Mid-week update

OPM has completed two of the three Congressional hearings about its data breach scheduled for this week. The agency posted a report on its cybersecurity efforts today. A Nextgov article reminds us that OPM and its Inspector General are gathering boatloads of employee heath data in their computer systems.  The FEHBlog is not a fan of these giant healthcare databases.

Anthem is continuing to pursue Cigna. Forbes has an interesting report on various business factors complicating this potential merger.

OPM announced yesterday that the agency is prohibiting FEHB plans from generally excluding gender transition or sex transformation services for transgendered services beginning next year. In June 2014, OPM removed the FEHBP wide exclusion for those services, and several plans, such as Aetna and the Foreign Service Benefit Plan, began to offer coverage for those services in 2015.

Health Data Management reports on an HCCI health care price transparency initiative that merits attention.

The centerpiece of HCCI’s undertaking is a website that it launched this past February—www.Guroo.com. Underlying the user-friendly site is a statistically-driven cost calculator that provides average national and regional charges for common medical procedures that can be planned for in advance, like childbirth and knee replacements.
The procedures are grouped together as “care bundles,” which are meant to represent a typical consumer experience around a set of services such as maternity care. Currently, the site provides pricing for 78 care bundles and is working to expand the number to more than 300. Which procedures to include in care bundles was determined by mining claims data for the most commonly used CPT codes.
Along with pricing, HCCI is also working to provide standard quality measures for these care bundles based on reported outcomes and consumer surveys conducted through the Guroo.com site.

Cool.

Drug Channels mines the Fortune 500 to divine and compare the profitability of eight drug channels companies —AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, CVS Health, Express Scripts, McKesson, Omnicare, Rite Aid, and Walgreens. Useful.

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