Posts by Ellen Andrews

Thirty-one independent consumer advocates share concerns with SIM’s latest push for capitation

Despite the historic failures of capitation in Connecticut and beyond, our state’s SIM health planning office is continuing the drumbeat to re-impose the risky system across our state, this time for primary care. In Primary Care Payment Reform: Unlocking the Potential of Primary Care, the SIM office is proposing set payments for primary care providers…

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CT life expectancy rising, but risks vary

A comprehensive, new analysis of public health outcomes, risks, and causes by state published in JAMA finds that life expectancy for CT residents rose from 77 years in 1990 to 80.8 year in 2016. Healthy life expectancy (maybe more important) also rose from 66.5 years to 69 years. States varied widely in the burden of…

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Smart CT Medicaid smoking cessation coverage

A new CDC analysis finds that CT’s Medicaid program is among the most progressive in covering smoking cessation treatments. Medicaid members are twice as likely to smoke as other Americans. Smoking-related treatment costs US Medicaid programs about $39 billion annually, so effective tools to quit are a smart investment for states. Despite improvements, most states’…

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CT exchange premiums up this year, but similar to other states and still too high

There have been national reports of extreme increases for this year in health insurance exchange premiums, largely due to Trump administration policies. Not surprisingly, a new analysis by the Urban Institute for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds that states with more competition among insurers and more options for consumers have the lowest premiums. Connecticut’s…

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Book Club — Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solutions

For the Book Club– Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solutions By Johann Hari, 2018 Depression and anxiety are becoming growing epidemic across the globe. This fascinating book by a sufferer explores the medicalization of the illnesses and over-reliance on drugs as a solution. Instead he explores social causes related…

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Chartbook: Prescription drugs driving CT health costs across payers

According to a new Chartbook, prescription drugs are the largest driver of health costs in our state. We spend more per person on prescriptions than all states but Delaware and that number is rising faster here than most states. Charts regarding Medicaid spending have been corrected to reflect that pharmacy costs in the program have…

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New Hartford HealthCare-Tufts insurance company raises concerns

Wednesday, Hartford HealthCare and Tufts Health Plan announced the formation of a new, jointly-owned insurer, CarePartners of Connecticut, to sell Medicare Advantage plans to Connecticut residents for next year, pending CMS approval. Hartford HealthCare includes thousands of providers in home health care, rehab services, long term care, behavioral healthcare, and five hospitals, to date. In…

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Committee develops care plan best practices recommendations for Medicaid

The Complex Care Committee of CT’s Medicaid Council has made recommendations to DSS for careplans in the Medicaid program. The importance of effective care plans has arisen often throughout the committee’s work diving deep into barriers to care for Medicaid members with complex health needs. Effective care plans ensure that people are driving decisions about…

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CTNJ: Advocates must inform consumers of risks when the state won’t

This week, independent advocates launched PCMHPlusFacts.org, a campaign to give HUSKY members balanced information about an experimental, new payment model expanding across the program. PCMH Plus has risks for consumers along with possible benefits, but HUSKY members aren’t aware of them or that they have the right to opt-out of the new payment model. Read more

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