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In this week’s Friday Five, Maximus is reading about surprise billing, improving foster care, what the Administration’s proposed budget includes for government IT, and health system spending on social determinants of health.

1. Powerful House committee releases new surprise billing proposal

Late last week, the House Ways and Means Committee released bipartisan legislation that would ban balance billing. According to Modern Healthcare, the bill would cap consumer cost sharing and require insurers and providers to disclose median contracted and reimbursement rates during negotiation. 

2. Wyoming Senate sends foster child welfare bill to Labor Committee 

The Wyoming Senate moved forward a bill designed to improve care for foster children. Oil City News reports the bill builds off the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, which allows states to use funding to prevent family separations and aims to reduce the use of group homes.

3. Trump’s budget pushes bonuses and reskilling to build up IT workforce  

More than 14% of the government’s IT workforce is over the age of 60. With a wave of retirements looming, NextGov reports the Trump administration’s 2021 budget calls for expanding retraining initiatives, increasing performance-based bonuses for staff with critical skills, and increasing term appointments. 

4. Federal tech guide to Trump’s 2021 budget 

The Trump administration’s 2021 budget includes a request for an additional $200 million for IT projects above approved 2020 spending levels. According to NextGov, requests vary widely between agencies with Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services leading the list. The funding would support mission delivery, IT infrastructure, security, management, and administrative support.

5. Just how much are health systems spending on social determinants? A new study put a number on it 

A new study found that health systems have spent $2.5 billion addressing social determinants of health, primarily focusing on housing insecurity and employment. Fierce Healthcare reports that this is a fraction of the $60 billion spent annually on community benefit programs, but vastly more than a few years ago. Long-term impacts of direct spending on SDOH have yet to be determined.