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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about CMS offering states Medicaid block grants, child support for unborn babies, improving health literacy, the future of citizen services, and govtech initiatives. 

1. Trump administration to offer states Medicaid block grant option

The Trump administration is expected to send a letter to state Medicaid directors informing them they can apply for block grants. The grant would apply to their Medicaid able-bodied adult population. Washington Post reports this would be a major policy change, which would offer fixed federal funding and flexibility from rules, in contrast to the current funding formula. 

2. Bill would let pregnant mothers collect child support for unborn babies

Kevin Cramer, a Senator from North Dakota, introduced a controversial bill that would allow mothers to collect child support during pregnancy and retroactively to the date of conception. According to the Dickinson Press, the bill is similar to a Georgia state law, which allows mothers to claim both alimony and child support for a fetus.

3. Helping patients become health literate

Most U.S. adults have intermediate, basic, or below basic health literacy; meaning they may not understand their health conditions and how to manage them. According to Medical Economics, a new report offers guides for improving health literacy with patients, including clear written and oral communication, assistance with transitions, empathizing with patients, and providing self-management support.

4. Reimagining citizen services in the government in 2025

Last fall, government agencies predicted, through a series of workshops, how services would be experienced by citizens five years in the future. According to this NextGov blog, agencies expect an increase in online transactions, an omnichannel experience that automatically transfers citizen data, and a need for increased employee training.

5. JAIC set to double its civilian workforce by FY 21 as automation gains momentum 

The Department of Defense’s Joint AI Center (JAIC) is preparing for growth. Federal News Network reports DoD plans to double their civilian workforce, as they work on measuring both the return on investment and the impact of technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotic process automation, have on human capital. JAIC is part of an effort by the federal government to encourage agencies to implement new technology for administrative tasks and free up employees to focus on higher-value work.