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Connecticut Medicaid has taken a serious hit from COVID. At Friday’s Medical Assistance Program Oversight Council meeting, we learned that while hospitalizations went up, outpatient and physician care went down. In May outpatient care spending was down 51% from last year and physician care was down 36%. Those numbers have risen somewhat but are still well below average. Concerns were raised about the future impact of reduced preventive care. DSS promised to share utilization data and information on hospital, ED and pharmacy spending.

1,176 Connecticut Medicaid members have been admitted to a hospital for COVID. While COVID has affected Medicaid members across the state, the majority are from urban areas. The state described reports that include COVID cases by race/ethnicity, age, gender, and region. DSS promised to send more information on those demographics.

Medicaid applications rebounded somewhat from last month, but are still below last year’s levels. To ensure continuous coverage, the state eased paperwork burdens for members, expanded coverage for COVID testing for the uninsured and immigrants not otherwise eligible, and reached out to support members at risk for COVID.

There was significant discussion of testing for nursing home staff. Legal advocates sent a letter urging the state to implement weekly testing in compliance with CDC guidelines. The state believes it is in compliance and believes that their current testing plan protects residents.