Analysis: Life Saving Innovation at Alarming Prices

We do scientific innovation very well. New therapies — from anesthesia in 1850, antibiotics in 1928, organ transplants in 1960, to COVID vaccines now — are improving our lives and extending life expectancy. However, healthcare costs now consume 20% of our economy, and we aren’t getting our money’s worth. Complicating the issue, Pharma’s extreme drug…

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Barriers to Fair Access Report prompts insurers to improve access to 11 drugs

There’s a lot of very appropriate focus on the unfairness of unwarranted drug prices. But an equally important key to patients accessing those drugs is the fairness of insurance policies. To keep premiums affordable, insurers must balance, even encourage, appropriate to access care, while deterring overtreatment and excessive prices. ICER, the nation’s leading value assessment…

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Low or no cost health insurance open enrollment ends soon

Connecticut residents have until next Sunday, January 15th to sign up for health insurance through Access Health CT. About 100,000 Connecticut residents get their health insurance through Access Health CT and 70% get financial assistance to afford coverage. Two thirds of uninsured Americans qualify for free or subsidized coverage; they just haven’t signed up. Free…

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Screenings catch only 13% of Connecticut cancers

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Connecticut. While early detection is key to improving survival, only four cancers have effective screening tests — breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancers. These four types made up one in three cancers  in Connecticut from 2015 through 2019. A new analysis finds that 13% of cancers…

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Updated Advocacy Toolbox: How to make a difference, where to start, and how to get there

Just in time for the legislative session starting today, we’ve updated our CT Health Policy Advocacy Toolbox to help with your advocacy to make healthcare better in Connecticut. (Actually, we update it every month.) Healthcare policymaking in CT can be complex and frustrating. But you’re not alone and there is help. The comprehensive site covers…

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Survey finds CT hospital collections policies allow lawsuits and denial of care

A recent survey by Kaiser Health News found that many US hospitals have aggressive policies for patients who can’t pay their bills. Policies include lawsuits, reporting to credit rating agencies, selling the debt to collectors, and even denying non-emergency care. Medical debt affects one in five US households and the average debt is $21,687. The…

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Update: Policy options to support competition and control healthcare prices

Download the fact sheet Download the updated resource list Healthcare service prices are the main driver of Connecticut’s rising health insurance premiums. The consolidation of hospitals and providers into large health systems has stifled competition, allowing prices to rise unchecked. Other states have taken action to protect competition in consolidated markets and it’s working. Connecticut…

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Book Club — The Data Detective

The Data Detective: Ten Easy Rules to Make Sense of Statistics follows on the Book Club’s obsession with statistics and good data analysis (here, here, here, and here). Good policy rests on good evidence. There are good sources, including the books linked above, that uncover misleading information, with clues to identify them, and that’s important.…

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CTNJ Analysis: Good News on Healthcare Costs, But It Won’t Last

Tuesday’s eagerly anticipated inflation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics had good news for our battered economy – inflation is down for the fifth month in a row. But the counter-intuitive part is that prices for medical care helped lower inflation. I rarely get to report good news on healthcare costs. Of course, there…

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CTNJ op-ed: Health insurance affordability review is good, but it’s no silver bullet

A movement to include affordability in the Insurance Department’s review of health insurance premiums is gaining champions. That’s a good thing. The best care is useless if you can’t afford it. Holding insurers accountable for lowering costs is important, but it’s not going to solve everything. We need to do much more to get costs…

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