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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about how CMS plans to cut Medicaid costs, Tennessee’s Medicaid block grant proposal, USDA’s massive data collection project, how RPA is helping with drug evaluation, and what tools providers need to screen for social determinants of health.

1. CMS focused on Medicaid integrity, agency deputy says 

At its current growth rate, Medicaid spending is expected to hit $1 trillion by 2026. According to Modern Healthcare, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to curtail spending by continuing to push for value-based payments, reducing regulatory burdens, improving quality accountability measures and data sharing, and focusing on Medicaid program integrity.

2. Tennessee seeks to become first state to turn Medicaid into a block grant 

Tennessee plans to submit a proposal to convert its Medicaid program into a block grant. If approved, it would be the first state to do so. As reported by The Hill, under the proposal, Tennessee would receive a $7.9 billion block grant from the federal government. The amount could increase due to inflation or increased enrollment but would not decrease if enrollment drops. If the state spends less than it would under traditional Medicaid, they are expected to split the savings with the federal government.

3. USDA wants feedback from 2 million customers  

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) plans to raise its customer experience to match that of the private sector. NextGov reports, in order to do so, USDA launched a data collection initiative. The initiative will collect data on customer experience from 2 million people, businesses, or institutions and will include creating personas, customer journey maps, reports and summaries of user insights. 

4. RPA is helping with FDA’s drug evaluation and research  

According to FedScoop, the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, an agency within the Food and Drug Administration, has seven robotic process automation (RPA) projects underway. The bots ensure applications are complete, transcribe the information, and assign it to the correct reviewers, among other tasks. The seven projects in development are expected to save 24,000 work hours annually.

5. Physician practices, hospitals need support for SDOH screenings  

Experts want healthcare providers to screen for the top five social determinants of health most likely to affect health (food, housing, transportation, utilities, and interpersonal violence). Patient Engagement HIT reports SDOH screening may be a challenge for providers who have not previously done so. Physician practices and hospitals may need additional tools and financial support, as well as buy-in from industry leaders that SDOH screening should be a priority.