Happy Super Sunday!

From Washington DC

  • The deadline for submitting comments on the No Suprises Act IDR operation proposed rule closed recently. Here are links to comments from carriers, AHIP, and our FEHB plan trade association, AFHO.
  • 119 comments were submitted in total. 

From the public health and medical research front,

  • Fortune Well discusses prostate cancer cases in the U.S.
    • “Rates of America’s second-deadliest cancer in men are on the rise—and they’ve been building exponentially for almost a decade straight.
    • “Since 2014, U.S. diagnoses of prostate cancer—highly survivable if caught early—have risen 3% annually. Advanced-stage diagnoses have risen 5% year over year.
    • “Adding insult to injury, Black men are being diagnosed with late stages of the condition at two to three times the rate of white men, and are also around 2.5 times more likely to die of it, experts say.”
  • The American Medical Association explains the steps that patients can take to control their blood pressure.
  • NPR considers the simmering debate simmers when doctors should declare brain death.

From the U.S. healthcare business front,

  • The Wall Street Journal warns
  • “Medicare Advantage is facing a bit of a disadvantage.
  • “The private plans have grown in popularity in recent years because many seniors like that they come with no monthly premiums and offer extra benefits, including vision and dental coverage as well as fitness memberships. (It also doesn’t hurt that the plans are marketed aggressively). Now, though, the industry is contending with pressure on both cost, as seniors who held back on procedures during the pandemic rush back, and revenue, as the Biden administration curtails payments to plans.
  • “The more challenging financial picture means companies will need to make some tough decisions about their plans next year—either sacrifice profit margins to continue growing or pull back on benefits to boost profitability. While there are other factors at play, if the current trends continue, plans will have to be more cautious in their offerings going forward. 
  • “At this point, it looks pretty clear that next year’s reduction in benefits is really going to reduce enrollment growth,” says David Windley, an analyst at Jefferies.” 

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