Health reform bill passes the House

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The health reform bill agreed to by the administration and legislative leaders, HB 6308, passed the House Friday. The bill allows the municipalities to join with the state employee plan Jan. 1st of next year, and brings in nonprofits that do significant business with the state a year later. It directs the state employee plan to implement patient-centered medical homes and creates a working group to develop a multipayer data base to inform health care planning. Under the bill, hospitals will begin reporting data on service use as most states already report.

The bill also creates an Office of Health Reform and Innovation within the Lieutenant Governor’s Office to be headed by the Special Advisor to the Governor on Healthcare Reform. The office is charged with coordinating state health reform efforts, maximizing stakeholder and public input into health reform, and transparency in implementation. The office will work to ensure coordination of enrollment between programs. The SustiNet Cabinet includes official appointments to include the health care industry, providers, labor, faith community, small business, and a consumer advocate, in addition to relevant Commissioners. The Cabinet will address health care workforce capacity, assess the feasibility of exercising the Basic Health Program Option under national health reform, and create a business plan to provide new coverage options to individuals and small businesses. The Cabinet may create working groups on payment and delivery reforms, as well as multi-payer initiatives. The bill also creates a Consumer Advisory Board, a long overdue addition to CT’s health care policymaking environment.
Other provisions of the bill include provider network capacity standards, compliance with national health reform, and claims payment, contracting, and insurance reforms. The bill now goes to the Senate.
Ellen Andrews