Weekend Update / Miscellany

  • The President and Congress are pointing fingers at each over over the delays concerning the SCHIP reauthorization bill and the appropriations process. The continuing resolution that currently funds the federal government expires on November 16.
  • BNA is reporting that the House mental health parity bill (H.R. 1424) should arrive on the House floor in November after a pay-go issue is resolved. A September 7, 2007, Congressional Budget Office report projected that the House bill would lead to a $3.1 billion decrease in taxable income over 10 years attributable to higher employer paid health benefit costs and lower wages and a $820 million increase in Medicaid expenses over 10 years.
  • The House Science and Technology Committee approved a (H.R. 2406) bill that would give the National Institute of Standards and Technology a larger role in federal health information technology (HIT) efforts.
  • Inside the Beltway Alert! The Office of National HIT Coordinator awarded Bearingpoint a contract to standardize HIT definitions.
  • The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics is drafting a report recommending that the HHS Secretary adopt stronger and more extensive HIPAA privacy and security rules.
  • Seven large health insurers, including the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, CIGNA, Aetna, and Humana, have joined the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative. The Collaborative encourages the use of the primary care physician as the medical home or care coordinator for her patients. The health insurers plan plan to create medical home pilots and take other steps to encourage adoption of this model.