CT Health Reform

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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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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CTNJ: Better Public Option Bill Looks to Bigger Picture

Rising health insurance costs are crushing Connecticut families and small businesses. From 2008 to 2014 deductibles in our state rose 67% for families and 50% for small businesses. The Connecticut Option, Democrats’ newest public health insurance option bill, not only improves feasibility of the concept but also begins to address the foundations of rising health…

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Advocates offer recommendations for Medicaid shared savings future

The first year of Connecticut Medicaid’s PCMH Plus experiment in shared savings was disappointing. The program cost the state at least $1.3 million extra tax dollars and quality did not improve compared to Medicaid members outside the program. Every Accountable Care Organization (ACO), regardless of savings or quality improvement, was rewarded with a payment. The…

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Better, safer ideas to support primary care in Connecticut

Download the report Primary care is the foundation of the health system. It is, or should be, patients’ first interaction with the healthcare system for non-urgent issues. There is strong evidence that care coordination linked to primary care practices, such as patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs), foster improved health while lowering costs.[i] Areas with more primary…

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