Friday Five: Availability of AI and telehealth services may change the way health care is delivered

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May 18, 2018
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about drug prices, lifetime limits on Medicaid, telehealth reimbursement, potential changes to TANF, and the ethical implications of AI for health care.

1. Trump administration’s 3 biggest ideas for lowering drug prices

Alex Azar, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, recently floated multiple ideas for how the agency could help control and lower drug prices. This article from NPR lays out the three that analysts think may have the biggest impact: changing the role of pharmacy benefit managers, moving more drugs to the Medicare Part D program, and increasing price transparency.

2. CMS firmly opposed to lifetime limits on Medicaid

Following up on its denial of Kansas’ waiver, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced this week that they would not be approving lifetime limits on Medicaid.  MedPage Today reports that the Administration remains supportive of work requirements and has yet to announce a position on a recent drug testing requirement proposed in Wisconsin.

3. State Medicaid programs are seeing the value of telehealth at home

According to this article in mHealth Intelligence, more states are expanding the locations where patients can access telehealth services to include homes and schools. Despite the increase, 23 states still limit telehealth reimbursement to specific facilities, and four limit how close the patient can be located to the provider.

4. The big ethical questions for artificial intelligence in healthcare

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics recently released a report on the ethical implications of using artificial intelligence in health care. While many people are excited about the potential for AI to improve and lower the costs of health care, this report points out issues and questions that will need to be resolved as the technology moves forward.

5. A way forward on TANF

This opinion piece, published by the American Enterprise Institute, lays out suggestions for improving TANF including refocusing on the neediest families, adding employment assistance, tracking outcomes, and revising the funding formula.