Monday, April 27, 2015

Appropriations Committee restores most of the Governor’s proposed health care cuts

Today the Appropriations Committee released their budget, restoring most of the deep Medicaid cuts the Governor proposed in February. The committee rejected the Governor’s proposal to cut 34,000 working parents and pregnant women from HUSKY coverage. The committee also restored funding, accounting for inevitable delays, for the innovative health neighborhoods pilots to coordinate care for fragile state residents eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. The committee also restored much of the Governor’s proposed cuts to Medicaid provider rates. The committee also cut in half spending to implement SIM’s controversial plan for Medicaid.

Backgrounder on Hartford health needs for Malta House of Care

Last week CTHPP gave a presentation for the Malta House of Care on health care needs in Hartford and health care trends. Malta provides free primary care to Hartford’s uninsured with volunteer providers and a mobile van that travels to neighborhoods in need. Given seismic shifts in the health care environment that affect both their patients and volunteer providers, Malta House of Care is developing a strategic plan to ensure that they continue to meet the community’s needs into the future.

Friday, April 24, 2015

National health disparities summit coming to CT

June 12th and 13th the UConn Health Center will host the National Health Disparities Elimination Summit. Dr. Louis Sullivan, former HHS Secretary, CEO& Chairman of the Sullivan Alliance and President Emeritus of Morehouse School of Medicine, will be the keynote speaker. The conference is sponsored by UConn, the CT Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, the Cobb Institute, and CT’s Legislative Black & Puerto Rican Caucus. Click here for the agenda and to register.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Some possible, potential, small, but encouraging good state revenue news

With big disclaimers, the CT Mirror is reporting very early indications are that CT is having a good tax season. It may be premature, but right now it looks like April tax receipts are up slightly above even the very optimistic projections in the Governor’s budget. Hopefully this gives the state some room to reject proposed health care budget cuts. Let’s all cross our fingers as DRS opens more mail.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Weeds you should understand

A great NY Times Upshot article describes, in normal English, the difference between mortality and survival rates. They do sound the same, but aren’t. The article starts out with two cancer studies seem to have reached opposite conclusions. (These things really bug me because it leads people to throw up their hands and doubt all science.) Read down to the example of thumb cancer (not a real thing). I’ll be using this example with my students often.

In a related Health Affairs article, researchers estimate that false positive breast cancer results cost the US health system $4 billion annually in unnecessary treatments including more imaging, biopsies, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Friday, April 17, 2015

MAPOC committee beginning work on shared savings program redesign

The MAPOC committee that is working with DSS to redesign Medicaid under the SIM directives met Wednesday to begin the process of designing a shared savings plan. The plan will be called the Medicaid Quality Improvement and Shared Savings Program (MQISSP). In good news, DSS was able to secure from SIM a delay of six months in the ridiculous timeframe. In bad news, six months is nowhere near long enough to build a new program and ensure consumers are protected, but it is better than the original plan. In very good news, we understand that the process will be driven by MAPOC, not SIM, and DSS will make all final decisions. SIM representatives are at the table, but DSS and legislators have emphasized that they value PCMH committee members’ input. DSS is very open to working with stakeholders on the process and issues to be considered. The committee agreed to create workgroups for both efficiency in this exceptionally short timeframe and to expand the voices at the table ― which is always good news.  A plan for those is forming.

The first set of decisions will be around quality. The committee has done some preliminary work on this area and DSS was very open to input, incorporating some of the committees’ suggested metrics.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Community rally about Bradley Hospital inpatient beds

The Community Committee to Save Bradley Hospital will be holding a rally April 26th at 2pm, at the Southington Historical Society, 239 Main St. Southington, rain or shine, to convince leadership at Hartford Healthcare to retain inpatient beds at Bradley Hospital. The committee was able to convince leaders to keep the ER at Bradley open, but are still working to retain inpatient care beds. The hospital was originally donated to the town by the Bradley family; there will be exhibits about the Bradley family and the hospital at the rally. For more information, call Bonnie at 860-621-9553.