Monday Miscellany

[Rhetorical] Query: After yesterday’s Redskins victory over Dallas, who is the class of the NFL now?

  • OPM has posted online 2009 benefits and rates for the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program.
  • features an article on OPM’s efforts to expand the use of electronic personal health records and other e-health tools by FEHB plans and their federal employee and annuitant members.
  • CMS announced 2009 premiums for stand alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. According to the Kaiser Daily Health Care Policy Report,

    The average monthly premium for stand-alone Medicare prescription drug coverage will increase by 24% to $37 next year, according to an analysis of the plans by Avalere Health, the Wall Street Journal reports. The average monthly premium was $30 in 2008. Monthly premiums for the 10 most popular plans will increase by 31% next year, according to the analysis (Zhang/Fuhrmans, Wall Street Journal, 9/26). The 10 largest plans account for 61% of Medicare drug plan beneficiaries (Bloomberg/Arizona Daily Star, 9/16). CMS spokesperson Jeff Nelligan said premium increases are the result of rising drug prices and higher-than-expected usage of drug benefits (LaMendola, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/26).

  • The AMA News reports that “Medicare’s flagship Physician Quality Reporting Initiative has left in its wake a sea of annoyed physicians who say the pay-for-reporting program is being poorly managed by an unresponsive administration.”