Among the many important provisions in SB-811, is Section 17 directing the state Health Care Cabinet to conduct a study of successful payment reform models from other states. The Cabinet is to report back to the General Assembly with recommendations for policy changes that will provide a framework to control health care costs, reward value-based…

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Fifty years ago today President Johnson signed the Medicaid program into law. The program now covers one in five Connecticut residents with efficient, quality care. Since switching from a capitated, insurer-based program to a self-determined, care-focused program in January 2012, costs are stable (down slightly) per person, quality is up (fewer people are going to…

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The Myths of Modern Medicine: The Alarming Truth about American Health Care by John Leifer is very readable. The book organizes the problems in modern American health care into ten myths, that are accessible to any reader, but not dumbed down. The myths are simple and straightforward, without all the usual waffling. The descriptions not…

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Fifty years ago this week, Lyndon Johnson signed Medicaid into law. On today’s show, WNPR’s Where We Livecelebrated the program that covers one in five CT residents with comprehensive care and brought $3.3 billion in federal funds to our state. More efficient than private insurance, leading the state in quality improvement as it cares for…

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A new survey by AccessHealth CT found that 36% of their customers had not used their health coverage, compared to 26% last year. One in four (28%) don’t have a primary care provider. Enrollment in qualified health plans is now 96, 966, down 13,129 from the open enrollment period earlier this year. The biggest reason…

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In 2013 almost half a million CT residents provided 427 million hours of unpaid critical health care services to family members according to an updatedreport by AARP. The value of that care was $5.9 billion, about what CT spends on Medicaid in total. Family care is expanding and becoming a vital piece of our health…

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Thursday the Equity and Access Council delivered to the SIM Steering Committee a draft report with recommendationsto avoid underservice in SIM’s planned payment reforms. Advocates were successful in getting a provision in the SIM final plan that prohibited payment of shared savings to provider networks that systematically denied needed care to generate those savings. The…

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A new study published in this month’s Health Affairs finds that CT hospital Medicaid revenue grew by 7 to 8% after CT took advantage of the ACA’s early Medicaid expansion option in 2010. The study also finds that uncompensated care costs to CT hospitals were one third lower than they would have been without the…

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Patients considering surgery often check their hospitals’ quality rating, but the your surgeon’s safety rating can be even more important. Half of US hospitals have surgeons with both high and low complication rates. ProPublica’s new Surgeon Scorecard allows patients to compare the safety record of surgeons by hospital. ProPublica used Medicare data to calculate surgeon’s…

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At last week’s Medicaid Council meeting we heard about strong progress toward reducing phone wait times. Average wait times dropped 52% from April to May while abandoned calls fell 42%. By the last week of June, average wait times were down to 11 minutes from 57 minutes in March. The improvements resulted in 6,466 more…

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