Friday Five: Health care, the labor market and social services are interconnected

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June 01, 2018
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about the Medicaid work requirement debate, opioids impact on workforce, preventing provider fraud, and whether blockchain can streamline health care records.

1. The battle over Medicaid work requirements

There are strong feelings (and lawsuits) on both sides of the Medicaid work requirements debate. This opinion piece, published in City Journal, describes this tension and argues that work requirements will be a boon both for individual health and state budgets.

2. The heavy toll of opioids on America's labor force

Opioids not only impact the health and lives of users and their families, but also have negative effects on businesses, such as removing individuals from the workforce and increasing health care costs. In this US News and World Report opinion piece, the author advocates for lowering the number of opioid prescriptions and for employers to help remove stigma and increase access to substance abuse treatment.

3. Healthcare spending reduced when people get help with social needs, study finds

A recent study, according to Becker’s Hospital CFO Report, found a decrease in health care spending for individuals who received social service referrals from their managed care organization. Patients who reported that their social needs were met showed an additional 10% reduction in spending.

4. Preventing provider fraud through health IT, data analytics

According to this article in Health Payer Intelligence, between 3-10% of health care spending is fraudulent, created through inappropriate billing, unnecessary procedures, or kickback agreements. What to do? Analytics and information technology can help recognize fraud by detecting patterns and conducting audits.

5. Blockchain may be the answer to the US health care mess

When different systems are used to store a patient’s data, information can be lost in the shuffle. Is blockchain the answer? This article from News BTC reports on how blockchain could better enable information sharing, provide more complete patient records, and reduce expenses.