Friday Five: Potential changes to health insurance and SNAP requirements, opioid treatment, value-based care, & AI’s impact on health care

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April 27, 2018

In this week’s Friday Five, MAXIMUS is reading about short-term health insurance, SNAP work requirements, opioid treatment, value-based care, and the potential impact of artificial intelligence on health care.

1. Trump proposal could mean healthy people save on insurance while others get priced out

The Trump administration has proposed extending the duration of short-term health insurance plans to a year from the current 3-month limit. In this Washington Post article, proponents argue that it provides a cheaper option for those priced out of ACA-compliant plans. However, opponents counter that by taking healthy people out of the market, it will raise premiums and limit options for others.

2. GOP push for ‘welfare reform’ tucked inside farm bill

Currently, able-bodied adults between 18-49 without children are required to work 20 hours a week to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The Canton Repository reports that Republicans have proposed extending those work requirements up to age 59 and to parents with children older than 6. More than 40 million people receive SNAP assistance.

3. Va. opioid program increasing access to treatment, lowering number of prescriptions

Last April, Virginia introduced a program expanding access to residential treatment and creating new care models to address drug addiction among Medicaid recipients. A recent evaluation, reported on by WAVY, showed a 2/3 increase in treatment and a 1/3 decrease in both the number of opioid prescriptions and emergency department visits from this population since the program launched.

4. Payers, orgs provide feedback on CMS value-based care reform

In this article, Health Payer Intelligence reports the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) received more than 1,000 comments on their efforts to institute value-based care. Organizations, in general, agreed with the goals and suggested using new technologies to help with implementation.

5. How AI can cut costs, uncover hidden opportunities in healthcare

At a recent conference, 19 researchers presented their early-stage tools and algorithms designed to enhance patient care through machine learning. Health IT Analytics reports that artificial intelligence (AI) could ideally reduce health care costs and increase patient satisfaction by analyzing evidence-based practices and individual patient records.