Friday, December 23, 2016

ICD-10 holiday fun from STAT News

Holiday humor from STAT News includes a piece outlining ICD-10 medical codes for typical holiday health problems. If you’re looking for them, STAT has the codes for holiday injuries (contact with electric knife, struck by turkey), stress of waiting for Santa (behavioral insomnia of childhood, encounter for examination of eyes and vision with abnormal findings), and “holiday relief (Z75.5)”. May you and yours have lots of Z75.5 this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Help build trust in CT health policymaking – take a quick survey

Health reform offers Connecticut exciting opportunities to improve our troubled health care systems, but also daunting challenges. In several health policy circles, a lack of trust has been suggested as a barrier to progress. We are seeking thoughts and ideas to build trust across Connecticut’s health care system. Please take a very short confidential survey to contribute your ideas and thoughts.

Friday, December 16, 2016

CT among highest states in opioid-related hospital visits but rising more slowly than most states

In 2014, Connecticut’s per capita rate of opioid-related ED visits was 37% higher than the national average and our inpatient visit rate was 28% higher according to a new report by AHRQ. While those rates grew between 2009 and 2014 in almost every state, Connecticut’s growth rates were among the lowest in the nation. Opioid-related ED visits per capita grew by 51% compared to the national average of 65.5% and our inpatient rates grew by 29%, very close to the national rate. Connecticut is joined by other northeastern states with high opioid-related hospital visit rates. Massachusetts had by far the highest ED rates in 2014 at two and a half times the national rate. Maryland topped the list for opioid-related inpatient stays.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

CSG, ERC pass resolutions to preserve Medicaid state-federal partnership

At our meetings in Virginia last week, both the National and Eastern Region Council of State Governments passed resolutions urging federal policymakers to support and continue the successful Medicaid state-federal partnership and “avoid the imposition of new burdens on state budgets.” The resolutions are in response to signals from the incoming federal administration and Congress to place new limits on Medicaid funding to states combined with more flexibility operating the program. In Connecticut, Medicaid covers one in five state residents, including 186,967 people newly eligible under the Affordable Care Act, brings $4.6 billion in health funding to the state and comprises 23.2% of the state’s budget.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Health Care Cabinet finalizes controversial report recommendations for reform with tight votes

At yesterday’s meeting, the Health Care Cabinet took a final vote on controversial recommendations to reform our state’s health system. The main concern that garnered the most disagreement and public input was a recommendation to place all Medicaid and state employees in a downside risk payment model within four years. While the measure still passed, the vote was close at 11 to 8. Three members changed their votes to oppose the measure – Frances Padilla of the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, Josh Wojick of the State Comptroller’s Office and Dr. William Handelman, former President of the CT State Medical Society. Rev. Bonita Grubbs also voted against the measure, as she was not able to attend the previous vote. They joined the four previous no votes on the recommendation from OPM, DSS, DPH and the CT Health Policy Project. The Cabinet’s vote in favor of downside risk on an aggressive timeline stands in contrast to comments submitted by CT’s Medicaid and Behavioral Health oversight councils and the overwhelming majority of public input received at the Cabinet’s public hearing which ran three to one against the proposal. A minority report opposing downside risk and other recommendations was added to the final draft. Other proposals also garnered significant opposition including a tie on whether to set targets for value-based purchasing contracts.

Monday, December 5, 2016

CT Health Reform Dashboard responds to eroding accountability in hospital oversight and Medicaid consumer rights

This month’s Health Reform Dashboard update once again reflects more attempts to unravel progress in CT.  Medicaid leads the concerns with the success of new ACOs at the last minute in blowing up federally required consumer notices that were carefully negotiated over months, so that consumers will need a college education to understand the risks of underservice and adverse selection or how to protect themselves. This is in addition to the administration’s broken promises on downside risk and a reversal on whether to conduct or act on a meaningful evaluation of the new Medicaid shared savings program. Other concerns include poor choices for monitors and consultants to oversee Yale-New Haven’s acquisition of L&M’s health system, the Health Care Cabinet continues to consider troubling reform recommendations for CT and SIM ethics concerns continue.