Greetings from North Beach, NJ. The FEHBlog will be writing from outside the Beltway for the coming week.
The FEHBlog noticed that last week the President nominated OPM’s Acting / Deputy Director Michael Rigas to fill permanently fill his other and more important acting position, Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget. It’s too bad that Mr. Rigas was not nominated for OPM Director back in 2017. He certainly has impressed people in the Trump Administration.
The Federal News Network reports that
“Due to the ongoing management challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presents for our workforce, the Government Managers Coalition believes the federal government would benefit from the establishment of a [permanent] emergency leave transfer program (ELTP) both as a management tool and as a means by which to support our workforce,” the organizations said in a recent letter to Michael Rigas, acting director of the Office of Personnel Management. “An ELTP would be a novel solution, especially for employees with caregiving responsibilities affected by school and daycare closures.” Under an emergency leave transfer program, federal employees can donate unused annual leave to their colleagues who are adversely impacted by a major disaster. Employees who are impacted by a national emergency can apply in writing to become recipients of the donated leave.
This is a good idea for other large and even mid-sized employers.
In other news
- The Wall Street Journal reports that
When enough people become immune such that the whole community is protected, it’s called herd immunity. Herd immunity can sometimes occur naturally from survivors of the disease within a population, but often not without many deaths. Covid-19 has so far killed close to 200,000 people in the U.S. Epidemiologists believe only a small percentage of the nation has been infected and developed some level of immunity. The introduction of a vaccine can be the quickest, safest way of creating herd immunity, since people can develop immunity without getting the disease.
According to the Great Influenza, the world’s population eventually achieved herd immunity from the 1918 influenza, by a mild first wave of the virus and millions upon millions of deaths from the second wave. Of course, there was no vaccine for the great influenza one hundred years ago.
- Healthcare Dive informs us that “One year after the first Walmart Health location opened in Dallas, Georgia, the retail giant is moving forward with nationwide expansion of its health superstores.” The FEHBlog is intrigued by Walmart’s healthcare actions.
- Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that “it has finalized the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Treatment Choices (ETC) Model (fact sheet), to improve or maintain the quality of care and reduce Medicare expenditures for patients with chronic kidney disease. The ETC Model delivers on President Trump’s Advancing Kidney Health Executive Order and encourages an increased use of home dialysis and kidney transplants to help improve the quality of life of Medicare beneficiaries with ESRD. The ETC Model will impact approximately 30 percent of kidney care providers and will be implemented on January 1, 2021 at an estimated savings of $23 million over five and a half years.”