Friday Five: Artificial intelligence - How soon will it transform customer service?

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January 04, 2019

In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about Medicaid, final open enrollment numbers, social determinants of health, how artificial intelligence can change customer service, and the global impact of blockchain.

1. Paying for Medicaid, schools to be priority for lawmakers

Medicaid expansion is expected to be a major topic for state legislatures this year after Democratic election gains. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, states such as Kansas, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Montana are likely to be considering Medicaid expansion, the status of work requirements, and how to fund health care programs.

2. Utah, nation see small dip in ACA-approved plan signups, increase in uninsured

The Standard-Examiner reports that Utah, like the rest of the country, experienced a slight drop in Affordable Care Act sign-ups and a slight increase in the number of uninsured individuals when compared to last year. Nearly 195,000 Utah residents and nearly 8.5 million nationwide have health insurance purchased through In addition, Utah’s Medicaid expansion expected to take effect April 1.

3. Social determinants of health playing a bigger role in doctor visits

A recent survey found that 68% of respondents had at least one social risk factor that could impact their health. According to BenefitsPro, the survey also found that despite the prevalence of risk factors and the increase in screening, many never discussed the issue with a provider or payer. It also found that patients are more willing to discuss risk factors with their healthcare providers than insurance companies and that patients with high risk factors were three times more likely to miss medical appointments.

4. Artificial intelligence is coming to disrupt customer service – and sooner than you think  

In this blog post published by Barron’s, the author argues that artificial intelligence will dramatically impact customer service within the next five to ten years. He bases this on the rising use of and support for chatbots and advances in technology that allow for a more “human” interaction, without the human. He also predicts that retail may be one of the first industries to see major changes.

5. Blockchain and sustainable growth

As more of the world has access to computing power, technology is changing and decentralizing. This United Nations blog discusses blockchain as recorded transactions accessible to the public that create ‘trust’ by making it nearly impossible to falsify. It discusses blockchain’s obstacles, but also its emergence as a new type of cooperative technology and how important it is for organizations like the United Nations to stay aware of and involved in global emerging technologies.