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In this week’s Friday Five, Maximus is reading about Medicaid’s role in the safe reopening of the healthcare system, important elements for successful digital transformation, a new telehealth toolkit for Medicaid and CHIP, and the IT modernization efforts of the USPTO.

1. Medicaid’s role in the next phase of COVID-19 response: Part II – Reopening the healthcare delivery system

As non-emergency medical care services begin reopening, the Center for Health Care Strategies makes the case that Medicaid needs to provide support and guidance. The article points out four key areas of focus: care delivery, social determinants of health, payment/provider finances, and establishing partnerships. They also list specific actions Medicaid could take within each arena to help states and providers transition to new models of care.

2. The 6 foundational elements of modernization

Updating legacy IT systems is a big undertaking, with multiple moving parts. After speaking with government CIO’s, StateScoop reports six components they agree need to be in a modernization effort. These include simplifying accessibility, being flexible, planning from a business perspective, involving stakeholders, measuring the cost of continuing to run and maintain a legacy system, and knowing the limits of in-house resources.  

3. As digital transformation accelerates, omnichannel CX is a business imperative 

COVID-19 has sparked an increased interest in and demand for digital transformation, with companies pivoting to cloud-based services, online ordering, and telehealth options. Forbes posits that individuals who have experienced the convenience of virtual options may not be willing to return to the status quo, and to be successful in this new environment organizations must consider their digital transformation through the customer experience lens.

4. CMS Unveils COVID-19 Telehealth Toolkit for Medicaid, CHIP Programs

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released a new toolkit to help states expand telehealth coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic using Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). According to mHealthIntelligence, the toolkit includes guidance on identifying patient populations, provider eligibility, reimbursement policies, and technical requirements.

5. Critical update: How the US Patent and Trademark Office plans to run ‘better, faster, cheaper’ tech

In this NextGov podcast, USPTO Chief Information Officer Jamie Holcombe discusses the agency’s ongoing IT modernization efforts. These include integrating robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, and user-centered design. Holcombe discusses why USPTO continues to use COBOL, a programming language developed in the 1960’s.