Thursday updates

HHS Secretary Tom Price’s response to the CBO report on the American Health Care Act is worth a gander.

The Federal Times provides additional background on the President’s nominee for the OPM Director position who appears to be a lock for Senate confirmation.

The FEHBlog found two interesting articles relating to the President’s budget proposal:

  • The Federal Times identifies four winners and four losers in the proposal’s workforce estimate. It’s worth noting that OPM is one of the winners.
  • points out 11 major agency reforms that could pass Congress independently of appropriations bills. 
Drug Channels follows up in more depth on the FEHBlog’s recent musing about the possibility of Amazon entering the prescription benefit manager ranks. 
CFO magazine reports on a Willis Towers Watson survey of large employers which found that assuming enactment of a law repealing the ACA, most large employers would preserve ACA benefit mandates such as contraception with no cost sharing, no lifetime benefit limits on essential health benefits.  “All of those ACA provisions have had a positive impact on employee engagement, and employers that don’t maintain them will be viewed negatively from an overall rewards standpoint, says Julie Stone, a national health care practice leader at Willis Towers Watson.”  
HHS’s Office for Civil Rights announced another HIPAA privacy rule violation settlement with a health care provider. The FEHBlog wonders how OCR decides on the size of the negotiated penalty because this case which resulted in a $378k settlement seems to be more egregious than this one  which resulted in a $2.5 million settlement.