Following up on the Whither OPM? posts, the FEHBlog now sees that the OPM HR policy shop would wind up alongside the Office of Management and Budget as part of the Executive Office of the President.  OPM Director Pon has voiced his support for the President’s reorganization plan.  Federal News Radio offers an expert opinion on the proposal to “abolish OPM.”

Yesterday the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved its Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill.  This is the bill that funds OPM and the FEHBP. It allows for a 1.9% civil service raise next year.

Today, according to the Hill, the House of Representatives approved its massive bill to address the opioid crisis by a 396 to 14 vote.

The legislation, passed Friday, includes a range of measures to fight the epidemic, including lifting some limits on prescribing Buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opioid addiction. The bill also requires health-care professionals to write prescriptions for Medicare beneficiaries electronically in order to better track prescriptions and to allow Medicare to cover treatment at addiction treatment clinics.

AHIP held its annual conference in San Diego this week. Healthcare Dive provides three takeaways from that conference.

Oh joy! The World Health Organization released Version 11 of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) earlier this week. 55,000 Version 11 codes vs. 14,400 Version 10 (ICD-10) codes. “ICD-11 will be presented at the World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption by Member States, and will come into effect on 1 January 2022. This release is an advance preview that will allow countries to plan how to use the new version, prepare translations, and train health professionals all over the country.” Of course the January 1, 2022, effective date does not mean that U.S. health plans and healthcare providers will not begin using the ICD-11 on that date. The FEHBlog expects a five to ten year lag from for U.S. implementation based on the ICD-10 process.

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