Friday Five: Toolkits released to improve customer experience and address poverty; new studies show impact of Medicaid changes

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August 10, 2018
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about new studies showing the impact of Medicaid expansion, looming Medicaid cuts in Puerto Rico, and new toolkits released to help agencies improve their customer experience and to reduce poverty via a two-generation approach.

1. ACT-IAC pens framework to help agencies reform their CX

The American Council for Technology – Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) recently released a “playbook” that federal agencies can use to improve their customer experience. According to FedScoop, the strategy focuses on the policy and cultural changes that must accompany technological updates and is designed to be flexible enough to apply across multiple organizations.

2. The Health 202: Medicaid advocates now have two more studies to back them up

In this article, the Washington Post discusses two new Medicaid studies: One study finds that expanding Medicaid has not caused doctors to accept less Medicaid patients and the other shows that 40% more patients with diabetes filled their prescriptions in states that had expanded Medicaid. Access to preventive care, particularly for individuals with chronic diseases, can lower health care costs.

3. Opinion: Lawmakers must prioritize health care access for all children 

Millions of children in the United States receive health insurance through Medicaid. In this opinion piece in the Greenville News, two doctors argue for the passage of the ACE Kids Act, which would create pediatric medical homes for children with medically complex conditions and allow better treatment across state lines. These children make up a small percentage of enrollees but incur substantial costs and require integrated care.

4. In weary post-storm Puerto Rico, Medicaid cutbacks bode new ills

Puerto Rico, under an agreement with the federal government to manage its debt, has to cut more than $840M from the territory’s Medicaid program by 2023. Kaiser Health News reports that critics are concerned the cuts will leave the program with too little funding and encourage insurers to drop patients with chronic diseases or mental illness. Puerto Rico receives substantially less federal Medicaid funding than states and more than a million enrollees could lose coverage next year.

5. Two-generation strategies toolkit

The National Conference of State Legislators released a two-generation strategies toolkit that focuses on the role legislators can play in encouraging implementation and funding for the program. The two-generation approach to reducing poverty addresses the entire family (parents and children) and is a proven best practice for improving education, employment, and family stability, but is rarely implemented due to rigorous requirements.