Friday Five: Simple solutions could make filing for unemployment benefits easier
In this week’s Friday Five, Maximus is reading about COVID-19 vaccine payments, new cybersecurity requirements, basic user experience improvements to unemployment systems, and an effort to implement shared services for government agencies.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to make an exception to its current policy to cover costs for COVID-19 vaccines. The Hill reports, Medicare and Medicaid don’t typically pay for vaccines that receive emergency use authorization. Vaccine developers are expected to apply for the emergency authorization before the end of 2020, which allows vaccine distribution before official FDA approval.
The General Services Administration (GSA) is adding new cybersecurity requirements to its contracts. According to FCW, these new protections are based on the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) requirements used by the Department of Defense. The change comes as cybersecurity and supply chain risks rise in response to new technologies.
State unemployment systems have struggled to keep up as millions filed for unemployment during the pandemic. According to Route Fifty, a new report lays out basic improvements that states can make to improve the user experience without a full overhaul. These include 24/7 filing, online password resets, mobile-friendly sites, call-back systems or chatbots to lower wait time, using a triage business model that frees up more experienced employees, and translating materials into commonly used languages.
FedScoop reports that a source code repository should help federal agencies start DevSecOps processes. The code, plus access to technology that allows collaboration on source code management, will help a working group create a software pattern. This integrated, continuous delivery software pattern will help agencies leverage automation and include working code snippets.
The Shared Services Leadership Coalition recently released a set of recommendations to improve government shared services. According to Federal News Network, the recommendations are part of a long-term effort to implement shared services for human resources, finances, and more sectors across government agencies. The coalition believes results will depend on both leadership and funding being committed to the effort.