Peace at last?

  • The Washington Post and the Hill are reporting that the Congressional leadership is bowing to the Bush administration’s pressure on the FY 2008 appropriations measures. Consequently, the likelihood of a government shutdown has dramatically decreased.
  • The President has vetoed the SCHIP reauthorization bill for a second time according to Modern and the Washington Post. A temporary extension of the SCHIP Program funding is now likely in order to punt the issue into the 2008 election campaign.
  • An effort to add the Medicare reimbursement fix to the alternative minimum tax patch bill has been unsuccessful according to the Kaiser Daily Health Care Report. It grows increasingly likely that legislation to reverse the 10.1% reduction in Medicare Part B payments to physicians scheduled for January 1, 2008, will not occur this month, although Congress is not likely to adjourn until next week.
  • HHS has been holding the fourth National Health Information Network forum this week. Healthcare IT News reports on the meetings. The NHIN is intended to be great big patient registry that will connect regional health information organizations Publish Postor RHIOs. However, a Harvard study published this week finds that few RHIOs actually are operating and many more are failing. Meanwhile, the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, an HHS agency which has been a haven for privacy zealots, is working on a report that will recommend revamping the allegedly “inadequate” HIPAA Privacy Rule according to the AIS Privacy Report written by Theresa Defino.