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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about how communities in Wyoming are working together to address social determinants of health, Medicaid work requirements head to appellate court, wasteful healthcare spending, tips for improving customer service, and why hospitals are venturing into the housing market. 

1. Community Health Improvement Plan charts future of healthcare

Teton County has a plan for improving their residents’ healthcare. According to the Jackson Hole News and Guide, the county health department partnered with a local medical center on a plan to tackle the community’s pressing health needs. The plan stresses the importance of inter-agency coordination, reducing barriers to care, and addressing social determinants of health. 

2. Oral argument over Medicaid work requirements appeals coming Friday

Oral arguments will be presented at the DC Circuit Court of Appeals today in a federal hearing over the legality of Medicaid work requirements. Health Leaders Media reports Kentucky and Arkansas, both of which had work requirements struck down, will be directly impacted by the court’s decision. New Hampshire and Indiana also have similar cases.

3. 25% of total healthcare spending attributed to waste, study finds

A recent study found that between $760B to $935B in US healthcare spending was in one of six waste domains. According to RevCycle Intelligence, these domains include failure of care delivery, failure of care coordination, overtreatment/low value care, pricing failure, fraud/abuse, and administrative complexity. Taken together, this amount accounts for a quarter of total healthcare spending.  

4. 6 lessons from government customer experience professionals

NextGov summarized recent remarks from representatives of the US Patent and Trademark Office, Transportation Security Administration, and Office of Federal Student Aid as they discussed steps their agencies have taken to improve the customer experience. Their advice includes having a presence where your customers are, providing customer service training to employees, taking executives out into the ‘field,’ collecting and using data, and not forgetting to focus on employee engagement.

5. Why hospitals are getting into the housing business

Patients with unstable housing can end up staying in hospitals far longer than other patients, and longer than it takes to address their acute medical issues. Because of the high-cost associated with these stays, Kaiser Health News reports, more hospitals are helping to provide temporary housing – whether that’s providing a housing voucher or even helping to build affordable housing in the community.