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Comments needed on federal proposal to erode medical debtors’ rights

The National Consumer Law Center is asking people who care to submit public comments on the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed debt collection rule. Medical bills are the biggest cause of bankruptcy and the top reason for contact by collections. Unfortunately, that burden falls very heavily on Connecticut residents. Health insurance premiums for both…

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CT’s APCD chooses data contractor, concerns remain

The Hartford Business Journal is reporting that CT’s developing all-payer claims database (APCD), run by AccessHealthCT, has chosen Onpoint Health Data to run their system. APCDs have enormous potential to improve population health, track problems, evaluate solutions and maximize scarce resources. Most New England states are ahead of CT in APCD development. However, concerns have…

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Medicaid Council update

The agenda for last week’s Medicaid Council meeting was very full. We reviewed DSS’s latest ConneCT Dashboard. More clients are using the online system, but more are also walking into a DSS office. The backlog of documents to be scanned is gone and last month the online system was never down. However, the call abandonment…

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Data breach at Access Health CT, troubling for APCD future

Friday afternoon a backpack was found on a Hartford street with sensitive information on about 400 Access Health CT customers. The backpack included four notepads with handwritten names, social security numbers and dates of birth, as well as internal Access Health CT papers. People whose information was breached have been contacted and offered credit monitoring…

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CTNJ op-ed: Privacy and trust concerns at CT’s APCD

Advocates are raising concerns about the privacy of sensitive medical records at Access Health Analytics, our state’s all-payer claims database (APCD). At the CT Health Policy Projects we have been great supporters of an APCD for CT knowing that, if done well, it could be a powerful tool to give consumers information about the cost…

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HITE CT considering scaling back to secure messaging, easing privacy concerns

CT’s quasi-public entity charged with building a health information exchange for the state is considering scaling back from an overly ambitious agenda to focus on more feasible goals. At HITE-CT’s May meeting, the Board discussed focusing on secure messaging for now. As secure messaging essentially replaces the current FAXes of health information shared between individual…

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HIT privacy bill watered significantly down

Last week the Public Health Committee made significant changes to SB 368, originally designed to protect consumers’ private health information. The bill would have required HITE CT, our state’s developing health information exchange, to get patient consent before sharing any medical records on the exchange. Termed opt-in, this privacy policy has been adopted by all…

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HIT privacy bill heard in Public Health Committee

An important bill, SB 368, had a public hearing Friday in the Public Health Committee. The bill would require HITE CT, our state’s developing health information exchange, to get patient consent before sharing any medical records on the exchange. Termed opt-in, this privacy policy has been adopted by all our surrounding states and is working…

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DSS medication clients’ information released in error

In supporting information regarding a bill, DSS sent OPM information on up to 8,500 clients who receive medications from DSS. The information, with client numbers but no names or Social Security numbers, was then sent to legislators, legislative staff, and organizations involved in administering medications to DSS clients. The client numbers should not have been…

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First HIT privacy committee meeting

The HITE-CT privacy committee held its first meeting last week. While mainly organizational, the consensus of the group was that developing a patient consent model – opt-in vs. opt-out – was foundational to our work. Most other policies flow from that decision. Efforts to limit discussion to just tracking federal privacy issues were considered but…

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