Midweek update

Federal News Radio reports that “Two Virginia congressmen are demanding answers from the Office of Personnel Management on why the premiums for the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program are rising by as much as 126 percent.”  In the FEHBlog’s view, the time has come for Congress to start providing a government contribution toward this enrollee pay all product.  Otherwise, people who have paid FLTCIP premiums for years will be forced to reduce or drop their coverage.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have been quite busy this week. Earlier this week, as reported in Cardiovascular Business, CMS proposed a Medicare pilot program for bundling payments for cardiac care.  Like the hip and knee replacement bundled payment pilot, participation would be mandatory for those lucky hospitals that CMS selects out of 98 metropolitan areas.  Modern Healthcare reports on how hospitals are reacting to this proposal.  Today, CMS added a star rating system for U.S. hospitals to Hospital Compare.  Modern Healthcare reports that hospitals are not thrilled with this development.

The Boston Globe’s STAT is reporting that payers are not yet latching onto new tools for assessing the value of new prescription drugs.

HHS’s Office for Civil Rights claimed another University scalp this week as a result of alleged HIPAA privacy and security rule violations.  Healthcare IT News reports on a ProPublica survey of public complaints to OCR alleging HIPAA violations, most of which do not lead to scalping.