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Archive for June 2008

State taking applications for Charter Oak

This morning at the Town Line Diner in Rocky Hill, the state began signing up consumers for the Charter Oak Plan. The Governor held a press conference at the diner announcing the opening of the plan and two consumers filled out applications. New information includes premiums which vary between $75 and $279/month and an annual…

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CT assessing the strength of our public health system

Yesterday over one hundred CT public health leaders gathered in Farmington for the first of a two day project developing a detailed assessment of our state’s system to protect the public’s health. The project is being led by DPH using CDC’s National Public Health Performance Standards. Five generous souls from New Jersey are serving as…

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Health First and Primary Care Authority Updates

Last Thursday both Authorities met in separate meetings. The Health First Authority is collecting information on CT’s spending on health care and Medicaid rates. Urban Institute researchers shared info from a 2003 Health Affairs article showing that CT’s Medicaid rates averaged 83% of Medicare, compared to 69% nationally. MA pays 80%, NY 45% and RI…

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Health care jobs carry CT’s employment outlook

The current issue of The CT Economic Digest, from the CT Dept. of Labor, reports that between December and April both CT and the US have had four consecutive months of contracting employment. (Apparently this isn’t bad enough for economists to label it a recession yet.) Historically CT’s employment downturns average 24 months while US…

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Governor vetoes pooling bill

Today Governor Rell vetoed HB-5536, An Act Establishing the Connecticut Healthcare Partnership. While she applauded the intent of the bill, to reduce health care costs for municipalities, nonprofits and small businesses by pooling them with state employees, she is concerned about potential costs to the state. She also cited legal problems with the bill, doubts…

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Houston to hire nurses as ER alternative for non-urgent care

In 2006 Harris County, which includes Houston, spent $50 million on emergency room care for patients with problems that could have been treated in a doctor’s office, according to the Houston Chronicle. The city wants to hire “tele-nurses” to work with 911 dispatchers offering first aid advice or help getting an appointment for care with…

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International study finds health inequities are about more than health coverage; editorial explores implications for US Presidential elections

A new study published today in JAMA compares health inequities across 22 European countries. Not surprisingly, rates of death and poor health are linked to lower socioeconomic status. However the scale of the disparity varied widely between countries. The authors attribute the variations in part to causes of death due to smoking, alcohol use and…

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Massachusetts uninsured cut in half

The results are in. Massachusetts’ comprehensive health care reforms passed in 2006 have led the state’s rate of uninsurance to drop by almost half – from 13% in fall 2006 to 7% a year later. 355,000 more adults in Massachusetts now have affordable coverage– more than the entire uninsured population of Connecticut. The reform law,…

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