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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Contact: Office of Communications
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Issues Annual Call Letter to FEHB Carriers

Encourages Compliance with President Bush's Four Cornerstone Goals for Health Care Quality and Transparency

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Linda M. Springer today issued OPM's annual Call Letter to carriers participating in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, outlining policy goals and expectations for negotiations on 2008 benefits and premiums for federal employees and retirees.

"Approximately eight million Federal employees, retirees, and their families depend on the high-quality, affordable health care available through the many fine carriers participating in the FEHB," Director Springer said. "We will continue to work diligently to ensure our carriers meet the highest possible standards for customer service and quality of medical care, and ensure our members have access to the information they need to make the right choices."

The annual Call Letter, available at www.opm.gov/carrier, is essentially a blueprint of priorities for participating carriers. This year, OPM is asking carriers to commit to President Bush's four cornerstone goals for quality health care and transparency, established by Executive Order in August 2006. The goals are to:

  • Improve standards for connecting Health Information Technology (HIT), making it possible to share patient health information securely and seamlessly;
  • Improve quality of care reporting, so health care providers and the public can learn how well each provider measures up in delivering care;
  • Provide costs of health services so when patients choose routine or elective care, they can make both quality and cost comparisons; and
  • Provide incentives for quality care at competitive prices, as in payments to providers based on the quality of their services, or insurance options rewarding customers for choices based on quality and cost.

In addition, the Call Letter encourages proposals to expand the availability of High Deductible Health Plan options; improve hearing benefits for newborns and children; and close any gaps between current adult preventive care benefits and recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). USPSTF guidelines can be found at www.ahrq.gov/clinic/uspstfix.htm.

OPM also is currently reviewing its experience with its first Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), in which more than 700,000 enrollments have been received. OPM will not entertain any proposals for enhanced FEHB dental benefits or encourage any changes to existing dental or vision benefits for 2008.

OPM expects all FEHB carriers to align to the FEHB Program Carrier Guiding Principles which can be found at www.opm.gov/carrier. These include the timely and accurate processing of claims; prompt and accurate submission of actuarial and financial data; and an expectation for all plans to be well managed and financially secure.

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Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.


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