Mid-week update

The Federal Times and Govexec.com report on the Federal Workplace Survey which places NASA as the top ranked federal government employer. Govexec.com reports that

The study found that just one-quarter of agencies improved or held steady on their scores from 2012, while an overwhelming 75 percent declined. Last year, only two-thirds of agencies dipped from their 2011 scores. A major driver of the falling ratings was traced back to decreasing pay satisfaction, the study found. 

The Senate is still working on approving the budget deal. Mike Causey has a column criticizing the budget’s deal’s provision to add a self plus one option to the FEHBP. As the FEHBlog pointed out a week or so ago, there will be a price difference between self and one and self and family because the ACA’s increase in the age limit for covered children from 22 to 26 increased the FEHBP’s average family size. CBO expects that the self and one rate will benefit annuitants and the annuitant costs are on budget. The change will increase costs for active employees with the larger families whose costs are in general appropriations. It works for FEDVIP, and it should not work for the FEHBP.

Government HIT reports that the WEDI trade association is concerned that

approximately 80 percent of participants will not even have
completed their business changes or begun [ICD-10] testing prior to 2014. Whereas
only 40 percent of payers, formerly seen as the first movers of ICD-10,
have yet to conduct an impact assessment. And about half of providers
have completed that impact assessment, among the initial steps on
recommended timelines.

The ICD-10 compliance date is just less than 10 months away. The FEHBlog bought a copy of the ICD-10 recently and certainly agrees with the American Medical Association that switching from the ICD-9 to the ICD-10 with it ginormous increase in diagnosis codes is nuts, but it’s just another impending ACA train wreck.  The transaction and code set requirements of HIPAA should be repealed in favor of letting the industry handle it. But that’s not going to happen before October 1, 2014.