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In this week’s Friday Five, Maximus is reading about a rise in long-term care demands by aging veterans, addressing social determinants through partnership with community-based organizations, Medicaid reimbursements for schools, and funding to prevent foster care placements.

1. Spending on VA long-term care to double by 2037, government watchdog says  

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) anticipates the number of veterans needing care and the spending on long-term care will increase dramatically by 2037. According to Healthcare Dive, the GAO is concerned the Department of Veterans Affairs will struggle to meet the growing demand and has recommended developing measurable goals, setting specific staffing targets, and increasing telehealth offerings, especially in rural areas. 

2. Addressing social determinants: Scaling up partnerships with community-based organization networks  

This Health Affairs blog makes the case for health care systems to partner with existing community-based organizations (CBOs) to address social determinants of health. Authors suggest it is more cost-effective to use the experience and connections that existing organizations have spent years developing and recommend scaling the CBO network nationwide.

3. Bill to boost transparency on VA’s IT is moving in Senate

FedScoop reports the Senate will consider a bill to establish a third-party oversight board for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ IT efforts after the VA announced it missed a key deadline to launch its electronic health record (EHR) system. The VA says the delay is due to issues in training medical staff on how to use the new technology. A new date has not yet been set.

4. Final rules approved for Medicaid to Schools 

New Hampshire has approved rule changes that ensure school districts are eligible for Medicaid reimbursement. According to the Union Leader, changes were fast tracked, to prevent school districts from losing nearly $30 million in federal funding that helps pay for health services, personal care, rehabilitation and therapy provided by schools for children eligible for Medicaid.

5. Maryland has been approved for federal foster care prevention funds 

Maryland has become the fourth state to receive approval for funding under the Family First Prevention Services Act, according to the Chronicle for Social Change. The Family First Act allows states to use preventative funding for mental health, substance abuse, or parenting services in hopes of reducing the number of children entering the foster care system.