The Washington Post reports on Sylvia Mathews Burwell’s first confirmation hearing yesterday. Everything remains on track for her Senate confirmation. The Wall Street Journal lists her top five healthcare related accomplishments here.

Speaking of accomplishments, the Journal also reports that “Researchers [from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA]  for the first time created microbes containing artificial DNA, expanding the universal genetic code that guides life. The advance one day could lead to new antibiotics, vaccines and other medical products not possible with today’s bioscience.” Hope springs eternal.

The FEHBlog has followed the growth of convenient  nurse staffed clinics in pharmacies. The Wall Street Journal today reports on the growth of the next level of convenience — getting in touch with a doctor on a smartphone or tablet. “Three of the companies—Teladoc Inc., MDLIVE Inc. and American Well—hosted 400,000 to 500,000 doctor-patient interactions last year, more than double the number in 2011, according to the American Telemedicine Association, a trade group.”

The FEHBlog nearly fell off his chair yesterday when he was talking with a friend about federally regulated coverage to supplement Medicare colloquially known as Medigap.  Did you know that Medigap plans still can medically underwrite Medicare beneficiaries who seek to enroll after the one time, six month long individual open enrollment period expires? What’s up with that?  No other plan in America can do that under the ACA.

Finally, here’s a list from Fierce Health Payer of ten “must follow” Twitter accounts for health payers.