October 20, 2017

The Next Evolution

Moody’s Analytics released a report analyzing the effect a moderate or severe recession would have on the 50 states.  The report outlines the main economic factors that impair states during economic downturns and shows how variables in different states will affect their budgets.  North Carolina faired reasonably well in the stress testing.  Under conditions Moody’s suggested would be a moderate recession, N.C. reserves would almost cover the drop in revenues. Thirteen states had stronger reserves in Moody’s modeling.

For Your Consideration

The Kaiser Family Foundation released survey data on recent and expected trends in Medicaid spending and enrollment.  The bottom line: Medicaid enrollments are down while Medicaid spending is rising.  The trends are expected to continue into 2018.

2017 10 20 medicaid

Dropping Knowledge

The American Enterprise Institute issued a policy guide on how governments-local, state and federal-can utilize data. The guide is written for an audience that understands data but gives a clear overview of how states the barriers to using data better and offers solutions to begin removing them.  Here a good summary graphic from the guide:

Category Barrier Solution
Privacy & Data Security Privacy laws are often misunderstood, and many agencies lack access to the proper technology to ensure personally identifiable information will remain confidential Provide guidance on privacy laws. Communities must reach a consensus on application and appropriate technology to ensure personally identifiable information will remain confidential.
Data Curation Administrative data are collected with diverse and inconsistent goals, definitions, and reporting units. The data often contain errors and reflect organizational biases. Create standard definitions and require implementation as a condition of state and federal funding. Technological solutions can be used as an alternative. Most importantly, data must be used to improve their quality.
Culture & Governance Framework Many agencies have a culture of restricting data access for false reasons rather than instilling a sharing and learning organizational mind-set. Instill a belief that data are a public good. Implement a governance framework that is guided by shared values and transparency to facilitate appropriate data sharing.
Capacity There is a lack of ease and comfort with using and sharing data among many government agencies. Implement data sharing in a tiered approach, opening up greater access over time.

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