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  Improving Connecticut's Health Through Information

CT Health Notes

Issue Date 4/29/2016

Legislative Dems' newest budget rejects most of Governor's newest cuts

In the latest budget proposal, Democrats in legislative leadership have rejected many of the Governor's most recent cuts. The newest legislative proposal rejects the Governor's plan to cut another 8,700 working parents off HUSKY. Because of cuts passed last year, 17, 688 working parents will lose coverage as of July 31st. The latest legislative proposal also reverses 85% of proposed hospital cuts, restores mental health cuts, and rejected proposals to expand the administration's authority to cut the budget without legislative approval. The legislative proposal does cut payments to Medicaid ASOs, nursing home rates, home care payments, and children's dental care. The latest proposal builds off the version that passed the Appropriations Committee. That version differed significantly from the Governor's initial proposal in February. Differing versions are driven both by differing priorities and by declining revenue projections in the last few months. Negotiations will continue; the legislative session is scheduled to end next Wednesday. Read more

Connecticut's Medicaid redesign update - Pros and Cons

Connecticut's Medicaid program has earned national recognition for combining improved access to high quality care with an impressive record of cost control. Shifting the program from a financial risk payment model to care coordination through person-centered medical homes (PCMHs) four years ago is widely credited with that success. Last year the administration began developing a new, ambitious reform plan, Medicaid Quality Improvement and Shared Savings Program (MQISSP) committed to build on and support the success of the PCMH program. Under MQISSP, the state intends to contract with networks of providers that will coordinate person-centered care among a continuum of providers and community resources. Networks will share in the resulting savings in the total cost of care for their attributed members if they meet quality standards. Decisions about how to structure the program are largely complete and drafting has begun on the MQISSP application for networks.
Among fourteen major issues decided to date, most are very positive (pros) and will support the goals of improved quality and satisfaction. But three are problematic. For more information, read the CT Health Policy Project brief.

Webinar: The Potential of Palliative Care for People with Serious Illness

Palliative care offers great potential to improve and extend the lives of people with serious illness, allowing them to get care at home if they wish, while controlling costs. In addition to her considerable expertise and knowledge, Dr. Diane Meier is an enthusiastic advocate for palliative care. She directs the Center to Advance Palliative Care in addition to her position on the faculty at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. Among many awards, she won a 2008 MacArthur Fellowship. Join the MAPOC Complex Care Committee webinar May 9th at 10:30 am (note this is an updated time) to hear from Dr. Meier about the potential of palliative care and how it could benefit seriously ill Connecticut Medicaid members.

Forum on skyrocketing drugs costs and what can be done

May 17th the CT State Medical Society and the Office of State Comptroller are sponsoring CT Pharmaceutical Forum: Access, Affordability and Better Health. The forum will explore value and outcome-based purchasing programs to improve access to affordable prescription drugs. The forum will be in Room E2 of the Legislative Office Building from 9 am to noon. Click here to register.

Highlights from the CT Health Notes Blog

Connecticut most costly for nursing home care, above US average for all LTSS costs

Private employer costs higher in New England, but health costs are less of the total

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