TGIF

Here’s a link to this weeks Congressional actions from the Week in Congress.com.  Govexec.com offers a detailed report on the thorny issue of postal reform. The Govexec reporter does not expect Postal reform legislation to get through Congress this year, even with a lame duck session.

Business Insurance reports that a survey of more than 2,000 employers by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust found that family coverage premiums rose an average of 3% in 2014. FEHBP premiums (both self only and self and family) rose 3.7% for this year or above the average. As the FEHBlog has noted the FEHBP’s demographics feature an average enrollee age around 60 years old because there are equal numbers of active employees and annuitants. We should learn 2015 premium information from OPM soon.

The Wall Street Journal included an op-ed from a Washington DC doctor / professor of medicine complaining about the practice of medicine in the age of Obamacare. The doctor complains about the burden of electronic health records and the imposition of government and insurer bureaucracies. The FEHBlog is sympathetic with the doctor. However, the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare places many more burdens on insurers than it does on health care providers. It’s a mutual problem.

Continuing to look at the other side of the fence, Fierce Healthcare has an interesting article about the steps that healthcare providers are taking to control the risk of human error in medical procedures.

Finally, the WSJ’s Pharmalot blog reports on price spikes in a “old,” non-prescription drug insulin that health plans typically cover. It’s another case of increased demand with little manufacturer competition in the market.

Enjoy the weekend.

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