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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CT ‘deaths of despair’ high and rising faster than other states

In 2019 per capita, Connecticut had 19% more deaths due to  alcohol, drugs or suicide and these deaths of despair increased over four times faster than the US average, according to a new report from the Trust for America’s Health. Connecticut’s rates of drug-induced deaths were largely responsible at 58% higher than the US average.…

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CT’s well-being is improving, even during the pandemic

Connecticut ranked seventh among states in overall health and well-being last year, according to the latest Community Well-Being Index from the BU School of Public Health. According to the Index, “well-being is about the interaction between physical health, finding your daily work and experiences fulfilling, having strong social relationships and access to the resources you…

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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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CT ozone pollution among worst in US

Fairfield is the 19th most ozone polluted US county for 2017-2019 according to the American Lung Association’s latest report on the nation’s air quality. All but two Connecticut counties earned an F for the number of high ozone days. High ozone levels cause inflammation in the lungs, decreased lung function, and susceptibility to respiratory infections…

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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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Some long-term care costs high in CT, but not all

Download the report The latest survey of long term services and supports care costs found Connecticut prices for residential care are among the highest in the US. But in-home care is surprisingly reasonable, close to the US average. Last August, annual costs for Connecticut assisted living and semi-private rooms nursing home rooms were the 5th…

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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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