Weekend update

Congress has left town for the holidays.  The 114th Congress’s work is done. Here’s a link to the Week in Congress’s account of last week’s actions on Capitol Hill.  The new 115th Congress takes office on January 3, 2017.

Tomorrow is the last day of the current Federal Benefits Open Season.

The FEHBlog overlooked mentioning last Sunday an interim OPM rule released on December 2 that permits federal employers, with OPM’s permission, to extend FEHBP and FEDVIP to the children of same sex domestic partners of federal employees who work outside the United States, where same sex marriage may not be legal. The FEHBlog recalls reading a related OPM letter explaining that currently the State Department is single federal employer who has elected this expansion of coverage.

The Washington Post continued today its series of articles on the Nation’s opioid epidemic. This article is worth reading because it explains that a lot of people need these drugs but doctors need to do a much better job monitoring their patients use of these additive painkillers.

Thanks to friends of the FEHBlog he can suggest that his readers take a look at guest commentators article on prescription drugs — here and here.  Useful perspectives.

Finally, Healthcare IT News updates us on the HHS Office for Civil Rights plans for HIPAA privacy and security rule enforcement audits in 2017.

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