Friday Five: Debate over work requirements could impact several government programs

You are here

July 20, 2018
By: 

In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about work requirements in government assistance programs, health care administrative costs, the farm bill negotiations, and improving citizen services.

1. White House makes case for work requirements in safety-net programs

According to AJMC, the White House recently released a report that argues work requirements should be attached to Medicaid, food stamps and housing assistance programs in order to reduce dependence. However, the reported numbers of non-working adults conflict with findings by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Four states currently have approved Medicaid waivers with work requirements, while seven state waiver requests are pending with CMS.

2. The astonishingly high administrative costs of U.S. health care

This opinion piece, published by the New York Times, summarizes multiple studies on administrative costs for health care in the U.S., all of which show higher spending percentages than comparable countries. The author argues that the multi-payer, multi-plan insurance system raises costs for billing and collection, thus raising overall health care costs and contributing to high premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

3. Farm bill negotiators must find SNAP compromise on work rules

Next week, the House and Senate Agriculture committees are expected to meet and begin negotiating differences between versions of the farm bill. According to AgriPulse, one primary difference is the House version recommends increasing work requirements on SNAP recipients, while the Senate version retains the current requirements but expands employment assistance programs.

4. When delivering citizen services, consistency is key

Kathleen Lear, Senior Director of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at MAXIMUS, is featured in the Federal Times discussing the importance of consistent, concise, and comprehensive citizen services. She focuses on how governments need to provide clear information through multiple channels and use effective digital communication and tools in order to improve the citizen experience.

5. Improving customer experience doesn't always mean more money and tech  

Technology can improve customer service, but this article from NextGov argues that new technology can be ineffective without also focusing on the underlying processes. With this in mind, the Agriculture Department has tasked specific employees with recommending ways to improve and streamline customer experience over the next year with existing resources.