DSS responds to advocates’ questions about HUSKY maternity bundles

More than one in three Connecticut births are covered by the HUSKY program, including some pregnancies at risk for poor birth outcomes. DSS has an ambitious plan to change the way providers are paid for those births. The goals are to improve equity, lower C-section rates, poor maternal outcomes, lower opioid-related pregnancy conditions, and reduce…

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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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CTNJ Analysis: Another CT healthcare story of wasted money and missed opportunities

An excellent investigative piece by C-HIT published Tuesday found that the state Office of Health Strategy has squandered $20 million in federal funds and delayed for years a key health improvement system that could be protecting our health today. The C-HIT investigation took the better part of a year, encountered serious roadblocks from OHS, and…

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CTNJ Op-Ed: Advice from an advocate for the next OHS Director

Op-Ed: Advice from an advocate for the next OHS Director This week the Lamont administration announced that Vicki Veltri will be leaving state service in a few weeks. She will be missed. Director of the Office of Health Strategy is a tough job. The cost of healthcare is straining every budget in the state, including…

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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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CT hospital ownership change rate among highest in US

Over 10% of hospitals in Connecticut changed ownership between 2016 and 2021, according to a federal report using new CMS data. Connecticut and just three other states had hospital ownership change rates over 10%. Most states had rates of 4% or less. Understanding hospital ownership changes and rates of change to identify consolidation in healthcare…

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Legislators hear diverse voices favoring competition to control healthcare costs

Update 3/22/2022 — SB-416 passed the Insurance and Real Estate Committee unanimously. Twenty-one organizations and state residents testified in favor of SB-416 in Thursday’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee public hearing. Just three testified against. SB-416 would level the playing field in Connecticut’s healthcare market by prohibiting anti-competitive contract clauses used by 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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New tool finds all CT health systems’ commercial prices are far higher than needed to cover expenses

According to a new tool, Connecticut hospitals would have needed commercial rates equal to 135% of Medicare levels in 2020 to cover their expenses, much higher than the US average of 114%. However, every health system in Connecticut charged well above that level, far more than needed to cover expenses. The National Academy for State…

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Testimony supporting Governor’s drug price cap and opposing OHS primary care plan

The Insurance and Real Estate Committee is hearing today the Governor’s healthcare bills. Areas of disagreement include a proposal to limit how much drug prices can rise and the Office of Health Strategy’s (OHS) plans to cap the growth of overall healthcare spending while doubling spending on primary care. Among non-state agencies, fifteen people and…

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