Friday Five: Utah is first state to have partial Medicaid expansion approved

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April 05, 2019
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about Utah’s partial Medicaid expansion, expanding access to opioid treatment in West Virginia, job skills training for Medicaid enrollees, and federal policies around automation technology.

1. CMS approves Utah’s partial Medicaid expansion plan

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved Utah’s partial Medicaid expansion “bridge” waiver last week. According to Fierce Healthcare, the bridge expansion allowed individuals to begin enrolling April 1. Both the bridge and the longer-term waiver request increase eligibility up to 100% of the federal poverty level (compared to 138% in full expansion) and implement Medicaid work requirements.

2. Opioid treatment grew with W.Va. expanded Medicaid

West Virginia has the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country. According to U.S. News and World Report a new study finds the number of individuals accessing substance abuse treatment increased after the state’s Medicaid expansion. Treatment of patients identified as having an opioid use disorder increased from less than 1/3 to more than 3/4 during the analyzed timeframe.

3. Louisiana governor shelves Medicaid work requirement idea

Last year, Gov. Jon Bel Edwards of Louisiana planned to add work requirements for adult Medicaid recipients. But according to 4WWL, the governor has instead decided to launch a pilot program that will offer free job skills training to eligible Medicaid expansion recipients. The job skills pilot will serve up to 50 residents by helping them access education programs and provide tuition-free training.

4. Understanding the terminology around citizen service delivery technology

In this blog post, published by NextGov, MAXIMUS Federal’s Andy Beamon breaks down the differences between the major technologies used to enhance and optimize customer service delivery. These include robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, bots, and cognitive computing. Beamon asserts that understanding the terms and technology is vital both for improving citizen services and for a successful procurement process.

5. OMB to release government strategy on automation technology

FedTech reports the Office of Management and Budget has announced they are finalizing a policy on the use of automated technologies such as robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning. Final version of draft policies released last year focusing on cloud services, data center optimization, and more are also expected this year.

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