Here's a link to The Week in Congress's report on what happened up on the Hill this past week. The Hill reports on the ongoing battle over the excise tax on high cost employer sponsored coverage. Congress is adjourned until November 16.
Next Monday is the beginning of the Federal Benefits Open Season. OPM has updated its FEHB website with 2016 plan information. The FEHBlog noticed that OPM is offering a link to plan benefit summaries for 2016 which also can be helpful.
The Washington Post reports that OPM has hired Clifton Triplett to serve as the senior cyber and information technology adviser to the acting OPM Director Beth Cobert. Mr. Triplett says "his mission is twofold: To create a 'new culture of security' at the OPM and upgrade some of the oldest information technology systems in government — quickly." Best wishes.
Earlier this week CMS released an interactive map "which shows geographic comparisons at the state, county, and ZIP code levels of de-identified Medicare Part D opioid prescription claims – prescriptions written and then submitted to be filled – within the United States" in 2013. This new mapping tool allows the user to see both the number and percentage of opioid claims at the local level and better understand how this critical issue impacts communities nationwide." There is widespread use of opioids across the court with the heaviest utilization in Alabama, Nevada, and Oklahoma.