New Cost Cap industry-driven committee gets going

Members of the Office of Health Strategy’s (OHS) latest committee to drive down the growth in Connecticut’s healthcare spending moved past their initial reluctance to engage in their November and December meetings. OHS expects the provider and insurer-dominated committee to agree on ways to reduce their own costs/profits. Hopefully, they do not also use the…

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Cost Cap primary care project only focusing on raising spending, not services

At the October 26th Primary Care Subgroup meeting, in response to questioning by a member, the Office of Health Strategy’s (OHS) consultants repeatedly confirmed that the goal of the Cost Cap provision on primary care is solely to raise spending, not to increase services. Members raised serious concerns about sending more money into the current…

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New Cost Cap Steering Committee is industry-driven

The first meeting of the new Steering Committee to guide the Office of Health Strategy’s (OHS) plan to cap healthcare cost growth was uncharacteristically quiet. The meeting started with public comment from the Universal Healthcare Foundation of CT that the committee membership is “not balanced”, includes mainly members with “deep vested business interests”, and lacks…

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Cost Cap finds hospital system costs driving healthcare spending, but we knew that

Download the report In a surprise to no one, the first analysis by the Cost Cap project finds that inpatient and outpatient hospital services are a main driver of rising healthcare spending in Connecticut. Hospital and drug costs have been identified in multiple studies as the main drivers of rising health costs in our state.…

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Cost Cap underservice monitoring plan is very weak, puts people at risk

Download the report This week, the Office of Health Strategy (OHS) unveiled their plan to monitor for unintended consequences of their plan to cap healthcare cost increases. OHS acknowledged in the plan that the Cap “may cause providers to reduce provision of necessary healthcare services so as not to exceed the benchmark.” Only a very…

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Has MA’s cost cap worked? Should CT copy it?

Download the report The latest reports (here and here) on Massachusetts’s first-in-the-nation cost cap project raise questions about whether it has worked. Since the cap was implemented in 2013, consumer costs are growing faster than overall healthcare, inflation, or incomes. Despite almost eight years under their cost cap, Massachusetts’s out-of-pocket costs and premiums have grown…

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Public comments critical of OHS’s Cost Cap plan

Several comments submitted on the Office of Health Strategy’s plan to cap healthcare costs during the public comment period raised serious concerns. The concerns echo those raised in previous unanswered letters signed by dozens of advocates. Comments were submitted by CT legal services programs, Gaye Hyre on behalf of the advocate letter writers, and one…

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Advocates urge Cost Cap delay for data, safety

A group of advocates sent Governor Lamont a letter about the Cost Cap project today raising new, heightened concerns since our May letter. This follows a similar letter sent last week from Connecticut’s three legal services organizations, which also included concerns about Medicaid’s PCMH Plus program. The Cost Cap is a controversial project of the…

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OHS committee considers how to sell the Cost Cap to stakeholders

Last week’s meeting of the Office of Healthcare Strategy’s Cost Cap committee, as they are wrapping up the project design, ended with discussion of how to ensure their project is successful in controlling healthcare costs. Despite developing the Cap during a pandemic, there has been considerable resistance and mistrust of the concept and the process.…

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Cost cap committee excludes patients’ provider choices from primary care spending increase

On Thursday, the main committee convened by the Office of Health Strategy (OHS) met to continue their work to set a cap on how much healthcare costs can increase and, at the same time, double spending on primary care. At the meeting they codified a narrow definition of primary care provider for purposes of calculating…

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