Reports of the demise of the American Health Care Act were premature. The House of Representatives continues to work on the bill. Yesterday, the House Rules Committee cleared for floor consideration an amendment to the bill (H.R. 1628) which would create an invisible high risk pool to help insurers cover the cost of expensive members in the individual market.  The FEHBlog listened to the Speaker’s press conference announcing this change. One of his colleagues explained that the concept was successfully tested in the State of Maine. Here’s a link to a Health Affairs blog article about this experiment.

The House also passed this week by a wide bipartisan margin a bill that would clarify that employers may use stop loss insurance to help them control similar costs in self-funded arrangements without losing the benefits of ERISA preemption of state mandates and related laws. Employee Benefits News discusses the bill here.

On the disease front:

  • NPR provides an update on the Zika virus’s impact on expectant mothers in our country. 
  • Health Day reports that “Overall cancer death rates in the United States continue to fall, but racial gaps persist, a new report says.”  Take a look. 
Finally, a couple of tidbits:
  • Magellan Rx, a prescription benefit manager, released its seventh annual pharmacy trend report. 
  • Health Data Management reports that  “Nashville is home to a new 16,000-square-foot Center for Medical Interoperability that will be focused on simplifying and advancing health data sharing across technologies and systems.”  Here’s a link to the non-profit organization’s website.  Good luck to them.