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Protect critical, efficient Medicaid program from cuts

Concerns have been raised about possible cuts to Medicaid funding in the current state budget negotiations. Connecticut’s Medicaid program is a critical lifeline for 840,000 fragile state residents and a foundation of our healthcare system. However, it is also a national model of cost control, saving Connecticut taxpayers $968 million last year alone. Additionally, there are opportunities to lower Connecticut Medicaid spending without harm to members, in fact by protecting members’ care and preserving options.

 

Medicaid’s controversial PCMH Plus program, which was proposed as a way to save money, is in fact costing the state millions. It should be no surprise that PCMH Plus’s “shared savings” model doesn’t save. Connecticut’s Medicare shared savings programs cost $45 million more than traditional Medicare in 2016. There is also evidence that, under PCMH Plus, the state is paying twice for management of high-need members’ care, and additionally sending half the savings to health systems. PCMH Plus also threatens members’ health with provider incentives to deny care and has done nothing to reward quality, a stated goal. Despite this, the state has doubled down, substantially expanding the model to new populations.

 

Another opportunity to save money is to halt and reverse the little-known trend of hospitals technically transferring primary care clinic patients to community health centers, for payment purposes only. Community health centers typically get far higher payment rates than community providers. Unfortunately, the quality of care does not justify these much higher rates. At least five Connecticut hospitals so far have technically transferred payment control of their primary care clinics to local community health centers without changing clinical staff or services provided. Yale-New Haven has a pending application with the state Office of Health Strategy to join them.

 

The CT Health Policy Project has identified 31 Ways to Save on Healthcare in Connecticut’s Budget that will not compromise quality or access, and in many cases, will improve care. Cuts to Medicaid eligibility, services or provider payment rates are not necessary to lower spending and will be counter-productive causing increased burdens on Connecticut families and providers.

 

Call your legislators and urge them to protect Medicaid from any cuts. Check here to find your legislators.

What is HUSKY’s new PCMH Plus program?

What is PCMH Plus?

Are you in it already?

Would you know?

What does it mean for you and your family?

What are the risks?

Do I have to be in the program? What are my rights?

Get answers at PCMH Plus Facts

 

Attention: DSS Customers

DSS has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of CT Medicaid members for failing to provide timely transportation to appointments.

If you have been denied care, contact the people below to share your story:

Greater New Haven area: Sheldon Toubman at (203) 946-4811, ext. 1148 or stoubman@nhlegal.org

Greater Hartford area: Geralynn McGee (860) 541-5033 or gmcgee@ghla.org

All other areas: Kristen Noelle Hatcher (860) 357-9308 or khatcher@connlegalservices.org.

Medicaid Study Group

Formed in 2015, the Medicaid Study Group includes over a dozen Connecticut independent consumer advocates representing diverse populations and issue areas. The Group researches the available literature, other state Medicaid programs, and the experience of other states’ programs, among other sources and makes recommendations to state policymakers. The group is strictly confidential. If you are interested in joining, contact andrews@cthealthpolicy.org.

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