Friday, February 20, 2015


OPM's revised final rule on the ACA's multi-state plan program was released today.

The Wall Street Journal and Reuters reports that the government is having a difficult time evicting hackers from the State Department's unclassified email system.  This is another incident in which email scams have created a real mess. (Lawyers are not exempt from these "phishing" scams as illustrated by this American Bar Association Journal article.)  The FEHBlog brings up these problems because this Fortune Magazine article reports that Aetna has discovered a path to email security based on among other factors, its use of the DMARC technology pioneered by PayPal. It's helpful to learn about best practices.

Bloomberg Business is reporting that U.S. health care spending is on the rise again. "The analysis, from the Altarum Institute research group and based on preliminary government data, shows health spending increasing by 5 percent last year, compared to 3.6 percent in 2013. If confirmed by the final tally, health-care spending during 2014 would mark the biggest jump since before the recession." It's not surprising that spending jumped last year as newly insured folks sought needed care.  (Here's a link to a 2015 CBO report on Health Care and the Federal Budget). 

Year to year hospital care spending didn't budge which is surprising because hospital prices should have moderated as the amount of uncompensated care decreased. The biggest pop (5.7%) --not surprisingly -- was in prescription drugs.  Drug Channels features an interesting story about the continuing uptick in generic drug prices.

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