Skip to main content

In this week’s Friday Five, Maximus is reading about guidance for telehealth expansion, long-term unemployment, COVID-19 data aggregation, and improving government customer service. 

1. New bill seeks to improve Medicaid, CHIP telehealth coverage for kids

The Telehealth Improvement for Kids’ Essential Services (TIKES) Act was introduced this month. According to mHealth Intelligence, the bill would help states integrate telehealth into Medicaid and CHIP programs and would require two federal telehealth studies. The guidance and technical assistance outlined in the bill would be in addition to a toolkit distributed this spring aimed at helping states expand telehealth coverage.

2. As U.S. job growth stalls, some workers face long-term unemployment

Workers in some industries are bracing for long-term unemployment as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. While some industries such as utilities or retailers providing essential services have rebounded quickly, Reuters reports other industries continue to report high unemployment. The leisure and hospitality industry has taken the biggest hit and the slow recovery is expected to continue.

3. USAGov hones data, services 

USAGov, a part of the General Services Administration, is expanding its COVID-19 data aggregation and services. According to FCW, this data should help federal agencies and the public get a clearer view of the pandemic, and more effectively respond to concerns. USAGov both curates federal agency COVID-19 information and serves as a contact center for public benefit inquiries. 

4. Report: Agencies must adapt services more quickly to meet customer demands

A new report finds U.S. residents are using federal services more than ever, and they have high customer service expectations. According to NextGov, the report lays out three service delivery principles for improving the customer experience: address needs more quickly, deliver services regardless of location, and offer more digital self-serve options.

5. How the new COVID response bill would impact feds

If it passes, the COVID-19 relief package passed by the House last week had several implications for federal employees. The Federal Times reports these include allowing telework-authorized employees to remain so through the end of 2020, agencies required to expand telework, and opening up telework options for federal contractors. The package would also make it easier for employees required to be on-site to file for workers compensation if they contract COVID-19.