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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ANALYSIS | Who In Health Care Made Money on COVID?

Many COVID heroes who put their lives at risk or died caring for others. We all owe healthcare providers, scientists, public health professionals, and other frontline workers a huge debt of gratitude. But the healthcare industries did just fine. Four of the ten companies that profited most during the pandemic are in healthcare. Read more

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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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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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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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