Friday, August 09, 2019


Greetings from San Francisco where the FEHBlog is attending the American Bar Association's annual meeting.

The AP reported on Wednesday that
The government is clarifying a policy change that will limit the prescribing of opioid painkillers to federal workers. The Labor Department issued a statement Tuesday saying the limitations will apply to employees injured on the job and covered under the government's workers' compensation program. Last week at a White House briefing a senior administration official suggested the change would apply to the federal [employees] health plan, which is a much bigger program.
The FEHBlog thinks its safe to say that the FEHBP is already on top of this issue.  Keeping pace with concerns about opioid restrictions and proper coverage of opioid addiction treatment are the issues at the heart of the ongoing opioid use crisis for FEHBP carriers.

The Government Employees Health Association ("GEHA") announced yesterday that the Office of Personnel Management has awarded GEHA the government-wide indemnity plan contract. This statutorily mandated FEHB plan slot has been vacant since 1990. GEHA will flll the vacancy with two new options effective January 1, 2020.  GEHA is calling its new plan "Elevate."
"The Elevate plans are specifically designed to help members achieve the health they need to live the lives they want," said Darren Taylor, GEHA president and CEO. "We are excited to enhance our collaboration with OPM and continue to partner with our federal employee members on their health and wellness journeys."
Good luck to GEHA.

Fierce Healthcare reports on Blue Cross of Illinois opening wellness centers for its members on the south side of Chicago. The FEHBlog likes the idea of insurers opening these facilities for members.

Healthcare Dive discusses at length the issue of whether low government prices cause hospitals to charge higher prices to commercial payers.  Because there's no doubt that the pricing gap exists, the real issue is whether or not the gap can be reduced.

No comments: