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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How CT can save $162 million in healthcare waste

An analysis of Connecticut’s commercial insurance markets finds we spent $9.45 per person per month on wasteful low-value care in 2019, according to a new report by VBID Health. Of the $162 million total, $24.5 million was from patient out-of-pocket costs. Low-value care provides no or minimal benefit to patients and is an important driver…

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CTNJ Op-Ed — Policymakers did little to lower healthcare costs this session

Healthcare costs featured prominently in CT News Junkie’s 2020 candidates’ survey. It’s very likely that candidates will hear the same concerns from voters again this year. Last year, policymakers accomplished little, and healthcare costs haven’t gotten any better since then. Incumbents will be asked what they did this year to provide some relief. Unfortunately, they…

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Good News — Senate passed SB-416 to lower healthcare prices

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 29 to 4 to pass SB-416, An Act Promoting Competition in Contracts Between Health Carriers and Health Providers, without amendments. The bill passed out of the insurance committee unanimously and received overwhelmingly positive feedback in the public hearing. Two lawsuits have been filed against Hartford Healthcare for anti-competitive conduct, driving up…

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CTNJ: Fact Check Shows That Raising Primary Care Spending Doesn’t Lower Total Healthcare Costs

The Office of Health Strategy and their consultants have asserted that it is critical to double spending on primary care in Connecticut to lower skyrocketing  total healthcare costs. It’s very appealing to think that increasing investments in prevention and care management will reduce total costs. It avoids the difficult work of getting large health systems…

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Testimony: Consolidation’s harms to stressed healthcare workers

From Haley Magnetta, fellow at CT Health Policy Project, written testimony in support of SB-417, An Act Promoting Competition in Contracts Between Health Carriers and Health Care Providers I am testifying as a clinically practicing Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant (PA). As a provider who has worked in hospitals that have been consolidated, I want to…

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Fact Check: Does OHS’s Primary Care Roadmap include capitation? Yes, 31 times

In the Insurance Committee’s March 1st public hearing on HB-5042, advocates stated that the Office of Health Strategy’s Primary Care Roadmap plan, authorized in the bill, includes capitation as the payment model. Primary care capitation has failed in Medicare despite significant investment and multiple trials. Advocates are concerned that, if implemented, the Roadmap would divert…

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