Tuesday Tidbits

Yesterday, as the Chicago Tribune reports, Alex Azar was sworn in as Health and Human Services Secretary.

Modern Healthcare tells us that the 3700 physicians out of Medicare in 2017 as compared to 7400 in 2016 and 3500 in 2015. Very little FEHBP coverage is available if you are an annuitant over 65 whose doctor has opted out of Medicare. See Section 9 of your FEHBP brochure.  The Modern Healthcare article lead me to this useful CMS website which tells you whether your doctor has opted out of Medicare.  Opt out doctors are required to have to their Medicare Part B patients sign an opt out agreement.

The New York Times Upshot column has an interesting column with the following lede —

The idea that spending more on preventive care will reduce overall health care spending is widely believed and often promoted as a reason to support reform. It’s thought that too many people with chronic illnesses wait until they are truly ill before seeking care, often in emergency rooms, where it costs more. It should follow then that treating diseases earlier, or screening for them before they become more serious, would wind up saving money in the long run.  Unfortunately, almost none of this is true.

No kidding.

Healthcare Dive reports that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase are forming a not-for-profit company to reduce healthcare costs for their employees and presumably employees from other large employers. Here’s a link to their announcement.  The FEHBlog sees this as a quite a display of hubris but yesterday’s post illustrates the fact that the FEHBlog can make mistakes.