Friday, April 21, 2017


Well, Congress is nearing the end of its two week long home district work session. The continuing resolution funding the federal government expires on Thursday April 28 which is the 99th day of the Trump administration. UPI reports that the House leadership has worked up another amendment to the American Health Care Act in a continuing effort to obtain majority support for the bill. Of course, funding the government must be addressed first.

In an interesting development, the big health insurer United Healthcare made executive leadership changes according to this Twins Cities Business Journal article. The FEHBlog's attention was caught by the following paragraph from the article --
In a conference call with investors, [a UHC executive] said the company changes up its leadership team every two to three years. “I think it provides fresh new focus, a lot of energy,” he said. “In many respects … we move [executives] from one spot to another to broaden experience as well.”
 Here are few closing tidbits:

  • HHS Office for Civil Rights sanctioned a healthcare provider because it was unable to produce a written HIPAA business associate agreement for a particular vendor. It's good practice for covered entities and business associates to routinely inventory those agreements. 
  • Walgreen Co. agreed with the Justice Department to settle False Claims Act charges based on its alleged failure to comply with Medi-Cal's billing policies for off-label drugs. Off label drug coverage is a delightfully complex issue. A doctor can prescribe a prescription drug for a purpose that is not on the FDA approved label, but that does not mean that the health plan must cover it.  In this case, Medi-Cal, California Medicaid, added hoops for off-label drug coverage. And of course, the drug company is prohibited from marketing a drug for off-label uses. 
  • Federal News Radio offers a two part report on its interview with Linda Springer about government reorganization. Ms. Springer is a senior advisor to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. She was one of the OPM directors during the George W. Bush administration. 

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