TGIF

The FEHBlog enjoys writing because it keeps him alert to current developments. Here are a few,

The FEHBlog has always been intrigued by the PBM business. The Motley Fool has a video about a PBM newcomer Catamaran. The teaser explains that

Catamaran (NASDAQ: CTRX  )  is becoming a serious contender in the pharmacy benefits management, or PBM, industry.  The company reported quarterly results last week that crushed expectations.  Revenue was up 101%, and net income shot up 132% in year-over-year comparisons.  

Of course there has been an explosion of smartphone and tablet applications. The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse warns that

After studying 43 popular health and fitness apps (both free and paid) from both a consumer and technical perspective, it is clear that there are considerable privacy risks for users – and that the privacy policies for those apps that have policies do not describe those risks. However, these apps appeal to a wide range of consumers because they can be beneficial, convenient, and are often free to use.
Consumers should not assume any of their data is private in the mobile app environment—even health data that they consider sensitive.

(The Clearinghouse does not identify the apps that it reviewed.)  The AMA News warns doctors not to recommend apps unless they confirm that the app offers adequate privacy protections. That’s good advice for insurers too.

Finally the AMA News reports on a new trend of doctors using physicians assistants to conduct scripted telehealth calls to certain post-op patients. “Consultants said that although most insurers don’t pay doctors for phone calls, new payment models that reward physicians based on quality and efficiency of care might provide a boost to the idea of phone-based follow-ups.”

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