Friday, September 19, 2014


Yesterday as the Federal Times reports, Congress enacted a continuing resolution that funds the federal government through December 11, 2014. A link to the Week in Congress is here. Congress is now back on the campaign trail. There will be a lame duck session following the mid term elections on November 4.

FCW informs us that earlier this week the President nominated retired Navy Rear Admiral Earl L. Gay to fill the vacant OPM deputy director position. "[Admiral] Gay served more than 30 years in the Navy, and commanded that service's recruiting command from 2011 to 2013. He is currently serving as a senior advisor to OPM Director Katherine Archuleta." He also was a Navy helicopter pilot. This nomination requires Senate confirmation.

The IRS has announced that the PCORI fee will increase from $2.00 per bellybutton to $2.08 per bellybutton for plan or policy years ending on or before October 1, 2014, and before October 1, 2015. $2.08 will be the fee in effect of the 2014 FEHBP contract year. This fee that the ACA imposes on all health plans but not health care providers funds the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.

CEOs from the Business Roundtable also have offered their views on how to improve the Nation's healthcare system. Their report (available here) outlines recommendations in three major areas:

  • Pursuing health system performance transparency;
  • Strengthening incentives for consumers and providers to improve value; and
  • Aligning public and private sector efforts.
Fierce Healthcare discusses the roadblocks to transitioning from fee for service to value base based payments -- specifically reaching consensus on what is quality care. 

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