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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Book Club: The Long Fix

I’ve been avoiding reading The Long Fix: Solving America’s Health Crisis with Strategies that Work for Everyone by Vivian Lee. But this semester, one of my students asked if she could read it for her Book Review assignment. I couldn’t really refuse, so I had to read it too. The author, a physician and healthcare…

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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 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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CTNJ op-ed: Governor’s plan to lower healthcare costs — what’s in and what’s missing

It’s an election year and voters want relief with healthcare costs and insurance premiums. Governor Lamont has proposed a slate of bills to address the problem. He has a good proposal to limit drug price increases, an unnecessary proposal to draft yet another report on what’s driving up costs, and a bad one to divert…

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ICER report on fair access to drugs prompts six insurers to change coverage policies

A powerful new scorecard from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) assessing 15 of the largest US formularies for barriers to accessing 28 fairly-priced drugs found generally good policies for clinical standards (96% are fair), step therapy (99%), and prescriber restrictions (100%). However, the report found poor policies for cost sharing tiers (77%)…

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Last year unjustified price increases for nine drugs cost US healthcare $1.67 billion, Humira accounted for $1.4 billion

According to this year’s report, last year the US health system spent an extra $1.67 billion on price increases for nine drugs that were not supported by clinical evidence. Humira led this year’s list at $1.4 billion, accounting for 84% of US unjustified drug price increases in 2020. Humira aside, the more modest price increases…

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CTNJ op-ed: It’s a miracle — Under new agreement, Medicare will negotiate drug prices

Democrats in Washington have negotiated a deal to allow Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies. Americans pay 2.56 times higher drug prices than residents of other developed countries. It has always been embarrassing that federal law prohibits Medicare drug price negotiation and the FDA can’t consider costs in drug approvals. The US is the…

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New Cost Cap Steering Committee is industry-driven

The first meeting of the new Steering Committee to guide the Office of Health Strategy’s (OHS) plan to cap healthcare cost growth was uncharacteristically quiet. The meeting started with public comment from the Universal Healthcare Foundation of CT that the committee membership is “not balanced”, includes mainly members with “deep vested business interests”, and lacks…

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CT ranks 15th among states in healthcare affordability, but that’s not saying much

Connecticut has implemented many policies to make healthcare affordable; unfortunately, they aren’t working. According to Altarum’s new Healthcare Affordability State Policy Scorecard, Connecticut earned 43.1 out of 80 possible points. There is a lot of room for improvement. Altarum ranked states on adoption of policies that can impact affordability and on outcomes, whether care is…

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