Weekend update

Congress returns to work on Capitol Hill following a State/district work period last week. Healthcare Dive reports on bipartisan House bill to suspend the onerous Affordable Care Act health insurance fee for one more year beyond 2019 for which it is already suspended.  This is a tax which increases health insurance premiums in the ACA marketplace and elsewhere including the FEHBP by 3% (it’s in effect this year) should have been repealed long ago.

June is expected to be the final month of The U.S. Supreme Court’s October 2017 term. NPR offers an article discussing the noteworthy cases which have been argued but not yet decided this term. Those decisions and others will begin to be issued tomorrow morning at 10 am.

Speaking of summer breaks, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association last week issued a report “shining the light” on skin cancer facts. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in our county. The report’s website can be skimmed for helpful facts and advice. Forbes offers an article on the report which lists the top states for skin cancer rates, which list includes the FEHBlog’s home state Maryland and the adjoining District of Columbia.

Finally, the American Hospital Association provides a conference video of a presentation on affordability strategies. In sum, “[h]ealth care leaders can utilize data, reexamine pricing and manage risk to make health care more efficient and affordable, a panel of hospital and health system leaders said during a session at this month’s AHA Annual Membership Meeting.” It’s good to see providers taking the initiative.  It takes payer and provider cooperation to make care affordable.