Tuesday’s Tidbits

Dear FEHBlog readers, the FEHBlog apologize that the chart that I posted last night did not fit on the blog page. It looked OK in the composition box. Fortunately, I discovered the mistake earlier today, and it’s fixed now.

In the fact sheet that OPM posted about 2011 FEHB premiums on October 1, the agency remarked

OPM will soon launch a new Health Claims Data Warehouse which will become a useful tool for analyzing health services data from the FEHB plans. The warehouse will allow OPM to better understand the health of federal employees, as well as the cost and quality of care they receive. The warehouse will give OPM the ability to manage the program so that employees and tax-payers get the best value.

Today, OPM published in the Federal Register a Privacy Act system of records notice about the health claims data warehouse. Govexec.com reports that this notice has raised concerns with privacy advocates.

The Labor Department has posted on its Affordable Care Act website links to the public comments which were filed about the interim final rule implementing the Affordable Care Act’s preventive care mandate (applicable to non-grandfathered plans) and the Act’s internal claim and appeal mandate .  This mandate will be treated as the new internal claim and appeal standard for the FEHB Program in 2011.  The OPM external appeal process created by the FEHB Act and OPM regulations is unaffected by the Affordable Care Act.