Happy Halloween! The Senate confirmed Katherine Archuleta to be the new OPM Director yesterday. The Washington Post reports 

Archuleta, 64, a Colorado native, was the national political director for Obama’s reelection campaign and will rank among his administration’s prominent Latinas. She served as chief of staff to former Labor secretary Hilda Solis and had positions at the Energy and Transportation departments. She has long been a force in Colorado’s Hispanic community.
Archuleta replaces John Berry, whose term expired in April and who is now U.S. ambassador to Australia. Elaine Kaplan will leave the agency as acting director to become a judge at the Court of Federal Claims. has a report on Rep. Issa’s proposal to open the FEHBP to all Americans, and the article quotes the FEHBlog. also reports that federal annuitants will receive a 1.5% cost of living adjustment for 2014.

The 2014 cost-of-living adjustment is a relatively small one, and marks the second consecutive year the figure has dropped. The 2013 COLA was 1.7 percent, while the 3.6 percent boost in 2012 was the first COLA increase since 2009.

The Joint Commission, a credentialing body, released its annual list of top performing hospitals according to Medscape.

The number of institutions that made the cut by scoring high on quality measures for pneumonia, heart failure, and other conditions rose from 620 in 2012 to 1099 in 2013 — a 77% increase. The scores are based on hospital performance in the preceding year.
The latest crop of top performers represents one-third of all hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission that reported quality data for 2012. The vast majority of the elite 1099 lack a national reputation. Only 7% of them — or almost 80 — are major teaching hospitals. But that figure represents an increase over 2012, when major teaching hospitals constituted 5% of the 620 top performers.

Recently the FEHBlog noted that the Leapfrog Group had released its Fall 2013 hospital safety survey results. reports that several hospitals are questioning the validity of the survey results.