Weekend update

Congress is out of session now until November 14.  Here is a link to the Week in Congress’s report on last week’s activities.

In the lame duck session, Congress will have to address FY 2017 appropriations. Politico reports that the health insurance industry understandably will be pushing Congress to extend the suspension of, or repeal, the ACA’s onerous health insurance fee in the lame duck.  The FEHBlog expects that the big FEHB related activity in the lame duck session will be postal reform.  We are still waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to score the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s bipartisan postal reform bill (HR 5714).

The U.S. Supreme Court begins its October 2016 term on Tuesday following the Jewish New Year holiday. (L’shana tovah!)

Modern Healthcare reports that the Government Accoutability Office’s report on health care records security has been well received by experts.

Privacy and security gurus praised the GAO for taking an unflinching look at the dual role HHS plays as both a promoter of health information technology use and the primary enforcer of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the federal privacy, security and breach notification law. The report, experts say, should come as one more warning to the healthcare industry to better protect sensitive patient information before Congress, the courts or their own patients take action.

The courts already are taking action as the article later notes.

Fierce Healthcare reports on the lack of transparency in hosital pricing.  But as Kramer observed in Seinfeld, “retail is for suckers.