Weekend update

Yeah! The Wizards won! And Congress returns to Washington this week. According to the Hill’s Floor Watch blog, attention will turn to FY 2015 appropriations bills:

The budget deal struck last December eased the process for appropriators since it established a top-line spending figure of $1.014 trillion for 2015. Both Republicans and Democrats are more optimistic that they can pass most if not all 12 appropriations bills for the first time in years.

The Hill also reports that on Tuesday, “The House will reconsider a [bipartisan] bill [H.R. 4414] that failed to pass before the recess under suspension of the rules, which requires a two-thirds majority. The measure, HR 4414, would exempt expatriates’ health plans from having to comply with ObamaCare regulations. It will be taken up this time under a rule requiring only a simple majority.”  There are thousands for federal employees working abroad and passage of this bill would make their lives simpler.

Ihealthbest reports that last Wednesday a CMS official told an AHIMA group that announcement of a new ICD-10 deadline is imminent but declined to give any more details like the proposed date which can be no sooner than October 1, 2015. Government Health IT provided background on the ICD-11 now under development.

The Washington Post had an article today about the actuarial problems facing plans in the ACA exchanges which will have to make 2015 benefit and rate proposals in late May or June. FEHB plan carriers face a similar problem as their 2015 benefit and rate proposals are due on May 31 but their Open Season ended last December and this past March.

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