Primary care spending boost and capitation didn’t work in private plans either

The big idea circulating in some CT health policy circles to control the costs of healthcare is to boost primary care with tons of money and capitate provider payments. Primary care is regular health care for prevention, like check-ups, and common health problems. A new study finds that the idea failed in private insurance, as…

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Op-Ed: Governor’s Healthcare Record Misses Opportunities

Last week, the Governor and his administration held a press conference nominally to promote their efforts to lower healthcare costs, but mostly for damage control. There’s been understandable criticism of the state insurance department’s decision to trim the unjustified insurer rate increase requests for next year from 20% to 13%. Insurers have been very profitable…

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OP-ED: Be careful in making changes when the glass is half full

There is good news on Connecticut health spending – and we can use it. Analysis of new data has found, not surprisingly, that Connecticut residents spend a lot on healthcare. But the good news is that our average annual rate of growth, at 1.8%, was the ninth lowest among states from 2013 to 2019. We…

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Good news on CT healthcare costs

New data from researchers at the University of Washington on state per person healthcare spending finds that between 2013 and 2019, Connecticut’s costs grew at the ninth lowest level among states. We dropped from seventh highest in the US in 2014 to eleventh in 2019. Our growth rate was lower than nearby comparator states and…

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CT is 24th in public health funding

Connecticut has a chronic problem with underfunding public health. We aren’t alone, but we’ve done little to fix the problem. The pandemic should’ve made crystal clear the value of a strong public health surveillance and response system. Like all prevention, we have to fund it before we need it. In 2021, Connecticut ranked 24th in…

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CTNJ Op-Ed: Insurers’ explanations for extreme rate increases don’t make sense

Connecticut’s health insurers are asking state regulators to let them increase premiums an average of 20.4%, far more than last year’s 8.6% request. Insurers in other states are asking for less than half as much. Connecticut insurers are blaming increased demand for services due to COVID backlogs, that deductibles aren’t keeping up with rising costs,…

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CT NJ Op-Ed: We need better, smarter solutions

There’s a lot of news about the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion and the latest mass shootings. Efforts to preserve women’s choices and bring sanity to our gun laws are critically important. But we don’t spend as much time finding upstream solutions to prevent problems, so we won’t need a fix. This blindness is very…

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Cost Cap finds drugs driving up healthcare spending, but we knew that, and their numbers are misleading

The latest analysis by Mathematica for the Office of Health Strategy’s plan to cap healthcare costs used a small slice of a small slice of Connecticut’s drug spending. We already knew, from other sources, that drug spending is a main driver of rising healthcare costs in Connecticut and the problem is skyrocketing prices. OHS’s analysis…

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More doctors are moving to corporate and hospital employment, jacking up prices & new WI lawsuit

Movement of physicians from independent practice to hospital and corporate employment accelerated during COVID. By January 1st of this year, 74% of physicians in the Northeast were employed by hospitals or corporations according to a report by Avalere Health for the Physicians Advocacy Institute.  Half (52%) of Northeastern physicians work for hospitals and 22% for…

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