Weekend update

Congress remains in recess this week. FEHBP Open Season changes for annuitants take effect on January 1, while those changes for active employees take effect at the beginning of the first pay period in 2014 which according to this GSA calendar is January 13.  According to OPM regulations, if a person who has made an Open Season change is hospitalized on the day that coverage change would take effect, the losing plan (if it is continuing to participate in the FEHBP) will retain responsibility for covering the hospitalization until discharge (or 90 days which is unheard of in this day and age). 

In Friday’s post, the FEHBlog touted a useful webtool that plans can use to compare various health statistics, e.g., obesity, diabetes, by state. The FEHBlog should add that the Kaiser Family Foundation has its own searchable state health facts website
Finally speaking again of the big picture, AHIP posted its roadmap to controlling healthcare spending. The roadmap which includes interesting infographics

reviews current research outlining the key drivers of health care costs and advances a new policy framework for bending the cost curve and improving the quality of patient care. These recommendations include:

    Advancing a new federal-state partnership to reduce costs and improve value.
    Removing barriers to delivering quality health care.
    Accelerating health system and delivery reforms to transform the health care system and promote value.
    Addressing underlying health care cost drivers and paying for care that is proven to work.
    Strengthening the health care infrastructure necessary for a high-quality care delivery system.
    Increasing the emphasis on reducing waste, fraud, and abuse in the health care system.