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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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 OP-ED | Congress Wants to Lower Drug Prices to Fund Important Priorities

Economists argue that rising healthcare costs crowd out resources for other societal priorities such as education, infrastructure, climate change, and housing. It makes sense in theory but, until lately, it seemed a bit abstract. But right now, Congress and the administration are making the point in very real terms. Policymakers want to make big investments…

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Good and bad Medicaid PCMH, PCMH Plus updates

At today’s MAPOC Care Management Committee, we learned that Medicaid’s successful Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) program is growing and keeping up with higher enrollment due to COVID. In disappointing news, we also learned that the controversial PCMH Plus program has fewer care managers than expected and only 36% of ACO member advisory committees have any…

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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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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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