OHS committee considering dumbing down successful PCMH standards

Among other troubling plans, the Office of Health Strategy’s Primary Care Subgroup is considering four options to certify high-performing primary care practices for higher levels of reimbursement. The committee is deciding how to double spending on primary care while simultaneously capping healthcare cost growth. At their meeting this week, the committee of mainly primary care…

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Very helpful data Roadmap to promote health equity in CT

While residents of Connecticut’s minority communities face significant disparities in health outcomes compared to white state residents, there has been no consistency or standardization of Race, Ethnicity and Language (REL) data collection. A new state law requires, among other things, that providers and state entities collect REL data using standard categories. A new report from…

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CT physician earns Shkreli award overcharging for COVID tests

Dr. Steven Murphy, a Greenwich internist, has earned a 2020 Shkreli Award from the Lown Institute. Dr. Murphy earned the award for overcharging at several town COVID testing sites he ran for several towns including New Haven. He overcharged thousands for “super Covid tests” and other unnecessary tests. He charged $480 for a 30-second phone…

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New Medicaid homelessness prevention program shows promise

Starting August 1st, Medicaid members at risk of homelessness will have access to housing support services and subsidies through the new CHESS program. The program is designed to address upstream problems to prevent future problems and improve overall health. Described at today’s MAPOC meeting, the plan expects to serve about 850 Medicaid members with care…

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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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NPR’s Frontline features Waterbury Hospital and private equity impact on hospitals

The latest NPR/Frontline investigation focuses on very unequal resources at US hospitals due to market forces and unequal government support. The second half of the documentary focuses on the impact of private equity buying safety net hospitals, which has doubled in the last decade. An expert describes how private equity firms purchase under-valued hospitals, cut…

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JAMA highlights CT bill to limit extreme drug price increases

A recent JAMA article highlights bills to reduce drug price increases across states, including Connecticut’s bill. The bills call for clawing back 80% of drug price increases over inflation plus 2% — a healthy profit that many industries would happily welcome. Other states also considering bills include Massachusetts, Maine, Washington, and Hawaii; more are expected…

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CTNJ: OP-ED | Drug Affordability Requires Limits On Price Gouging

Jay Gironimi has cystic fibrosis and he is grateful for the drugs that help him live. But he disagrees with the Epilepsy Foundation’s opinion piece that defends extreme drug price hikes. “While the drugs are saving lives today, the profit margins are slowly tanking the entire US healthcare system.” Read more

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OP-ED | When Data Becomes An Excuse To Prevent Change

Data is important. The drumbeat for data-driven policymaking in health care isn’t wrong. Policy decisions that aren’t informed by independent, valid analysis can cause more harm than good. But it’s important to know when we have enough data so we can get to work. Read more

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Response: Lobbyist uses seniors and people with disabilities to protect drug company profits

Reading William Smith’s CT Mirror opinion, I was worried that my state had passed draconian laws that were harming the health of seniors and people with disabilities. Thankfully, that isn’t the case. Our anti-discrimination laws are still in place and functioning. . . . True discrimination against seniors and people with disabilities happens every day…

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