Connecticut hospital systems vary in reducing low-value care

A new report published in JAMA Internal Medicine on low-value care provided to Medicare beneficiaries at the health system level offers actionable tools to improve effective care on the ground. Healthcare services that provide little or no health benefit, may harm patients, increase costs, and waste resources are low-value. Examples include prostate specific antigen testing…

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CTNJ: OP-ED | Legislators Hear How RI Saved 2 Hospitals From Private Equity, Other Solutions to High Insurance Premiums

On Friday, in a forum sponsored by state Rep. Kerry Wood, six national and local experts gave legislators specific policy tools to help with health care market consolidation and rising drug prices that are driving up health insurance premiums. Legislators also got specific tools used by Rhode Island to avoid private equity abuses experienced in…

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CT residents over twice as likely to die of opioid or other drug poisoning than from alcohol

Connecticut ranked 17th lowest among states in alcohol-related deaths per capita, but seventh highest in opioid-related deaths in 2019, based on an analysis of data from SHADAC’s State Health Access Data Assistance Center. That year, Connecticut residents were 245% more likely to die from an opioid or other drug poisoning than from alcohol. (Opioid or…

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Legislative forum on drivers of rising health costs

Connecticut legislators will hear from experts on the drivers of rising health insurance premiums and options to control costs next Friday, September 24th at noon. The forum — Consolidation, Private Equity, and Drug Prices in Health Care Costs — is sponsored by Rep. Kerry Wood, Co-Chair of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee. The forum…

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CTNJ OP-ED | Congress Wants to Lower Drug Prices to Fund Important Priorities

Economists argue that rising healthcare costs crowd out resources for other societal priorities such as education, infrastructure, climate change, and housing. It makes sense in theory but, until lately, it seemed a bit abstract. But right now, Congress and the administration are making the point in very real terms. Policymakers want to make big investments…

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CTNJ: Insulin – Once a Gift, Now Serving Greed

Today is the hundredth anniversary of the discovery of insulin. Diabetes affects about 367,000 adults in Connecticut and that number is rising. Before the 1920s, a diabetes diagnosis was a death sentence. The discovery of insulin allowed people with diabetes to live their lives. Until the 1970s insulin was affordable, but it’s now so costly…

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CTNJ: CT needs to focus on real health reform

Connecticut insurance premiums were the sixth highest among states for both individual and family coverage in 2019. Making healthcare more affordable was the drumbeat from voters last year. But CT policymakers have responded with weak options that kick the can down the road. Controlling the drivers of health costs is advanced placement politics. Powerful industries…

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OP-ED | Controversial New Alzheimer’s Drug Could Break the Bank

Alzheimer’s disease affects six million Americans, stealing memories years before it takes lives. Aduhelm, the first drug intended to treat the Alzheimer’s disease process rather than symptoms, was highly anticipated by patients and families. But it has disappointed on many levels. It isn’t clear that it actually helps patients and troubling side effects are common.…

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BOOK CLUB — The Right Price: A Value-Based Prescription for Drug Costs

For your summer reading. The Right Price: A Value-Based Prescription for Drug Costs offers the best explanation I’ve found of how drug costs are set, and how they should be. Using real-life patient stories, the authors give a balanced and comprehensive look at fair and reasonable pricing for a product that epitomizes market failure. The…

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ANALYSIS | Who In Health Care Made Money on COVID?

Many COVID heroes who put their lives at risk or died caring for others. We all owe healthcare providers, scientists, public health professionals, and other frontline workers a huge debt of gratitude. But the healthcare industries did just fine. Four of the ten companies that profited most during the pandemic are in healthcare. Read more

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