Cabinet update – DSS/exchange IT and SIM updates

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The SIM update included a description of the recent funding application release. All drafts for the grant will only go through the Steering Committee. It was clarified that the “owners” of the SIM process are the related state agencies. SIM intends to “align” CT’s health priorities with the federal grant. Concerns were raised that the state was making important decisions about the health of millions of state residents, sometimes contrary to the priorities developed here in CT, just to get a federal grant and to benefit state agencies.

At this week’s Health Care Cabinet meeting we heard about ambitious plans to extend the IT plan integrating DSS’s ConnectCT with the insurance exchange. If the expansion works as planned, it will solve a lot of the ongoing problems. Members offered support but warned about unintended consequences. It was suggested that planners include people from the real world – consumers, advocates and assisters – now, in the design process – not just in testing – to ensure that the system is workable from the beginning and to avoid future problems.
The exchange update was the usual stuff until they described the recent security breach. While the exchange was open in reporting the breach, there were no details about how it happened. The exchange was urged to take measures to ensure this never happens again. It is very difficult to re-build trust and, as the exchange takes on the APCD and even more sensitive information – consumer privacy and security must be the top priority.

The Cabinet decided not to meet again until the Fall.