CT healthcare quality just average, and not improving

The latest federal National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is not flattering for Connecticut. Across 159 measures of quality, Connecticut was above the US average on 39, below average on 38, and average for the remaining 82. In worse news, we aren’t getting any better. Compared with…

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CT gets a C+ for maternal and child health

The new 2022 March of Dimes Report Card gives Connecticut just average marks on how well we care for new moms and babies. Preterm births happen before 37 weeks of gestation; 40 weeks is typical. While that’s not good, it’s better than the US grade of D+ at 10.5% preterm births. Massachusetts and New Jersey…

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CT’s best healthcare secret — CID’s Consumer Report Card

It may not attract the same enthusiasm as other holidays this time of year, but if you’re shopping for health insurance during this Open Enrollment season, you need this resource. As a health policy researcher, there are few better sources of information on how insurers are performing. The Consumer Report Card on Health Insurance Carriers…

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CT hospital readmission penalties higher than US, again

Even with an eased formula due to COVID, all but one acute care Connecticut hospital will be penalized by Medicare next year for higher-than-expected readmission rates. Next year, Connecticut hospitals will be docked by 0.456% on their Medicare payments, higher than the US average of 0.428%. Average Connecticut hospital readmission penalties have been higher than…

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Study finds Americans living in liberal states, like CT, live longer but we can do better

Recently, working-age Americans’ mortality has reversed its historic declines, largely due to lack of progress on heart disease, and rising deaths due to alcohol, suicide, and drug poisoning. A new study finds that from 1999 to 2019, mortality for adults ages 25-64 was lower in states with liberal policies, like Connecticut, and worse in conservative…

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DSS responds to advocates’ questions about HUSKY maternity bundles

More than one in three Connecticut births are covered by the HUSKY program, including some pregnancies at risk for poor birth outcomes. DSS has an ambitious plan to change the way providers are paid for those births. The goals are to improve equity, lower C-section rates, poor maternal outcomes, lower opioid-related pregnancy conditions, and reduce…

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Study finds CT low value care is costly

About two percent of commercially insured Americans, including Medicare Advantage, received low value care costing $3.7 billion between 2009 and 2019, according to a new study. The researchers compared states on utilization of low value services and prices for that care. Connecticut has a lot of room for improvement compared to other states. Low value…

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Primary care spending boost and capitation didn’t work in private plans either

The big idea circulating in some CT health policy circles to control the costs of healthcare is to boost primary care with tons of money and capitate provider payments. Primary care is regular health care for prevention, like check-ups, and common health problems. A new study finds that the idea failed in private insurance, as…

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Op-Ed: Governor’s Healthcare Record Misses Opportunities

Last week, the Governor and his administration held a press conference nominally to promote their efforts to lower healthcare costs, but mostly for damage control. There’s been understandable criticism of the state insurance department’s decision to trim the unjustified insurer rate increase requests for next year from 20% to 13%. Insurers have been very profitable…

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Another gift from COVID – CT life expectancy dropped 1.9 years in 2020

In 2020, Connecticut life expectancy at birth dropped to 78.4 years, down 1.9 years from 2019, according to a new CDC report. Life expectancy dropped in all states. Any drop is awful, but Connecticut’s metric is still tenth best in the nation, behind Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. New York had the largest drop in…

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