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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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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JAMA highlights CT bill to limit extreme drug price increases

A recent JAMA article highlights bills to reduce drug price increases across states, including Connecticut’s bill. The bills call for clawing back 80% of drug price increases over inflation plus 2% — a healthy profit that many industries would happily welcome. Other states also considering bills include Massachusetts, Maine, Washington, and Hawaii; more are expected…

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OP-ED | When Data Becomes An Excuse To Prevent Change

Data is important. The drumbeat for data-driven policymaking in health care isn’t wrong. Policy decisions that aren’t informed by independent, valid analysis can cause more harm than good. But it’s important to know when we have enough data so we can get to work. Read more

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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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CTNJ Op-Ed – Drug Innovation Argument Cuts Both Ways

In his recent op-ed, John Burkhardt of Pfizer misses important points when he asserts that the governor’s proposed tax on excessive prescription drug price increases will harm innovation and jobs in Connecticut. He ignores that rising drug prices are making health insurance unaffordable. Overpriced drugs inhibit other innovation and job growth across Connecticut’s economy. He…

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CT ranks 5th among states in Medicaid coverage, 2nd in quality

COVID has emphasized the importance of a strong, healthy Medicaid program for states. A new analysis by WalletHub ranks Connecticut fifth among states in 2021 Medicaid coverage. Rather than just using the percentage of state residents with Medicaid coverage, the ranking included quality, spending, as well as eligibility and enrollment. We ranked 2nd in quality…

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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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Book Club — Counting: How We Use Numbers to Decide What Matters

I’ve never dog-eared as many pages in a book as Counting: How We Use Numbers to Decide What Matters by Deborah Stone. It’s very trendy to be “data-driven” and assert that “science matters” but what gets counted and how it’s defined make all the difference. Numbers and statistics are nice, but only if they represent…

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Governor’s budget includes drug cost control and exchange subsidies, but misses other health priorities

Released today, the Governor’s budget proposal for the next two fiscal years acknowledges the importance of addressing critical health priorities, especially during a pandemic. The document highlights the state’s public health challenges of funding and implementing COVID testing, treatment, and vaccination all while facing a severe economic slowdown, high unemployment, and increased demand for social…

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