Weekend Update

The FEHBlog had a great trip to Denver and he is happy to be back in DC with access to a PC.

Congress returns to DC this week. The top item on its agenda (besides getting out of town to campaign) is a short term continuing resolution to fund the federal government past September 30 when Fiscal Year 2015 begins. Happily, the Hill’s Floor Action blog has resumed its practice of providing a schedule of the coming week’s activities in the legislative chambers.

Govexec reports that the federal workforce has grown steadily since last April following a series of steady sequestration drops. According to the article the federal government ended August with about 2.72 million employees.

The Federal Times reports that OPM has decided to allow federal employees participating in the health care flexible spending account programs to carry over up to $500 of any unused balance beginning next year, rather than lose it. “The ability to carry money from one year to the next will replace the current system, in which employees have a grace period of up to two and a half months to use any remaining money” OPM also is reducing the minimum contribution from $500 to $100.

CMS’s actiary released a national heathcare spending report last week. Cost curve up.

The CDC released a state by state map of obesity prevalence based on on 2013 data. A federal health care task force of which the FEHBlog has been unaware the Community Preventive Services Task Force issued recommendations for pre-diabetic folks — increase physical activity and better dietary habits — A/K/A common sense. .

CAQH CORE announced that its helpful coordination of benefits database program has been rolled out nationwide. “A CAQH SolutionTM, COB Smart determines when an individual is covered by more than one insurer and also indicates which insurer should pay first. The solution streamlines coordination of benefits (COB) activities so that healthcare claims can be processed correctly the first time.” Very cool.