Tuesday Tidbits

Modern Healthcare and The Hill provide us with their updates on the progress of the bill discussed in last Sunday’s blog entry that would address the 21.2% cut in Medicare Part B reimbursements to doctors and would extend the COBRA/TCC subsidy program until the end of this year. The Hill reports trouble in paradise for the American Medical Association.

Speaking of the AMA, Healthleaders Media reports on the organization’s demand that its brand new, 10 point Code of Conduct be enforced against health insurers. “The physician group says it hopes to publish a scorecard showing which plans play by these rules in a few years.”  Isn’t PPACA enough??

Speaking of PPACA, Reuters reports that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners announced that it will need at least another month (until July 1) to provide the Department of Health and Human Services with its guidance on implementing new Public Health Service Act section 2718 which imposes a minimum medical loss ratio on health insurers.

Last week, America’s Health Insurance Plans announced survey findings that ten million Americans are now covered by Health Savings Accounts / High Deductible Health Plans (HSA/HDHPs), a 25% increase over the prior year. This innovation, which was first authorized in 2004, gives consumers an incentive to manage their own health care costs.

Yesterday, according to Business Insurance, the Internal Revenue Service announced that HSA maximum contributions, HDHP minimum deductibles, and HDHP out of pocket limits will remain unchanged in 2011 due to the CPI-U remaining flat from one year to the next.  Here’s a link to IRS Revenue Procedure 2010-22.