Healthcare Professionals for Healthcare Reform

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Connecticut’s new health plan has only 24 customers, 2 hospitals

W e previously discussed the Charter Oak health care plan (Connecticut’s new initiative for “Universal Coverage”). At the time we had little information on what it was all about. This article appeared today in my local newspaper (The Danbury News-Times) about it. It seems that the plan is having some trouble getting traction…
Other than the high cost to the insurance companies and low reimbursements to providers, I wonder if there wasn’t also a problem here of not properly informing the providers and the population about the details of the plan. Does anyone else (in Connecticut) feel under-informed?

Today, August 6th, The Danbury News Times had an editorial about the plan.
Some highlights:

This state plan to provide insurance to uninsured adults includes a reimbursement rate so low that it will add to the financial problems that so many hospitals are facing.
“Philosophically, we believe in the importance of health care coverage for everyone,” said Danbury Hospital spokesman Andrea Rynn. “Practically, though, Charter Oak relies on hospitals to provide services at rates which will not cover the cost of the care provided. “In recent weeks, Governor Rell has been issuing press release after press release announcing that thousands of Connecticut residents have been calling to inquire about Charter Oak.
The governor didn’t mention that only 24 people have actually enrolled. Nor did she mention only two hospitals have agreed to join the program — St. Mary’s in Waterbury and the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven. Nor did she mention that physicians have been slow to join.
Nor did she mention that Commissioner Michael Starkowski of the Department of Social Services warned her office against starting Charter Oak before the program was ready.

And it concludes with:

Charter Oak was started with good intentions. But a solid program is needed, not just good intentions.



August 5, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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