Weekend update

Greetings from Evergreen, Colorado.  Congress continues its work on Capitol Hill this coming week. Here is a link to the Week in Congress’s report on last week’s activities.  The Week in Congress and Federal News Radio reports that tomorrow evening the Senate will take up a House bill that will serve as a continuing resolution to fund the federal government until December 9, 2016.

USA Today reports that a bipartisan group in the Senate and House have introduced a bill that would require drug manufacturers to permit regulators to review price increases of 10% or more.  As the FEHBlog has documented over the years, drug pricing is very complicated.  For example, Medicaid pricing effectively sets a floor for commericial pricing. Rebates also play a significant role in the bottom line to manufacturers.  Consequently, the FEHBlog does not think that this bill if enacted would have much of an impact but because the basic concept is already law for health insurers, the drug manufacturer pricing oversight law may happen.

Govinfosecurity.com reports that beginning next month HHS’s Office for Civil Rights will begin to conduct HIPAA Privacy and Security Rule compliance audits of the business associates of HIPAA covered entities.

Govexec.com reports that federal and postal retirees are about a month away from learning whether they will receive a cost of living adjustment in 2017.

The exact cost-of-living adjustment for next year won’t be known until October 18 when BLS releases the September CPI-W number, the final data point in the equation.
Still it’s not clear yet if retirees will receive a modest boost, or nothing, as was the case for 2016. But things look better now than they did at the same time last year.

2017 FEHB premiums should be announced by the end of this month if history is any guide.