Archive for June 2010

CT second lowest state in obesity rates

In 2007 to 2009, CT ranked behind only Colorado in the lowest rate of obesity among adults according to a new report by the Trust for America’s Health. The bad news is that obesity affects one in five state adult residents (21.4%) and is up 9% from 2006-2008. And the news just gets worse —…

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WellPoint data breach put sensitive medical information on 5,600 CT residents at risk; Reinforces need for privacy protections

The Hartford Courant is reporting that between October and March, sensitive financial and health information about 470,000 Americans who applied to WellPoint for individual insurance was at risk of public disclosure, including 5,600 Connecticut residents. WellPoint is the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in Connecticut. The breach only affected people who applied…

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State considering eHealth privacy policy that defaults everyone into the system

A DPH state planning committee announced that they are recommending a privacy policy for state health information exchange that would default consumers into the system unless they affirmatively opt-out. The process to opt-out, or even how consumers would be informed of their rights, is unclear. The recommendation also requires providers – hospitals and doctor’s offices…

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Cheap solutions to big problems work better; small is the new big

In a hilarious TED talk, marketing expert Rory Sutherland points out the counter productive trend to throw big money at problems when, in fact, small changes are often more effective. The talk does touch on health care – at about four and half minutes into the video he describes a link between childhood immunizations and…

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Health benefits consuming more of total employee compensation, Northeast most expensive

Between March 2000 and 2010, health care benefits grew from 5.5% to 7.5% of total compensation costs nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In March 2010, health insurance averaged $2.08/hour worked in private industry — more than disability, retirement, Medicare, Social Security, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, life insurance or paid leave. Not surprisingly,…

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Utah program reduces non-urgent Medicaid ER visits by 55%

Safe To Wait, a Utah Medicaid educational program, reduced non-urgent visits to emergency room visits by 55%. Medicaid savings for some patients were as high as $156/month. In the Safe to Wait program, members were provided with information on which conditions were true emergencies and which could wait. After the first non-urgent ER visit, members…

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Hispanic Health Council unveils new website

Visit the Hispanic Health Council’s re-designed website. The Hispanic Health Council’s mission is to improve the health and social wellbeing of Latinos and other diverse communities. Programs include substance abuse and recovery, nutrition assistance, farm workers health, HIV/AIDS, breastfeeding, diabetes, cancer and parenting support. Join the Hispanic Health Council for their 30th Anniversary on October…

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Judge denies parts of nursing home lawsuit

A federal judge has denied an injunction in the CT Association of Health Care Facilities’ lawsuit against the state, but the lawsuit is moving forward. The nursing homes had asked for an injunction to stop $300 million in cuts scheduled over the next two years; the state asked the court to throw out the entire…

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Medicaid Managed Care Council update

Friday’s Council meeting focused mainly on plans for the $50 million temporary high risk pool opportunity created by national health reform. DSS joined the CT Insurance Dept. and the Health Reinsurance Association (HRA) to describe their plans. They intend to piggyback on the current high risk pool administered by HRA which was created in 1976…

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