Weekend Update

The House and the Senate are in session this week as the Hill reports. The House “will take up legislation that would take $3 billion from a preventive
health fund created by the 2010 healthcare law and use it to fund the [same law’s] Pre-existing Conditions Insurance Plan (PCIP). The Obama administration
stopped enrollment in that program earlier this year.” The FEHBlog has expected that additional funding will be provided to the PCIP but the debate will be over the source of the funding.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold several healthcare related hearing this week according to its press release.

The Supreme Court will hear a case tomorrow morning (Hillman v. Maretta) that concerns the scope of the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program’s state law preemption provision.  The FEHBlog will be in attendance for this oral argument because the FEHBA’s state law preemption provision is similar to FEGLI’s. It’s a second bounce of the ball thing.

Standard and Poors announced last week that

All nine of S&P Healthcare Economic Indices showed slower annual growth rates for February 2013 compared to January 2013. As measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index, healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans rose by 4.62% in February, down from +5.41 % reported for January . Annual growth rates in Medicare claim costs increased by 0.78%, according to the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index, down from + 1.40 % recorded last month.

Local police departments in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration will be collecting unused / expired prescription and over the counter drugs next Saturday as a part of  its National Takeback Initiative.