• Leading health care and technology companies have joined together to offer free electronic prescribing to every M.D. in America. The initiative known as the National ePrescribing Patient Safety Initiative will begin national deployment in a month. “Interested physicians can visit the NEPSI web site, http://www.nationalerx.com/ to register for the program.” Now there’s some very good news for everyone.
  • HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt issued a statement on H.R. 4. The Secretary is not pleased: “I am disappointed that a majority of House members discounted the overwhelming success of the Medicare Part D program over the last year and voted to pass HR 4.”
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit affirmed today Judge Motz’s decision that ERISA preempts the Maryland health insurance mandate that would have required Walmart to spend at least 8% of its payroll on health benefits or contribute an equal amount to a state fund. A copy of the opinion is available here. Yesterday, OPM issued a final FEHBP regulation on discontinuance of a health plan in the event of an emergency such as Hurricane Katrina. OPM finalized its proposed rule without change. Here’s a link to the regulation.