Midweek update

Yesterday, The Senate leadership decided against holding a vote on the Graham-Cassidy health care reform bill as more fully explained in this Bloomberg report.

Kaiser Health News attacked Anthem’s plan to require members to use lower priced medical imaging centers that are not owned by hospitals. Hospitals, which tend to be tax exempt, use these centers to spread their heavy overhead. In the Obama era, you could expect that the ACA regulators eventually would issue an ACA FAQ reining in or cancelling challenged insurer medical mangement practices whether or not they made sense.  The Obama administration issued 37 ACA FAQs over six years or so while the Trump administration has issued one that dealt with the recent 21st Century Cures Act in nine months.

In other news,

  • OPM has not yet made the 2018 FEHBP premium / government contribution change announcement. You will see it here as soon as the announcement occurs. The FEHBlog expects that to happen this week. 
  • Express Scripts medical director discusses pricing approaches for the new wave of expensive gene therapy drugs known as CAR-T therapies.
  • United Healthcare has rolled out to employer sponsored groups a third party weight loss program, called Real Appeal, which leveraging interactive digital tools to create healthier habits for employees according to this Employee Benefit News report.