• CMS is proposing a rule, to be published in the Federal Register on July 12, that would cut Medicare Part B payments by 9.8% in the federal fiscal year that begins October 1, 2007. FEHB plans would have to pick up the slack for its annuitant members if Congress does not take any action. Modern Healthcare.com reports that

    Efforts have been brewing on Capitol Hill in the meantime to revamp the [statutory sustainable growth rate formula known as] SGR. In a meeting last week, staff for the House Ways and Means and the Energy and Commerce committees shared with physician organizations a draft proposal to halt the 10% cut from taking effect next year. The proposal would replace the cut with at least a 0.5% increase in 2008 and 2009, and would repeal and replace the SGR payment system.

  • Coventry Health Care closed today on its deal to acquire three FEHB plans and other group health business from Mutual of Omaha.