Mental health workforce swamped by need, what needs to happen

A few recent reports have raised alarms about whether our healthy system’s mental health capacity can meet the need, and what we can do about it. The need is great. A mid-September Household Pulse Census survey found that 361,729 Connecticut residents reported feeling anxiety nearly every day and 219,164 reported depressive thoughts nearly every day.…

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Study finds Americans living in liberal states, like CT, live longer but we can do better

Recently, working-age Americans’ mortality has reversed its historic declines, largely due to lack of progress on heart disease, and rising deaths due to alcohol, suicide, and drug poisoning. A new study finds that from 1999 to 2019, mortality for adults ages 25-64 was lower in states with liberal policies, like Connecticut, and worse in conservative…

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Op-Ed: Governor’s Healthcare Record Misses Opportunities

Last week, the Governor and his administration held a press conference nominally to promote their efforts to lower healthcare costs, but mostly for damage control. There’s been understandable criticism of the state insurance department’s decision to trim the unjustified insurer rate increase requests for next year from 20% to 13%. Insurers have been very profitable…

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OP-ED: Be careful in making changes when the glass is half full

There is good news on Connecticut health spending – and we can use it. Analysis of new data has found, not surprisingly, that Connecticut residents spend a lot on healthcare. But the good news is that our average annual rate of growth, at 1.8%, was the ninth lowest among states from 2013 to 2019. We…

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Good news on CT healthcare costs

New data from researchers at the University of Washington on state per person healthcare spending finds that between 2013 and 2019, Connecticut’s costs grew at the ninth lowest level among states. We dropped from seventh highest in the US in 2014 to eleventh in 2019. Our growth rate was lower than nearby comparator states 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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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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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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