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Archive for December 2014

2014 – CT Health Care Year in Review

A lot happened in health care in CT this year — a lot of promising projects but some opportunities lost as well, leaving lots of uncertainty for 2015. It’s never boring.      Thankfully, health care costs held stable   CT seems to be following the US trend of slowing health costs. Spending per person in Medicaid…

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New England comparative effectiveness report on controversies in diabetes management options

A new analysis comparing treatments for Type 2 Diabetes found significant opportunities to expand use of high value options– those that are both clinically effective and cost effective. NPH insulin (intermediate-acting human insulin) is equally effective as newer insulin analogs at lowering blood glucose levels, but at one-third the cost.  The prevalence and costs of…

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CT News Junkie Op-ED – learning from mistakes in HIT

A new opinion piece in CT News Junkie focuses on the need for CT to develop a functional health information system, that respects consumers’ privacy, is crucial to patient safety, improving quality, controlling costs and thoughtful reform. The merciful demise this year of HITE-CT, a quasi-public entity charged by the state with doing just that,…

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SIM update

CMMI announced Tuesday that Connecticut was among eleven states whose SIM application was approved. CT expects to receive $45 million over four years to support reform. The SIM Health IT Council will hold its first meeting today at 1pm at the LOB. Commissioner Bremby of DSS,  which has been given responsibility for developing an Health…

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Medicaid update

The Medicaid Council workgroup developing quality measures to use in reforming Medicaid’s payment system has held a couple of meetings – one very constructive, the first not so much. The first meeting was hastily called, dominated by SIM representatives, and contentious. However, the comforting bottom line from that meeting was that DSS will make the…

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CT fourth healthiest state

In this year’s report, America’s Health Rankingsfinds CT residents are healthier than residents of all but three other states, up from 7th in the last two years. Our strengths include a very low smoking rate, low teen birth rate, and a high rate of dental visits. Our challenges are a very troubling high rate of…

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Consumer Advisory Board considers ethics policies

In today’s meeting, the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) discussed proposed ethics standards to ensure that anyone who makes decisions about funding from SIM not benefit from that funding. According to Connecticut’s Public Officials and State Employees Guide to the Code of Ethics, a substantial conflict of interest exists when “a public official, his or her…

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CT hospitals made $597 million profit last year

A new analysis of CT’s 29 acute care hospital finances by C-HIT found that while operating profits were down last year to $333.6 million from $513.6 m last year, overall profits were still $597 million due to an increase in investment and other income. The annual OHCA report found that just under half (48%) of…

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FDA Advisory Committee recommends streamlining approval for tools to fight super bugs

Yesterday the FDA anti-infective drug advisory committee recommended streamlining approval processes for antibiotics that target super bugs. Decades of overtreatment have escalated bacterial resistance to known drugs – super bugs. CDC estimates that 2 million Americans are infected and 23,000 die of infections by antibiotic-resistant bugs annually. The answers are better hygiene, especially in hospitals…

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