TGIF features an article identifying the metropolitan areas in the U.S. that have the highest share of federal employees. Washington DC surprisingly comes in fourth (14.1%). “Topping it are Colorado Springs (with a 16.4 percent federal share), Virginia Beach (16.1 percent), and Honolulu (15.4 percent).”

Kaiser Health News reports on the latest results of Medicare’s hospital quality incentive program. “Medicare has raised payment rates to 1,231 hospitals based on two-dozen
quality measurements, including surveys of patient satisfaction and—for
the first time—death rates. Another 1,451 hospitals are being paid less
for each Medicare patient they treat.” That’s encouraging.

Business Insurance reports on a bipartisan bill introduced in the House of Representatives to exempt self-insured plans from the ACA’s transitional reinsurance fee (H.R. 3489). The article notes that “The Obama administration recently said it would propose in future regulations an exemption from the fee, which begins in 2014, for ‘certain self-insured, and self-administered plans’ in 2015 and 2016.”  The bill’s sponsor think that exemption is “too limited.” The FEHBlog can’t understand how the ACA regulators can apply this fee ($63 per belly button in 2014) to all plans next year but then administrative create this limited exemption for the following two years when the statute does not even hint at an exemption. We shall see.