Archive for December 2012

Exchange staff back off eroding essential health benefits

At yesterday’s CT Health Insurance Exchange meeting we learned about an attempt by Exchange staff and the Insurance Dept. to reduce the Essential Health Benefit Package that had been agreed to earlier this year in a contentious but inclusive and public process. Like the last process that rejected active purchasing, this process happened in evening…

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31 Ways to Save Money in CT’s Health Care Budget

The state budget is facing a billion deficit next fiscal year. We have 31 ways to both save money and improve quality and access to care. The options focus on payment reform, re-engineering care delivery, engaging consumers, quality reforms and prevention, learning from experience, removing waste and excessive administration. In 2010 we only had fifteen…

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Evidence of ancient health care

A story in today’s NY Times describes mounting evidence of compassion and dedication to caring for the ill among human communities living thousands of years ago. Multiple burials provide evidence of years of care, in some cases it would have likely been around the clock care, for people with disabilities and illnesses. The provision of…

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Medicaid Council meeting clears up misinformation on HUSKY parents fate under ACA

The CT Health Insurance Exchange staff’s presentation to the Medicaid Council Friday described the “opportunity” under the Affordable Care Act for significant state savings by shifting HUSKY parents into the exchange. They described subsidized premiums ($45 to $243/month), some caps on out of pocket costs, and a list of covered services. However, with questioning from…

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HUSKY B saves $4 million in switch from HMOs

As advocates predicted, it appears the shift from capitated managed care to self-insurance saved the HUSKY Part B program $4 million in lower medical costs in the first six months. (The numbers are still tentative, as there may be some outstanding claims from the first half of the year, but they are not expected to…

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HHS approves CT insurance exchange plan

Along with six other states, CT’s health insurance exchange received approval yesterday from the federal agency providing funding. CT was among the first six states to apply to HHS for approval – 14 states have applied to date. No state’s application has been denied. CT’s exchange has been criticized for their plan to accept any…

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NY ex-con shoplifts to get prison health care

Frank Morocco, a Buffalo area ex-convict, intentionally got himself arrested for shoplifting two weeks ago. He stole $23 worth of miscellaneous items, making sure he was seen by store employees and other customers. He stated that he was desperate and saw no other way to get treatment for his cancer. He suffers from a rare…

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CEPAC meeting in CT – effective sleep apnea treatment

Yesterday’s New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council (CEPAC) meeting centered on sleep apnea. Too many new (and expensive) treatments and technologies are adopted and gain wide use without a careful analysis of their effectiveness in treating the condition and/or cost effectiveness compared to other options. CEPAC’s mission is to produce actionable information to aid…

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