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Archive for December 2009

My favorite end of the year list

Time’s Top Ten Scientific Discoveries of 2009 includes epigenetics, water on the moon, and gene therapy curing color blindness. Some days I miss my old job, but then I learned from the list that robots can do science now. Happy New Year. Ellen Andrews

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The health benefits of coffee

This is one less resolution we need to make for Friday – coffee is good for you, from the Wall Street Journal. Sort of, maybe, not for some people with some conditions. It’s all very complicated. No wonder consumers have no idea what to eat and drink. Ellen Andrews

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How do shared doctor visits work?

Shared medical appointments have been described as an important innovation to improve access to better quality care, especially for chronically ill patients. Proponents claim that shared appointments provide faster access to care, more time with the doctor, support from other patients facing the same illness, better patient and provider satisfaction, and improved efficiency. A video…

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Judge reinstates health coverage for 4,800 legal immigrants in CT

Late Friday, Hartford judge Grant Miller overruled Governor Rell’s action to cut off HUSKY for CT legal immigrant adults. Governor Rell implemented the cut December 1st without legislative action. The judge’s reversal was in response to a suit brought by Greater Hartford Legal Aid. DSS intends to appeal the ruling. DSS also incorrectly terminated dozens…

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Insurance Dept. approves insurer rate increases 85% of the time

A report by the CT’s Office of Legislative Research on rate increases approved for the five largest health insurance companies, found that the CT Insurance Dept. (CID) sided with insurers in 22 cases out of 26 since 2006. The average approved rate increase was 12%. This analysis covers a small number of health plan rate…

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Patient-Centered Medical Homes in national reform

Very early this morning, the US Senate overcame the last barrier to passing historic health care reform. The bill they will vote on is similar to the one recently passed by the House in many ways, but differs significantly in provisions for patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs). Proponents have argued that PCMHs will both improve the…

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Patient-centered medical home committee meeting

Yesterday’s meeting of the SustiNet patient-centered medical home (PCMH) committee was full of energy. The discussion highlighted the tension between all the stakeholder groups who want to make sure their issue area or profession is included with the need to keep PCMHs feasible. If there are too many bells and whistles, it will be impossible…

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Medicaid Managed Care Council update

Friday’s meeting was depressing. The Community Health Centers reported on their large increases in patient volume made possible by investments in infrastructure. In 2008, CT’s clinics provided 263,043 patients with over 1.2 million encounters. Unfortunately, the Governor’s proposed cuts will undermine those gains just as demand for clinic services are up sharply. DSS outlined the…

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