News Headlines

CT vaccine info: What to know about new COVID-19 booster shot
Connecticut Mirror - Thursday, September 22, 2022

Over 154k CT private sector essential workers seek COVID bonuses
Connecticut Mirror - Friday, September 23, 2022

CT COVID-19 Hospitalizations Jump To Highest Level Since February
Patch.Com - Friday, September 23, 2022

Calls to 988 crisis hotline in Connecticut surged 50% since July
Connecticut Public Radio - Thursday, September 22, 2022


What's New

U.S. House Passes Bill to Streamline Medicare Advantage Prior Authorization

Measures to speed up the prior authorization process in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are in the hands of the U.S. Senate now, after being passed last week in the House of Representatives.  The House passed on a voice vote the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act (H.R. 3173), legislation that would establish an electronic prior authorization process, reduce the wait time for decisions, create a “real-time decisions” process for routine services, require health plans to file reports on prior authorization approvals and denials, encouraging adherence to evidence-based guidelines.  The Senate will consider a companion bill that has broad support.


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New CDC Report Examines Preventable Maternal Mortality

A new report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that an estimated 84% of pregnancy-related maternal deaths in the U.S. between 2017 and 2019 were preventable and vary by race and ethnicity.  The data came from 36 states, and indicated that the top underlying causes of pregnancy-related deaths were cardiac and coronary conditions among Black people, mental health conditions among Hispanic and white people, and hemorrhage among Asian people.  More than half of the deaths occurred seven days to one year postpartum, with under a quarter occurring during pregnancy and about a quarter occurring on the day of delivery or within a week after delivery.  


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HHS Outlines Roadmap for Behavioral Healthcare Integration

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a plan designed to advance the Biden Administration’s national mental health strategy through integration of behavioral healthcare and services into existing healthcare, social service, and early childhood settings.  The goal is to increase access to equitable, evidence-based, culturally appropriate and person-centered behavioral healthcare by integrating it into a “whole person” healthcare model that reduces barriers to services.  The plan includes specific strategies for developing a diverse workforce prepared to practice in integrated settings, reducing insurance coverage limitations on behavioral health services, and increasing the settings in which behavioral health promotion, prevention, and recovery are accessible.


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