CT ranks 3rd in health system performance, but there’s lots of work to do

Connecticut’s health system performance is the third best in the nation, according to the latest Commonwealth Fund State Scorecard. COVID strongly influenced state’s performance; Connecticut ranked tenth among states on seven measures including COVID mortality, health system stress, and vaccination rates. There is a lot of room for improvement in Connecticut’s health system. Sadly, Connecticut…

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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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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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How CT can save $162 million in healthcare waste

An analysis of Connecticut’s commercial insurance markets finds we spent $9.45 per person per month on wasteful low-value care in 2019, according to a new report by VBID Health. Of the $162 million total, $24.5 million was from patient out-of-pocket costs. Low-value care provides no or minimal benefit to patients and is an important driver…

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Most CT physicians take Medicare patients, but less than US average; implications for payment reform

At 84%, the large majority of physicians in Connecticut take new Medicare patients according to a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, while 91% take new privately insured patients. The US averages are 89% for Medicare and 91% for privately insured new patients. The analysis was of non-pediatric, office-based physicians in 2015 and 2017.…

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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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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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DSS’s new patient survey has little to say

DSS’s consultants reported on the results from their new patient experience/satisfaction survey for PCMH Plus members at this month’s MAPOC Care Management Committee meeting. The survey is important as the experimental PCMH Plus payment model risks inappropriately denying needed care and cherry-picking more lucrative patients. The main result, revealed in answer to a question, is…

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Good News — Senate passed SB-416 to lower healthcare prices

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 29 to 4 to pass SB-416, An Act Promoting Competition in Contracts Between Health Carriers and Health Providers, without amendments. The bill passed out of the insurance committee unanimously and received overwhelmingly positive feedback in the public hearing. Two lawsuits have been filed against Hartford Healthcare for anti-competitive conduct, driving up…

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