New data shows that nineteen teaching hospitals and 11,016 physicians in CT received payments from drug and device manufacturers last year. Open Payments, the searchable federal data source, was created by the Affordable Care Act which requires that drug and device manufacturers disclose payments to physicians and teaching hospitals. While every CT hospital received some…

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Today’s Hartford Courant includes a deep dive into instances of steering committee members getting grants and changing policies to benefit their interests. Unfortunately SIM falls into a loophole in CT law that exempts its members from the state Code of Ethics for Public Officials. A bill to close that loophole cruised through legislative committees but…

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Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut has posted practical advice for the 17,688 working parents about to lose HUSKY coverage at the end of next month. Budget issues forced state lawmakers to cut parents’ eligibility. Preparing for the likelihood that many of them will become uninsured, SLSCT has drafted very consumer-friendly fact sheets in Englishand Spanish…

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Medicaid is now the largest coverage program in the nation, consuming over a quarter of state budgets, and that share is rising at an unsustainable rate. State Medicaid programs are working on reforms to shift from a system that rewards volume with no regard to quality to a better system that builds value. Next week…

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CT Medicaid’s plan for payment reform marked a milestone last week with release of the RFPfor provider networks and community health centers to participate. Most of the independent consumer advocates’ Medicaid Study Group recommendations are included, but not all. Pros include protective attribution, no downside risk, smart quality incentives to reward improvement, re-investing savings in…

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At yesterday’s meeting, the Healthcare Cabinet heard from ten state agencies that all touch on health. They were asked to report on how they were saving money, improving the quality of care, and innovating to improve the health of state residents. DSS got twice as much time as everyone else, with good reason. Among the…

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Friday’s Medicaid Council meeting highlighted a new federal Medicaid-Housing Partnership opportunity for CT. The collaborative application by CT Medicaid and six other agencies and non-profits was one of eight states awarded. Under new federal guidance, Medicaid can cover tenancy sustaining and transition services, such as help with identifying a home, application assistance, help with moving,…

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Last week, the FDA’s Antimicrobial Advisory Committee drilled deep into evidence on the safety and effectiveness of Bezlotoxumab, a drug intended to reduce recurrence of C. difficle infections. The evidence was extensive – slides with data tables and charts numbered at least 1,855. Half a million Americans suffered from serious C. diff infections and 29,000…

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Governing magazine reports that in 2014 the average Emergency Room patient in Connecticut waited 27 minutes for care. That wait is similar to neighboring states but well below Maryland with the longest wait at 46 minutes, and well above Colorado and Utah where patients waited only 16 minutes. The article cites CMS Hospital Compare Data.…

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Insurers in CT have asked the Dept. of Insurance for permission to raise premiums significantly next year, both on the exchange, AccessHealthCT, and off. Insurers want to raise individual AccessHealthCT premiums on average by 26.8% (Anthem with 56,700 covered lives), 14.3% (ConnectiCare Benefits covering 47,597 lives) and 12.21% (HealthyCT with 16,274 covered lives). Those averages…

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