Skip to main content

In this week’s Friday Five, Maximus is reading about state COVID-19 testing plans, concerns about funding for unemployment benefits, telemedicine’s sustainability, and programs to enhance father-child relationships.

1. State coronavirus testing plans diverge widely, some intend slowdown by December 

Earlier this week, the Department of Health and Human Services released COVID-19 testing plans submitted by states in July. Healthcare Dive reports, most states plan to increase testing throughout the end of 2020. Other states plan to keep testing levels consistent from July through December, and an even smaller number of states, expecting earlier peaks, plan to reduce testing by the end of the year.

2. How commercial tech supports government COVID response 

Government at all levels pivoted quickly to address citizen needs created by COVID-19, but the results also highlight how far government technology has left to go. This FCW post argues that agencies should lean on commercial tech to accelerate government’s digital transformation, focus on cloud migration, and end the use of legacy IT systems. The article also makes the case for a funding boost targeted at IT modernization efforts.

3. Telemedicine shines during pandemic, but will glow fade? 

Telemedicine has experienced a boom amid COVID-19, but what happens when the pandemic has passed? The Associated Press reports many expect telemedicine to stick around, allowing more contact with medical professionals, with fewer office visits. Issues regarding payment, reimbursement, and technology still need to be addressed, but telemedicine may be particularly helpful for individuals living with chronic diseases.

4. National Governors Association leaders express concern over Trump's unemployment order

In response to President Trump’s executive order on unemployment benefits, the National Governors Association asked for $500 billion in unrestricted state aid. The order demands states shoulder 25% of the cost. According to Axios, many states cannot afford an extra weekly $100 per resident and are unsure how long it would take to alter the unemployment benefit systems. 

5. Improving children’s well-being through responsible fatherhood programs 

The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation recently released a report on the effectiveness of ‘responsible fatherhood’ programs. The report highlights the integration of three promising approaches: behavioral parent training, video modeling, and web-based programs. High quality father-child engagement is linked to positive outcomes and well-being of children.