The Department of Health and Human Services extended the comment period for proposed privacy regulations to Feb. 17, giving groups time to determine whether unintended consequences would prevent coordinated care.... Only 5.9 percent of HMO members rate trust in their health plans "very high" in a National Research Corp. survey. If that seems low, it's better than the 3.8 and 3.6 percent marks achieved by PPOs and fee-for-service plans, respectively.... Visits to physicians for diabetes rose 10 percent from 1998 to 1999, according to a Scott-Levin audit. That coincided with a 13-percent boost in prescriptions for oral diabetic medications.... Three mega-employers, including IBM, turned to a new vehicle for purchasing health care last year: Internet auctions, orchestrated by Hewitt Associates, the benefits consultant. Fifty plans bid against each other online for the business. The buyers wound up with premiums 2 to 8 percent lower this year than in 1999.