Best kept secret: You now have free access to all your medical records

As of last Thursday, under new federal rules, healthcare organizations must give patients timely access to all their medical records in digital format without cost. This reverses the usual practice that only gave patients costly access to just some of their data, while data brokers profited by selling deidentified data and analysis to drug companies,…

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CTNJ Analysis: Another CT healthcare story of wasted money and missed opportunities

An excellent investigative piece by C-HIT published Tuesday found that the state Office of Health Strategy has squandered $20 million in federal funds and delayed for years a key health improvement system that could be protecting our health today. The C-HIT investigation took the better part of a year, encountered serious roadblocks from OHS, and…

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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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Public comment opposing sales of medical records to fund HIE

Read the full comments and the March 2020 letter from 22 advocates with concerns Today the CT Health Policy Project submitted public comment opposing the Office of Health Strategy’s medical record privacy policy proposals. Specifically advocates oppose selling access to Connecticut residents’ medical records through paid subscriptions. In addition to the harm to individuals, this…

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CTNJ: ANALYSIS | CT’s Health Information Exchange Is Up And Running With 2 Big Problems

After 15 years and millions of wasted tax dollars, Connecticut finally has an operational health information exchange (HIE). The system that will hold all our medical information should improve patients’ lives, but the way it’s funded creates serious privacy and mistrust concerns. The Office of Health Strategy (OHS) is now taking public comment on their…

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Top Stories of 2020

A year ago, our predictions for 2020 missed all but the recession. COVID has us giving up on predictions, so we’ll just take a look back at our top stories of this year. Advocacy Toolbox now online — Updates include specific, real world tools for legislative, administrative, and state budget advocacy, how to change public…

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Racial bias is pervasive in medical guidelines for care

A new study has found that racial inequities are unintentionally baked into algorithms, flowcharts of decision points that assess patient risks, used by providers to determine who will benefit from what care. A previous study found that a widely-used algorithm that predicts which patients will benefit from care management was unintentionally biased against black patients.…

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CTNJ: COVID Response Offers Opportunities for Connecticut’s Future Healthcare System

The pandemic has been tragic in both lives lost and economic damage, especially to low wage workers. Our already flawed healthcare system has been seriously disrupted. Insurer profits are up, hospitals are losing money, and Connecticut healthcare jobs in April were down 28,400 from the year before. As the pandemic winds down, the recovery offers…

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CT Medical Society signs on with state HIE that plans to sell medical records

The state’s controversial HIE signed up its first participating provider network. Thursday the Office of Health Strategy (OHS) announced that CT Health Link, run by the CT State Medical Society (CSMS), will “immediately begin the technical connections necessary” to allow access into their system. Advocates have been concerned about OHS’s plans to sell access to…

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Hospitals question viability and policy in OHS plans to share medical records

It’s unusual when independent consumer advocates and hospitals are on the same page. In a strongly worded letter, the CT Hospital Association laid out serious problems with OHS’s proposed plan to share data in their controversial Health Information Exchange (HIE). Only some hospitals were given the opportunity to comment on OHS’s plans. Under law, all…

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