Mid-week update

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has postponed a Senate vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act until sometime after the Senate returns from its Independence Day recess on July 10.  The House of Representatives leadership overcame a similar roadblock to a successful healthcare vote in the Spring.

The Congressional Budget Office issued a report on the Senate bill on Monday. The FEHBlog suggests reading the commentary on that report from Diana Furchgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute on that report.

Healthcare Dive informs us that the CBO issued a couple of other reports on Monday which confirm that the Medicare program shift massive amounts of cost onto private section insurance programs, including the FEHBP.

Let’s wrap up with a few tidbits:

  • U.S. News and World Report issued its children’s hospital rankings which is noteworthy because a DC hospital made the top ten. 
  • MedCity News provided a useful analysis of 2017 FDA prescription drug approvals as we approach the mid-point of the year. 
  • The Washington Post reports on cell phone apps, like Heal which provide doctors on demand, particularly in urban areas. 

The chief executive of Heal, Nick Desai, co-founded the start-up with his wife, Renee Dua, a physician. Their own parental trip to the emergency room inspired the service, after the couple, unable to contact their regular pediatrician, sat in an emergency room for seven hours with their feverish 3-month-old son.
“My wife turned to me and said, ‘There’s got to be a better way,’ ” Desai recalled. So Heal was born — a service that can work with patients’ insurance. For those without insurance, a visit costs up to $99. “Our number one, main goal is that, five years from now, you won’t have to go to the doctor’s office,” Desai said.

The FEHBlog is not sure how this type of app differs from telehealth app like those offered by American Well and Teladoc.

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