Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday musings

  • The Senate Commerce Committee will have the Ingenix and United Healthcare CEOs testify tomorrow morning about the Ingenix ususal reasonable and customary fee schedule controversy. The American Medical Association and other UCR critics testified last Thursday. The AMA's testimony included a report card on insurer payment practices. It's ironic that at the same time the medical profession is trying to block insurers and patients from rating them, according to this AIS article.

  • The Federal Times featured an perceptive report captioned "Outlook dim for improved [federal employee] pay, benefits."

  • CMS released its 2010 call letter guidance for Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare prescription drug plans today. I found noteworthy this tidbit from the CMS press release:

    CMS is also asking Medicare Advantage organizations to make sure the plans they offer in 2010 significantly differ from one another to ensure that beneficiaries have the tools they need to make informed decisions. Many plan sponsors offer multiple plans with very little distinguishing characteristics and low enrollment. These low-volume plans crowd the field and makes selecting a plan much more difficult for Medicare beneficiaries. Twenty-seven percent of total Medicare Advantage plans have fewer than 10 enrollees.
    OPM should be releasing its 2010 call letter for FEHBP benefit and rate proposals soon.

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