HUSKY waiver hearing tomorrow; DSS proposal kills PCCM

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The Human Services and Appropriations Committees are holding a public hearing tomorrow, March 31st, at 1pm in the LOB Room 2C on DSS’ proposed HUSKY waiver. Sign up begins at 11am in Room 2700; bring 50 copies of testimony. The waiver draft codifies DSS’ reversed course from the legislatively approved PCCM plan and limits the program so severely that it will never be viable. PCCM is a way of running HUSKY without HMOs, and consequently would be strong competition to those HMOs – forcing them to compete on quality and cost. A viable PCCM option would use market forces to improve HUSKY.

We noticed that DSS’ website now has PCCM at the top of the News column. We are grateful that DSS is now beginning to market PCCM, but unfortunately it took this hearing to make it happen. The link takes you to the comprehensive plan developed by a workgroup of advocates, providers and agency staff. DSS submitted that plan to the legislature and it was approved in September without revision. That plan calls for a statewide, open, viable and feasible program that attracted over 350 providers across the state to apply this summer. However, the site also includes DSS’ letter that takes it all back and hobbles the program. Only the 25 providers in Waterbury and Willimantic who applied were approved by DSS, and then only some of their current patients were invited to join. Despite the headline on the site “Primary Care Case Managment: Physicians invited“, there is no application. Any provider interested in applying has no where to go – that’s because they aren’t taking applications, even in Waterbury and Willimantic.

The CT Health Policy Project is urging the legislature to return the HUSKY waiver draft to DSS for modifications to create a statewide, viable PCCM option for families, providers and state policymakers.
Ellen Andrews