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Health Care Opinion

March 18, 2019

OP-ED | Medicaid Buy-In Sounds Good But A Closer Look Finds Plenty of Risk, Little Potential

by Ellen Andrews | Mar 18, 2019 10:30am
Posted to: Opinion | Health Care Opinion

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Insurance in Connecticut is expensive. Policymakers are desperately seeking options to provide relief for struggling families and employers. There are several good ideas floating around that could help, but the public option based on Medicaid is not one of them.

Proponents of HB 7339 are hoping to take advantage of Medicaid’s low provider rates, innovations, and high quality to provide a publicly-run coverage option for people who don’t qualify for Medicaid based on income or citizenship status. It’s a laudable goal, but shuffling people between risk pools does nothing to lower the underlying costs that are driving up premiums. The juice just isn’t worth the squeeze.

Continue reading "OP-ED | Medicaid Buy-In Sounds Good But A Closer Look Finds Plenty of Risk, Little Potential" »

February 28, 2019

OP-ED | The Untold Good News About Connecticut Nursing Homes

by Matthew V. Barrett | Feb 28, 2019 7:32am
Posted to: Opinion | Health Care Opinion

Lighthunter via shutterstock

There is good news in Connecticut, but hardly anyone is telling the story: our state’s nursing homes every day are delivering high quality care for almost 24,000 Connecticut residents. That nursing homes are doing so during a long period of state budget instability and staffing pressures is an even bigger story.

Continue reading "OP-ED | The Untold Good News About Connecticut Nursing Homes" »

January 3, 2019

ANALYSIS | Public Health Has A Free Rider Problem

by Ellen Andrews | Jan 3, 2019 6:00am
Posted to: Analysis | Data | Consumer Protection | Health Care | Opinion | Health Care Opinion | Public Health | State Budget | Leisure & Hospital Sector

Public health is the best deal on the planet. It’s how residents of other countries live longer, healthier lives than Americans at half the cost. But Connecticut expects our under-funded public health system to solve this intractable health problem while all the savings go to the inefficient healthcare system that created the problem.

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December 10, 2018

OP-ED | Fair Haven Community Health Center Transition Makes Sense

by Suzanne Lagarde | Dec 10, 2018 6:00am
Posted to: Opinion | Health Care Opinion

In the midst of public discourse on issues that are critically important to our local communities, there should always be plenty of room for reasonable people to disagree on thoughtfully proposed solutions. Honest and accurate input on programs or initiatives that are designed to positively impact our communities should always be welcome. I believe that this is particularly true in health care given the direct impact it has on the lives and well-being of the patients we serve.

Continue reading "OP-ED | Fair Haven Community Health Center Transition Makes Sense" »

December 3, 2018

ANALYSIS | Clinic Plan Could Hit State Budget, Raise Patient Costs, Increase Barriers to Access

by Ellen Andrews | Dec 3, 2018 11:41am
Posted to: Analysis | Corporate Watch | Health Care | Mental Health Care | Insurance | Opinion | Health Care Opinion | State Budget | New Haven

Ellen Andrews for ctnewsjunkie

NEW HAVEN, CT — Last week the state Office of Health Strategy held a public hearing on a plan to transfer 28,500 mostly Medicaid patients, now served by three Yale-New Haven (YNHH) neighborhood primary care clinics, to a new site on Long Wharf.

Continue reading "ANALYSIS | Clinic Plan Could Hit State Budget, Raise Patient Costs, Increase Barriers to Access" »

November 29, 2018

OP-ED | Concerns over Teen Vaping on the Rise

by Barth Keck | Nov 29, 2018 5:59am
Posted to: Child Welfare | Consumer Protection | Education | Health Care | Mental Health Care | Opinion | Health Care Opinion | Public Health | Milford | Old Saybrook

BOKEH STOCK via shutterstock

Smokin’ in the boys’ room has a whole new meaning in schools these days — and it’s no laughing matter.

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September 10, 2018

OP-ED | Health Disparities Are Real and New Payment Schemes Are Probably Making Them Worse

by Ellen Andrews | Sep 10, 2018 11:05pm
Posted to: Opinion | Health Care Opinion

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Connecticut is a very healthy place; we rank fifth healthiest among states. But not all state residents share in that good fortune; too many suffer from health inequities. Good people across the state are doing important work promoting better health for everyone. However some emerging policies, both government and private sector, are working at cross purposes to those efforts.

The chief policy risk to health equity is provider risk — the latest shiny new thing in how we pay for healthcare.

Continue reading "OP-ED | Health Disparities Are Real and New Payment Schemes Are Probably Making Them Worse" »

August 7, 2018

ANALYSIS | Capitation vs. Fee For Service: Which Team Are You On?

by Ellen Andrews | Aug 7, 2018 8:19am
Posted to: Opinion | Health Care Opinion

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There is a sharp divide within Connecticut’s healthcare community over how to pay for care that’s as fervent as the Yankees vs. Red Sox split. Some believe that capitation is the holy grail, but others believe that fee for service isn’t the problem and isn’t broken.

But both sides are fighting over something that’s almost irrelevant. It’s a bit like thinking that whether you pay for your ticket to a baseball game with cash or a credit card affects which team wins. Good teams succeed because they are smart; they use data and manage the pitch count, attract great talent and develop a solid farm team, and are lucky to keep great players off the disabled list. The game works because of accountability (umpires) and transparency (instant replay). Healthcare isn’t that different.

Fee for service is just what it sounds like — health professionals and institutions are paid for the services they provide. Fee for service has evolved and improved over the years; most now include features to encourage better care from simple prior authorization to sophisticated bonuses for quality and efficiency. Team Capitation argues that fee for service drives over-treatment since it pays more for more services. This may be true in plans where providers are well compensated, but if providers lose money on each service, as in Medicaid, that argument falls apart. Team Capitation also asserts that fee for service inhibits innovation, but we pay for many things individually, like computers, that have improved immensely over time.

Continue reading "ANALYSIS | Capitation vs. Fee For Service: Which Team Are You On?" »

July 10, 2018

OP-ED | Facts and Data Are Stubborn Things

by Ellen Andrews | Jul 10, 2018 11:46pm
Posted to: Opinion | Health Care Opinion

Big data is revolutionizing healthcare. The ability to collect reams of detailed information about how care is provided, how much it costs, and then to link that back to effectiveness and outcomes is powerful.

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May 22, 2018

ANALYSIS | Healthcare Questions for Connecticut’s Next Governor

by Ellen Andrews | May 22, 2018 10:15am
Posted to: Analysis | Business | Child Welfare | Consumer Protection | Corporate Watch | Election 2018 | Health Care | Mental Health Care | Insurance | Opinion | Health Care Opinion | Member Opinion | Public Health | Poverty

How will Connecticut’s next governor fix the state’s healthcare system?

Continue reading "ANALYSIS | Healthcare Questions for Connecticut’s Next Governor" »

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