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Archive for July 2010

Wellness programs not living up to the hype

A new study finds that building effective corporate wellness programs is not as easy as it seems. Employers have blamed workers’ poor health habits for rising benefit costs and are embracing programs intended to get us to “take responsibility’ for our health, lose weight and stop smoking. However new research finds that many of these…

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DPH public hearings on health information technology plan, privacy policy

Next month, DPH will be holding public hearings and accepting public comment online on their proposed plan for health information exchange for Connecticut. The plan includes a controversial privacy policy recommendation to default all patients into the system, unless they affirmative opt-out. Under the opt-out plan, providers would be responsible for removing any sensitive information…

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Aetna earnings up significantly, medical spending down

Despite higher unemployment and fewer people getting coverage at work, Aetna’s earnings were up last quarter by 42% over the same quarter last year. The company benefited from lower medical spending, allowing them to reserve more of consumers’ premiums for administration and profits. The proportion of premiums spent on medical care, the medical loss ratio,…

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A place with too many primary care doctors

One of the many advantages of working with the Council of State Governments/Eastern Region is the opportunity to learn from our neighbors, especially north of the border. At times it seems that they have everything figured out, but not always. Prince Edward Island, like most Canadian provinces and the rest of the world, is facing…

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Reflections – Jaymie Potteiger

While working at the Connecticut Health Policy Project, I have been fortunate to see how difficult it can be to get a good thing noticed. The Connecticut free clinics are some of the most amazing organizations that I knew absolutely nothing about before beginning this job. These organizations pick up the slack where the system…

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44,000 CT small businesses eligible for health insurance tax breaks

Thanks to national health reform 44,000 CT businesses are eligible for tax credits making health insurance more affordable. Starting this year, businesses with less than 25 workers and average wages up to $50,000 are eligible for credits up to 35% of the employer’s cost of health benefits (25% for nonprofits). 12,900 CT businesses qualify for…

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Reflections – Eric Knowles

Since becoming a summer intern at the CT Health Policy Project, I’ve earned a greater appreciation and understanding for the difficulties and obstacles of creating effective policy change. Just last week, I attended a monthly Board of Directors meeting for the implementation of SustiNet, a law passed in 2009 that would provide nearly universal health…

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Frustrating eHealth privacy meeting

Today’s meeting of the CT Health Information Technology and Exchange Advisory Committee’s Legal and Policy Subcommittee was frustrating. I was asked to come to discuss the concerns I raised in testimony at their public hearing June 23rd about an opt-out privacy policy for health IT exchange in CT. The committee members at the meeting included…

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eHealth privacy meeting tomorrow morning

Tomorrow morning July 20th at 8:30 – 10 am there will be a meeting of the CT Health Information Technology and Exchange Advisory Committee’s Legal and Policy Subcommittee at the state Dept. of Information Technology’s offices, 101 East River Drive in East Hartford. This is the group that has recommended an opt-out privacy policy for…

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Meet Nelson Mendoza

Nelson Mendoza is a 19 year old from Houston Texas who just finished his freshman year at Yale. Nelson was one of our health policy fellows this last year. He is currently in India helping an NGO that brings vision care to rural areas of the country. He gave me permission to share his story.…

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