and, looking at how Medicaid programs are responding to the nation’s opioid epidemic. 

1. ICYMI: Bridging Health Equity Across Communities

April is National Minority Health Month and this years’ theme is Bridging Health Equity Across Communities. Kinte Ibbott, Vice President of the MAXIMUS Center for Health Literacy, shares his take on the importance of promoting awareness about health disparities in minority communities and continuing to focus on solutions to reduce disparities in this MAXIMUS Insights video.

2. New Office of American Innovation 'Just Might Work'

The Trump administration’s Office of American Innovation (OAI) has potential – and a lot of ground to cover, according to Bloomberg BNA. Led by President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, the OAI has met with more than 100 CEOs and senior government officials in preparation for the launch of its task forces that will work to modernize government services and IT, implement regulatory and process reforms and develop workforce of the future programs, among other initiatives.

3. Should Medicaid Be Converted to a Block-Grant Program?

Medicaid costs have steadily increased since the program’s first full year in 1966, jumping from $1 billion then to $554 billion in 2015. The bulk of this growth was driven by vast increases in the number of people covered by Medicaid, including millions more in recent years under the Affordable Care Act. Many in Congress say the program has become unsustainable, and some have proposed introducing block grants for Medicaid as one solution. The Wall Street Journal presents the arguments for and against such a change to the program.

4. Why Employers Need to Talk About Long-Term Care

The global population continues to age and live longer each year. In the workplace, an aging population may present special challenges to employers, like the need for time off to care for a parent or spouse. According to a survey conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, approximately 34.2 million Americans provide unpaid care to an adult age 50 or older each year. The Business Journals outlines why employers and employees should take time to discuss how to plan and pay for long-term care.

5. Medicaid Responds To The Opioid Epidemic: Regulating Prescribing And Finding Ways To Expand Treatment Access

Medicaid programs are at the center of the opioid epidemic – nearly 12 percent of adults covered by Medicaid have a substance use disorder. Available data suggests that Medicaid beneficiaries are prescribed painkillers at higher rates than non-Medicaid patients and have a higher risk of overdose. In addition to the human toll, opioid abuse has significant financial effects – in 2010, Arizona Medicaid paid for more than half of all opioid-related emergency department admissions. Health Affairs Blog analyzes how Medicaid programs are attempting to regulate and reduce prescription opioid abuse.