Posts by Ellen Andrews

CT homelessness continues to drop but health challenges are serious

This year’s point-in-time count of homelessness in Connecticut finds the numbers are going down – that’s the very good news. This year the CT Coalition to End Homelessness found that on January 22nd, when volunteers fanned out across the state to count the homeless, the number was 3,033. That’s the lowest number since the survey…

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New tool makes Medicaid business case for CT to address obesity

Twenty nine percent of Connecticut children ages 5 to 17 are overweight or obese, according to the Department of Public Health. That number jumps to 47.8% for children living in households with annual incomes between $25,000 to 50,000. Many, maybe most, of these children qualify for Medicaid. Only 13.1% of Connecticut high school students eat…

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PCMHs in CT – not the “shiny new toy” anymore but moving forward improving care, controlling costs

Ten years ago, patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) were exotic in Connecticut. PCMHs are one of the best documented innovations to improve health. PCMHs are primary care practices that help keep people well by assessing needs, coordinating care, and giving people the skills and resources to maintain their own health. As a nurse managers told me,…

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Medicaid will apply to cover supportive housing services

DSS announced at today’s Medicaid Council meeting that they will be expanding their collaboration with state housing resources. Medicaid’s supportive housing option opportunity lets states bridge the firewall between healthcare and social service spending. CT Medicaid intends to cover transition and tenancy-sustaining services through a 1915(i) state plan amendment. Initially the program will cover up…

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New PCMH + plans overlook past problems

Wednesday DSS and Mercer unveiled their thinking about plans for Wave 3 of PCMH Plus, Medicaid’s controversial shared savings program. Results from PCMH Plus’s first year, Wave 1, were disappointing with increased state costs and little evidence of improvement in quality. Based on the problems identified in Wave 1, advocates made recommendations to fix those…

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Public option gone but good pieces remain

Negotiations over a public health insurance option in CT have broken down but other good parts of the deal remain. Reportedly, there is a budget agreement to restore HUSKY eligibility for some of the 11,000 working parents cut in 2016. DSS reports found that the large majority of the low-income parents cut from HUSKY were…

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YNHH transportation plan for controversial primary care shift troubling, concerns remain

Monday, Yale-New Haven Health System answered the state’s eighth set of questions about their controversial application with the Hill Health and Fairhaven Health Centers to move primary care for 25,000 mainly low-income New Haven area residents out of the current neighborhood sites to Long Wharf. Among many concerns voiced by patients, advocates and community leaders…

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