Friday Five: Experts worry home healthcare workers will not be able to meet demands of aging population

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April 12, 2019
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In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about Idaho’s move toward Medicaid expansion, states convening to improve their SNAP and job skills programs, the mounting financial burden of the home healthcare shortage, why a bot is coming to the IRS, and how states are helping nursing homes increase Medicaid funding.

1. Senate passes Medicaid ‘sideboards,’ work requirements bill

The Idaho Senate recently passed an amended version of the state’s Medicaid expansion bill. According to the Idaho Press, the new version of the bill will allow individuals between 100-138% of the poverty level to stay on the state insurance exchange. It adds Medicaid work requirements and includes a call for the legislature to review expansion in January 2023. Residents voted in favor of Medicaid expansion this past November.

2. Building better futures through SNAP employment and training

The United States Department of Agriculture recently hosted the first SNAP Employment and Training State Institute. According to this blog, published on USDA’s website, the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs describes how the program is designed for states to share best practices and help them better design employment and training programs for their SNAP beneficiaries.

3. America’s $103 billion home healthcare system is in crisis as worker shortage worsens

Last year, Americans spent $103 billion on home healthcare. According to CNBC, that cost is expected to continue rising as the population ages. While many elderly individuals prefer to stay in their own homes, 75% of adults over the age of 65 report having multiple chronic health conditions. Dependence on family caregivers or other in-home healthcare services is also increasing and experts argue there will not be enough home health care aides to meet demand.

4. IRS turns to automation amid shrinking workforce

According to NextGov, the IRS has lost more than 16% of its funding and 33% of its employees since 2010. Can technology help? The agency is readying to launch a bot that will automate most of its vendor compliance process, potentially saving tens of thousands of employee hours.

5. Skilled nursing operators, states turn to Medicaid supplements to avert disaster

Nursing home operators say Medicaid reimbursement rates, which pay for 6 in 10 residents, don’t cover the cost of long-term care. Skilled Nursing News reports that to compensate, several states have begun using supplemental programs and intergovernmental transfers to boost funding.

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