Weekend update

Congress will continue to be in session this week on Capitol Hill. The Week in Congress is back in action with an account of recent activities up there.  Drilling down a little, here’s a link to a Federal Times article about the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing about the Obama Administration’s efforts to tighten security around goverment background check records. There’s a discussion of the Anthem data breach at the end of the article. The irony there of course is that the same Chinese hackers struck OPM and Anthem.

The ACA regulators, as promised, released a revised draft version of the summary of benefits and coverage that health plans must provide to their customers.  The ACA regulators expect health plans to use the new version in their next open season once it is finalized.  The FEHBlog noticed that the ACA regulators added another coverage example (a simple fracture) and made some happy to glad word changes. One wonders whether it’s worth the effort. The FEHBlog still does not understand why the law does not require health care providers to disclose the networks in which they participate to their patients.  The ACAburden always falls on the health plans.

The FEHBlog noticed a television advertisement today announcing that M&M candies will celebrate their 75th anniversary tomorrow. HIPAA will celebrate its 20th anniversary of its passage into law this September. Last week the HHS Office for Civil Rights which enforces the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules took a couple of actions discussed in this Fierce Health IT article.

HIPAA required HHS to adopt a patient identifier. Congress blocked funding for that initiative soon after enactment.  Healthcare Informatics offers thoughts and recommendations on the adoption of a patient safety identifier. Healthcare Data Management suggests that new credit card technology may save the day.  Some sort of patient identifier would simplify matters.

Health Grades issued its annual list of top 100 hospitals last week.  No hospital in the Washington DC metro area made the list.

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