OP-ED | Controversial New Alzheimer’s Drug Could Break the Bank

Alzheimer’s disease affects six million Americans, stealing memories years before it takes lives. Aduhelm, the first drug intended to treat the Alzheimer’s disease process rather than symptoms, was highly anticipated by patients and families. But it has disappointed on many levels. It isn’t clear that it actually helps patients and troubling side effects are common.…

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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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ANALYSIS | Who In Health Care Made Money on COVID?

Many COVID heroes who put their lives at risk or died caring for others. We all owe healthcare providers, scientists, public health professionals, and other frontline workers a huge debt of gratitude. But the healthcare industries did just fine. Four of the ten companies that profited most during the pandemic are in healthcare. Read more

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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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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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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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