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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about healthcare trends, requirements for increased federal Medicaid funding, SNAP emergency benefits, and the need for states to update antiquated IT systems to handle increased demands.

1. Trends relevant in healthcare before COVID-19 will remain so after 

COVID-19 has shaken up the healthcare industry, but many of the pre-existing trends are likely to continue once the pandemic has ended. This blog post, published by Managed Healthcare Executive, lays out predictions for the top ten trends moving forward. It includes a focus on social determinants, mental health, and population health, an increase in the uninsured, a transformed customer experience, and more point-of-care service options.

2. Medicaid protections in Families First Act critical to protecting health coverage

The Families First Act temporarily increased the federal government’s share of Medicaid costs to help states manage the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, it also included protections for Medicaid recipients. These include a prohibition on states implementing more restrictive eligibility requirements or terminating coverage during the span of the public health emergency. This article also includes advice for how states can both qualify for the increased funding and meet the new requirements.

3. Needed to fight COVID-19: A program for data on social determinants of health

Despite evidence that social determinants are a major influence on health, most data models for COVID-19 have not included social factors in their analysis. FedScoop discusses how organizations are striving to fill this gap, but need better data on both social determinants and individuals with COVID-19 in order to develop predictive models.

4. SNAP benefits increased for recipients due to coronavirus pandemic 

For the next two months, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will be able to receive the maximum amount of benefits. Click Orlando reports that benefits will no longer be reduced by reportable income or other factors, in order to help families weather the financial crisis caused by COVID-19. 

5. Wyden seeks funds for USDS, 18F to help states during COVID-19 

A group of Senators have requested additional funding to help states with aging IT systems handle the increased demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. FCW reports the funding, if approved, would be used to support the U.S. Digital Service and the Technology Transformation Services. The proposal would also decrease administrative barriers to federal-state agreements on resource sharing.