Sunday, April 12, 2009

Weekend update / miscellany

  • Over the past week, the President created his White House health care reform office which is headed by Nancy-Ann DeParle and the acting Comptroller General named 13 members to the Health Information Technology Policy Committee, a new advisory body established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. According to the HIT News, "the secretary of Health and Human Services, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, and the speaker and minority leader of the House of Representatives, will appoint an additional seven members. The President can appoint other members as representatives of relevant federal agencies." The representative for third party payers is Charles Kennedy, M.D., Camarillo, California (3 year term) Vice President, Health Information Technology, Wellpoint, Inc.

  • The incoming national HIT czar Dr. David Blumenthal voiced his opinions on the ARRA's HIT funding, according to this Government HIT report. "[M]uch will depend on how the federal government defines conditions that Congress set for how providers qualify for the funds, Blumenthal said."

  • Modern Healthcare reports that "Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas has agreed to stop using its risk-adjusted cost index to rate physicians as more or less affordable in providing medical treatments to patients, following an order from Texas Attorney General Gregory Abbott. The insurer has also agreed not to terminate—or threaten to terminate—physicians for making referrals outside of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield network."

  • AIS Health Plan Daily featured an interesting report on PBM developments.

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