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Archive for April 2017

CT health prices higher than US average and growing faster

Health care prices in Connecticut are higher and rising more quickly than the US average, according to the Healthy Marketplace Index. The Index is a map-based tool from the Health Care Cost Institute that compares local prices for inpatient, outpatient and physician services across the US for 2012, 2013 and 2014. The researchers found significant…

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Regional state policymakers urge Congress to preserve successful state-federal Medicaid partnership

Yesterday, the Council of State Governments’ Eastern Regional Conference (CSG/ERC) sent a letter calling on Congressional leaders to protect and support the 50-year, successful state-federal Medicaid partnership. CSG/ERC is comprised of state policymaker members from eleven Northeastern states from Maine to Maryland as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and five eastern Canadian…

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Courant Op-Ed: Plan to ‘Fix’ State Medicaid Program Flawed

From Saturday’s Hartford Courant, “These are lean times and we need our government to be smart about where it puts its resources. We don’t need our limited taxpayer dollars spent “fixing” things in our Medicaid program that aren’t broken.” The article points out the state’s backward plan, PCMH +, to apply a risky experiment, meant to slow…

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FDA committee tackles how to assess drugs that target serious infections but affect small populations

Last week’s meeting of the FDA’s Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee was unusual. We didn’t address the merits of a single new drug the FDA is considering for approval but how to fairly assess drugs that target a single bacterial species causing very serious and deadly infections but that affect small populations. Getting sufficient numbers of…

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CTNJ: CT health policy has trust issues

An OP-ED today in CT News Junkie describes the sorry level of mistrust in CT health policymaking. “Mistrust is pervasive in Connecticut policymaking and it’s blocking progress.” Luckily we know how to fix it – if only we have the sense.Read the piece

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Study raises concerns about ACO “savings” and gaming the system

  A new study published in Health Affairs raises doubts about the effectiveness of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) to both improve the quality of American health care while controlling costs. The study found very high physician turnover rates at a large Medicare ACO and that high cost patients were concentrated among a small minority of…

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Mistrust in Connecticut health policymaking – Thoughtleaders, public weigh in on the problem and propose solutions

Connecticut health policymaking has trust issues. This year Connecticut health thoughtleaders rated trust among stakeholders at only 26 out of 100 possible points, with zero to ten being the most common response. Low trust scores were found in every stakeholder group. Research confirms that trust is an essential foundation to governing and reform; without it…

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April CT Health Reform Dashboard – temporary relief at federal level but troubling payment model returns (again and again and again)

CT’s April Health Reform Dashboard is somewhat more settled than last month – but that’s not a good thing. Efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, plus cap Medicaid spending, were temporarily suspended, but are moving again at the federal level in the House. Despite the repeated lessons of history in CT, proponents…

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Doctor compensation continues to grow, Northeastern physicians about in the middle, Canadians higher

US physicians average $294 thousand in compensation this year, up from $206K in 2011 according to Medscape’s 2017 Physician Compensation Report. Mirroring the US average, physician payment in the Northeast averaged $296K. Canadian physicians are the only nationality paid more than Americans, on average. Specialists make 46% more than primary care physicians, and their compensation…

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