Friday Five: The population is aging - Health and long-term care costs are rising

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February 01, 2019
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about the rising costs of caring for our aging population, how rural America benefits from Medicaid expansion, the Ticket to Work program, artificial intelligence in healthcare, and the decline in customer satisfaction across government agencies.

1. CBO: Nursing homes account for 15% of all Medicaid spending as aging population drives costs

The Congressional Budget Office recently released a report stating that nearly half of federal government spending (excluding interest) would be on individuals over 65 by 2030. According to Skilled Nursing News, the majority of that spending would be on Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. This spending increase is anticipated due both to the large numbers of aging baby boomers and increased life expectancy.

2. The midterm’s biggest winners: Medicaid and rural America

In most states, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act received popular support during the midterm elections. This blog from Health Affairs points out that Medicaid is especially important for rural residents, who are more likely to receive benefits, and whose hospitals are struggling economically. It also discusses the wide range of services covered as well as challenges ahead.

3. Fear of losing benefits holds some back from rejoining the workforce

Approximately 3% of disability recipients in Illinois are participating in the ‘Ticket to Work’ program, MDJ Online reports. The program, funded by the Social Security Administration, protects monthly disability benefits while an individual tries to return to employment. The state aims to increase awareness of and participation in the program.

4. Education, culture key to artificial intelligence in healthcare

Health IT Analytics breaks down a recent report on the future uses of artificial intelligence in healthcare. The report finds that healthcare has an automation potential of 33%, with both pluses and minuses to the technology. Organizations will need to take new approaches to education and skills development, as well as support new technologies as they are introduced, for a technological transition to be successful.

5. Customer satisfaction drops across federal government

Last year, federal agencies reached an 11-year high in customer satisfaction, but according to NextGov, this year was a different story. Overall, satisfaction dropped 1.1% and was lower in all major measured categories. The Department of Housing and Urban Development had the lowest score at 57%. Data was collected before the government shutdown and is expected to cause an even deeper drop in satisfaction.

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