Friday Five: Federal government continues push to integrate technology and data

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February 22, 2019

In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about Medicaid expansion in Nebraska, how the aging population is changing the world, how robotic process automation (RPA) adoption could help balance budgets, how the Feds are closing the skills gap, and the call for increased participation in home visits for new parents.

1. Timetable still unclear for expanding Medicaid in Nebraska

Voters in Nebraska approved Medicaid expansion, but it’s still unclear when enrollment will begin. According to NTV/ABC, state officials must submit their plan to the federal government by April 1. Supporters are hoping enrollment will begin in the fall for a January 1, 2020 start date. Approximately 90,000 residents will receive coverage. It is not anticipated that Nebraska will add work requirements, but they are considering wellness and success incentives.

2. There are more people older than 65 than younger than 5 for the first time – here’s how that’s changing the world

The population is aging: A new analysis finds that adults older than 65 outnumber children younger than 5 for the first time. According to Markets Insider, the percentage of the elderly population is expected to continue growing larger over time. Economists worry about the economic and financial effects of an aging population, as global fertility has dropped below the “replacement rate.”

3. Trump’s call for budget efficiencies could accelerate RPA adoption

Back in October, Trump called for agencies to develop plans for a 5% reduction in budgets across the board. The author of this blog post, published in Federal News Network, argues that speeding up robotic process automation (RPA) adoption could help agencies cut costs while maintaining services. Some agencies are farther along in adopting new technology than others, but the author recommends picking a low-risk, high-reward project to start with.

4. OPM wants agencies to show their work on management agenda tech and data goals

The Office of Personnel Management has instructed federal agencies to get ready for a new annual audit of their personnel practices. NextGov reports the Human Capital Review will focus on how agencies are using technology to help meet human resources goals, close skills gaps, and use data to improve processes.

5. Ohio Gov. Dewine wants to triple home visits for at-risk moms. How are they working now?

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine wants to triple the numbers of families participating in the home visit program. This voluntary program is designed to help lower-income parents with risk factors raise healthier children. reports that, while some home visit professionals have data to show the effects, many do not, and some models have shown mixed results. Ohio plans to standardize monitoring and collect additional data, as well as put more money into the program.