Connecticut hospital systems vary in reducing low-value care

A new report published in JAMA Internal Medicine on low-value care provided to Medicare beneficiaries at the health system level offers actionable tools to improve effective care on the ground. Healthcare services that provide little or no health benefit, may harm patients, increase costs, and waste resources are low-value. Examples include prostate specific antigen testing…

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CTNJ: OP-ED | Legislators Hear How RI Saved 2 Hospitals From Private Equity, Other Solutions to High Insurance Premiums

On Friday, in a forum sponsored by state Rep. Kerry Wood, six national and local experts gave legislators specific policy tools to help with health care market consolidation and rising drug prices that are driving up health insurance premiums. Legislators also got specific tools used by Rhode Island to avoid private equity abuses experienced in…

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Legislative forum on drivers of rising health costs

Connecticut legislators will hear from experts on the drivers of rising health insurance premiums and options to control costs next Friday, September 24th at noon. The forum — Consolidation, Private Equity, and Drug Prices in Health Care Costs — is sponsored by Rep. Kerry Wood, Co-Chair of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee. The forum…

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CTNJ: Covered Connecticut is a good start, but needs tending

Policymakers were challenged this year to find an answer to voters’ demands for affordable healthcare coverage options. Both leading legislative proposals, a public health insurance option and restoring previous cuts to HUSKY parent coverage, had drawbacks and neither passed. The administration, together with the insurance industry, developed an alternative behind closed doors that did pass.…

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Covered Connecticut – Origins, Goals, Opportunities, and Concerns

Read the brief Covered Connecticut is a new program to cover uninsured state residents with no-cost health insurance coverage through Access Health CT, Connecticut’s health insurance exchange. The program leverages federal subsidies, some of which are temporary, and an anticipated Medicaid waiver to offer state residents combined with state funds. Some services, missing from exchange…

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CTNJ: CT needs to focus on real health reform

Connecticut insurance premiums were the sixth highest among states for both individual and family coverage in 2019. Making healthcare more affordable was the drumbeat from voters last year. But CT policymakers have responded with weak options that kick the can down the road. Controlling the drivers of health costs is advanced placement politics. Powerful industries…

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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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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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