Midweek update

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association announced today that 

all Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies will make identity protection services available to their customers nationwide beginning on or before January 1, 2016.  The new services will provide heightened safeguards in the event of fraudulent use of personal and financial information for the millions of Americans that BCBS companies serve. The new offering will be made available on an opt-in basis to all eligible* members for as long as they have a Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance policy in effect.

More information is available here. Last week, OPM announced that it is taking the same approach:

In the coming months, the Administration will work with Federal employee representatives and other stakeholders to develop a proposal for the types of credit and identity theft monitoring services that should be provided to all Federal employees in the future – regardless of whether they have been affected by this incident – to ensure their personal information is always protected.

The FEHBlog thinks that this approach makes a lot of sense and he expects to see similar businesses government agencies follow.

Modern Healthcare reports that a newly formed coalition of businesses and insurers called Alliance to Fight the Forty is planning to lobby Congress to repeal the 40% excise tax on high cost health plans that takes effect under the Affordable Care Act in 2018. For a law called Affordable it sure did create a lot of taxes and the FEHBlog has not seen the other lobbying group such as Stop the Health Insurer Tax (another counterproductive levy) have much success to date but have at it.

Fierce Healthcare reports that two consumer groups have created surgeon rating websites — Surgeon Ratings.Org. and Surgeon Scorecard

ERIC provides an overview of the general aspects of the final ACA preventive services rule that was released on Friday. The regulators consolidated their sub-regulatory FAQ guidance on non-contraceptive issues into the final rule. No surprises.  .

Finally Seeking Alpha has an article which provides the current lay of the land in the PBM world with this fascinating chart from the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute: