Monday musings

Healthcare Dive reports that people finally are using patient portals and apps in substantial numbers.

Nearly 60% of patients report their provider or insurer offered them online access to their medical record in 2019, and nearly 40% viewed their record electronically at least once in the past year. Both are significantly up from 2018, analysts said.

Happy day. People taking more interest in their health will help control healthcare spending over time, in the FEHBlog’s view.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that

Over the last several years, CMS has been actively monitoring the rapid innovation of [Next Generation Sequencing] NGS [genetic] tests and the evolution of cancer diagnostic tools. NGS tests provide the most comprehensive genetic analysis of a patient’s cancer because they enable simultaneous detection of multiple types of genetic alterations. Medicare first began covering laboratory diagnostic tests using NGS in March 2018 for Medicare patients with advanced cancer that met specific criteria. As a result of today’s decision, more Medicare patients will have access to NGS in managing other types of inherited cancers to reduce mortality and improve health outcomes.

Health Payer Intelligence provides more background on today’s CMS decision.

Last Friday, the FEHBlog called attention to a Fedweek article discussing a new OPM Inspector General report on FEHBP dependent eligibility issues. The FEHBlog could not readily track down the report discussed in the article. A friend of the FEHBlog discovered that the Fedweek article is referencing 2019 Top Management Challenge No. 9 (pp 21-22) which was released early last November. Mystery solved!

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