Friday Five: States to have major impact on healthcare through decisions on Medicaid expansion & opioid legislation implementation

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October 19, 2018
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading profiles of the populations impacted by work requirements, how midterm elections could affect Medicaid expansion, ways to increase child support payments, how leveraging new federal opioid legislation can improve outcomes, and a MAXIMUS Federal executive recognized for industry leadership.

1. Work requirements and safety net programs

A new report issued by Brookings examines and profiles the individuals who would be affected by the implementation of additional work requirements for SNAP and Medicaid. The report finds that the majority of individuals are already in the labor force, although many would struggle to meet the 20-hour per week threshold for various reasons, including health concerns.

2. Midterms: Health care is a key national issue but the real action may happen at state level

Nearly 9 in 10 Democrats and 6 in 10 Republicans listed healthcare as an important issue as we head into the midterm elections. According to USA Today, state elections could make a big difference in people’s ability to access care, as multiple states have Medicaid expansion on the ballot this fall. In addition, the governor’s race in several states is also likely to be the deciding factor in whether Medicaid expands in those locations.

3. How one state is using incentives instead of penalties to boost child support payments

More than 50% of parents receive partial or no child support payments. To address this, states are trying new methods to increase on-time and complete payments. The Deseret News reports that increased and more friendly communication has a positive impact, as well as replacing outdated technology, courts that set reasonable child support amounts, and job programs.

4. Three ways states can boost the impact of new federal opioid legislation on Medicaid’s health homes program

Federal legislation addressing the opioid epidemic recently passed and is awaiting the President’s signature. In this blog from the Urban Institute, the authors lay out three ways states can help health homes benefit from the legislation, including offering incentives for infrastructure investments, testing alternative payment models, and promoting integration of clinical and non-clinical services.

5. Announcing: Leading for impact in federal technology & consulting award recipients   

Anna Sever, Vice President of Federal Services at MAXIMUS, was nominated by her peers and selected as a 2018 honoree by the Leading for Impact in Federal IT & Consulting, Women in Leadership conference. Announced in Fed Health IT, the honorees will be officially recognized at the end of October. Sever has more than 25 years of healthcare and social services experience, and is responsible for spearheading new business and program development initiatives at MAXIMUS.