Tuesday Tidbits

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

President Biden announced that his Administration is increasing the weekly COVID-19 vaccine supply released to States, etc., and starting on February 11 to supply partner pharmacies with vaccine to administer the vaccine to customers.

The Society for Human Resource Management brings us to date on OSHA efforts to implement one of the President’s executive orders by issuing “worker safety guidance for coronavirus protection programs on Jan. 29, requiring greater input from employees and enhanced mask protections.”

The Hill provides us with the latest on efforts to pass a sixth COVID-19 relief bill in Congress. Govexec reports that a bicameral, bipartisan push is underway inn Congress to repeal the Postal Service’s unique obligation to refund its employees FEHB coverage in retirement.

In other interesting healthcare news

  • Becker’s Payer Issues reports that “Cigna will no longer require prior authorization for some CT scans of the heart, according to an updated precertification list. The change is effective Feb. 1. * * * In addition, Cigna removed prior authorization for fractional flow reserve-computed tomography. For coverage under the policy, patients must have stable chest pain and an intermediate risk of coronary artery disease. “The favorable policy update shows that Cigna recognizes the use of CTA and FFR-CT as a front-line test which can lead to improved patient outcomes,” Dustin Thomas, MD, chair of the society’s advocacy committee, said in a news release.”
  • Access Management Intelligence informs us that “Ascent Health Services (Ascent Health) is a pharmaceutical group purchasing organization that is part of Evernorth, a subsidiary of Cigna Corporation. Humana has agreed to join Ascent Health in a move that the health insurer says will help drive down its drug costs for its [1.3 million] commercial members. Beginning April 1, Humana will join Ascent Health to give it access to greater discounts from drug makers. Ascent Health manages commercial rebates, the payments that drug makers make to health plans. The agreement covers drug contracting and negotiations for Humana’s commercial business.

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