Tuesday Tidbits

Yesterday, OPM announced that the agency has a new Chief Information Officer, David Garcia. “Mr. Garcia previously served as the Chief of Information Technology for the State of Maryland and Secretary of the Department of Information Technology from 2015 to 2017 [under Republican Governor Larry Hogan].” Good luck, Mr. Garcia.

Medpage Today reports that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has cancelled a controversial Obama Administration era proposal to change the way that Medicare Part B pays for drugs. The demonstration no doubt would have shifted costs onto the FEHBP and other employer sponsored coverage.

CMS also withdrew a January 2014 proposed rulemaking that would have required health plans to certify their compliance with operating rules applicable to HIPAA standard electronic transactions. CMS plans to “re-examine the issues and explore options and alternatives to comply with the statutory requirements.” Health plans continue to be responsible for complying with the operating rules.

Biopharma Dive discusses a recent Express Scripts study on the skyrocketing costs of specialty or biologic drugs. The Food and Drug Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who is in the running for the HHS Secretary nomination, discussed on his blog yesterday the steps that his plan is taking to bring biosimilar drugs to consumers more quickly. “While FDA doesn’t control drug pricing, our policies do affect competition in the market. This is the nexus of our current efforts on drug pricing.” Well put.

Beckers Hospital Review reports that “The average cost associated with cybercrime hit $11.7 million per business, globally, in 2017, according to a report by Accenture and Ponemon Institute.” Holy smokes, Batman.