Healthcare Roundtable Proposes New Initiatives

03.13.2015
Issues & Policies

A bipartisan Roundtable on Hospitals and Healthcare led last summer by Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney (D-New Haven) and Minority Leader Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven) has produced several healthcare-related bills that were heard by the Public Health Committee this week.
Senators Looney and Fasano proposed bills addressing pricing, electronic health records, data collection, and establishing a new policy commission.
While efforts to increase transparency and support innovation would help to reduce costs and increase quality, it’s important to remember they also would come on the heels of significant transformation taking place in the healthcare marketplace.
The Affordable Care Act has been a game-changer in the health insurance marketplace and many employers continue to adjust to its requirements that continue to roll out.
Connecticut has also pursued other policy initiatives under the ACA.  For example, the state has received federal funding and is implementing the State Innovation Model (SIM) which is designed to drive reforms in healthcare payments.
Also, the state’s health insurance exchange is running the All Payers Claim Database (APCD) which collects claims data. Eventually, the exchange will put together a consumer-friendly database housing provider information about cost and quality.
Both the SIM and APCD are aimed at improving healthcare quality and affordability.  Cost and quality are big concerns for Connecticut employers, so focusing on these initiatives is certainly timely.
But with costs continuing to rise there must be caution about charging employers and their employees additional taxes and fees–such as the fee proposed in the Roundtable’s SB 812, to fund a “Health IT Trust Fund.”  This fund is designed to help pay for the adoption of electronic health records.
While adoption of electronic health records has the support of the business community because it will improve quality of care, any new taxes and fees are a concern.
The Roundtable has provided a valuable service in identifying more ways to improve healthcare in Connecticut. As Connecticut’s healthcare landscape continues to evolve, it will be important to keep focusing on ways to drive quality and decrease cost.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Jennifer Herz at 860.244.1921 | jennifer.herz@cbia.com | @CBIAjherz

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