CTNJ: ANALYSIS | CT’s Health Information Exchange Is Up And Running With 2 Big Problems

After 15 years and millions of wasted tax dollars, Connecticut finally has an operational health information exchange (HIE). The system that will hold all our medical information should improve patients’ lives, but the way it’s funded creates serious privacy and mistrust concerns. The Office of Health Strategy (OHS) is now taking public comment on their…

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CT hospitals rank 15th among states in avoiding low value care, worst in New England

Every 80 seconds a US hospital provides a low value test or procedures to an older adult, putting hundreds of thousands of people’s health at risk, according to the latest Lown Institute Hospitals Index. Only one hospital from US News’ honor roll was in this top 100 for avoiding inappropriate tests and procedures. Hospital scores…

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CT hospital quality improves in new CMS star ratings

Download the report Connecticut hospitals improved their overall quality performance this year, according to Medicare.gov Compare’s 2021 update. Connecticut hospitals averaged 3.0 stars out of five last year, moving to 3.5 in this year’s ranking. While 3.5 stars is still too low, especially given the cost of healthcare in Connecticut, things are moving in a…

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CTNJ Opinion: Remember Public Health’s Value After COVID Is Gone

The COVID-19 pandemic has focused a bright light on the weakness of the U.S. public health system. Countries with strong public health systems fared much better in controlling the virus’ spread. America used to have a strong public health system. From 1900 to 2000, life expectancy rose by 30 years. Contrary to public opinion, it…

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Governor’s consultant report recommendations for Medicaid savings are baseless

It’s not in the headlines but the biggest source of potential savings, $200 million, proposed by the Governor’s controversial report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to save money in state government to  is to go back to failed Medicaid financial risk models. There are two problems with the proposal. First, the financial risk models don’t…

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HUSKY COVID update – new enrollments lag, lots of money to providers, and telehealth is very popular

At Friday’s Medicaid Council meeting, we learned that while new HUSKY applications recovered last fall from its drop last spring, they fell again sharply this January and February. The reasons for the volatility during a serious recession are unclear. DSS focused on how HUSKY has responded to the COVID pandemic. Now covering over a million…

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Connecticut healthcare employment COVID recovery stalls out

Download the report Like other Connecticut workers, healthcare employment was hit hard by the pandemic in March 2020, according to data from the CT Department of Labor. While the pandemic sharply increased demand in a few healthcare sectors to care for COVID patients, other sectors declined as people and providers delayed non-COVID care. That began…

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State Partnership Plan losing money but still more expensive than average CT plan options

Download the report Connecticut’s most recent public health insurance option, the Partnership Plan 2.0, offers healthcare coverage to municipal employees. According to a new analysis by Brown & Brown Insurance, Partnership Plan premium increases have not kept up with costs. The very impressive analysis is based on Freedom of Information requests; very little information on…

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CTNJ: Real Conversation Would Beget Lower Health Care Costs

I recently had an interesting conversation with a lobbyist for the insurance industry. We planned to talk about our narrow legislative issues to find any common ground. Predictably, we disagreed on some key points, but we agreed on a lot more. We agreed that it’s hard to get people across the health care system onto…

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CT 4th best among states in dental health

An analysis by WalletHub finds that the dental health of Connecticut residents is better than all but three other states (Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota) and the District of Columbia. We rank third on oral health but tenth on dental habits and care, which is confusing but far better than the converse. The analysis compared states…

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