Weekend update

Congress remains in session on Capitol Hill this week. Here’s a link to the Week in Congress’s report on last week’s actions there.

The FEHBlog noticed that last week the House Ways and Means Committee held a roundtable discussion with hospital leaders about how to reduce red tape in Medicare.  Unquestionably, Medicare is an unnecessarily complex program, but all healthcare programs, including the FEHBP, are also bound up in too much red tape.  Congress, HHS, CMS, OPM, and the Labor Department need to let the health care providers and the insurers focus on doing their respective jobs, rather than on regulatory compliance and reporting, in the FEHBlog’s view. There needs to be a better balance.

Health Data Management reports on how health information technology seeks to tackle the top ten causes of death in the U.S.  Heart disease is listed as the number one cause of death. The FEHBlog recalls an AMA president explaining a few years ago that internists often default to heart disease on the death certificate when an autopsy is not performed. The top two causes, heart disease and cancer, lead to more deaths than the other eight combined.