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In this week’s Friday Five, Maximus is reading about vaccine distribution plans, care coordination standards for children with special healthcare needs, governance for emerging government technologies, and federal agencies using cloud-based services.

1. State officials plead for more info on vaccine distribution plans

A lot is still up in the air when it comes to a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Despite these unknowns, states have begun outlining their distribution plans. The Hill reports that while states are accustomed to creating plans without having all of the information, COVID vaccination distribution plans are particularly tricky since states do not yet know storage and dosage requirements, what populations the vaccine will be most effective, or how many doses they might receive. State officials say a successful distribution will require a high level of coordination with the federal government, funding, and supplies.

2. National care coordination standards for children and youth with special health care needs  

The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) released a report on national care coordination standards for children and youth with special health care needs. The report outlines the high-level components of quality care coordination. These include screening, identification, and assessment, shared plans of care, team-based communication, empowerment and skills development, workforce, and care transitions.

3. States’ lack of emerging-tech governance is risky, NASCIO says 

During COVID-19, many states introduced or expanded use of chatbots, artificial intelligence, and robotic process automation to address rising demand for digital services. StateScoop reports most do not have governance models that apply to these initiatives. The National Association of State Chief Information Officers says the lack of governance models increases IT costs and deployments that don’t fit with broader goals. They also recommend including emerging technologies into IT strategies and enterprise architecture.

4. The 3 likely issues that will top Congress’ to-do list next year regardless of who wins the election

According to Fierce Healthcare, surprise billing, drug pricing reform, and preexisting conditions protections are expected to be topics Congress will focus on next year. These issues have at least some bipartisan support. Other issues include the future of the Affordable Care Act and different approaches to healthcare depending on the election results. 

5. Agency reuse of cloud services on the rise during pandemic

To meet increased telework and other digital demands, federal agencies are increasingly reusing authorized cloud services. According to FedScoop, there has been a 50% increase in reusing cloud services and thousands of reusability requests (requests to evaluate cloud services products others are using). This allows agencies to take advantage of security capabilities that have already been developed.