CHA and Hospital CEOs Participate in Healthcare Cost Drivers Forum

Today, CHA’s Jim Iacobellis (Senior Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs) and Paul Kidwell (Senior Vice President, Policy) along with Patrick Charmel, CEO, Griffin Health, and Kurt Barwis, CEO, Bristol Health, participated in a forum discussing key healthcare cost drivers. 

Organized by the Office of the Healthcare Advocate, Connecticut Insurance Department, and the Office of Health Strategy, the forum brought together key stakeholders to discuss the factors that affect healthcare costs, the drivers of those costs, and the market and policy dynamics that influence those costs. 

Hospital and health system representatives identified the immediate cost drivers as inflation- and pandemic-related—lead by significant increases in labor and supply costs as well as increasing patient length of stay.  They also pressed on the continued rise in drug costs and the cost of complying with burdensome commercial insurer practices like prior authorization.  Finally, they pressed on the structural payment imbalance between government commercial payers, noting that continued, significant underpayment by government payers (Medicare and Medicaid) put enormous pressure on hospitals to make up that payment shortfall through commercial rates. 

 

CHA Urges Members of the Connecticut Congressional Delegation to Join Call for Pediatric Health Emergency

Citing the dramatic increase in pediatric patients requiring treatment for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, the increase in influenza, and the possibility that COVID-19 infections may increase rapidly in the winter months, CHA requested that the members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation join their congressional colleagues in calling on the Biden Administration to declare a pediatric health emergency.   

CHA noted in its request that Connecticut’s children’s hospitals are doing everything they can to provide exceptional care to the state’s pediatric patients—expanding clinical space, recruiting additional staff, and working together and with other acute care hospitals in Connecticut and the region. 

However, CHA described, given the level of need, more help is required. 

Specifically, CHA asked members to add their names to a letter that Representative Steve Cohen (TN) is circulating to the President and Secretary Becerra encouraging them to take action on the request. 

To date, Representative John Larson has added his name to the letter. 

 

General Assembly Meets in Special Session

On Monday, November 28, the General Assembly met in a rare lame duck special session. Governor Lamont called the special session to address several issues, namely: extending, then phasing out the state’s gasoline tax holiday; funding for winter heating assistance and pandemic bonuses for essential workers; and making a technical change to the bottle deposit program. 

The pandemic pay bonuses for essential workers program was modified by increasing the funding allocation and amending eligibility for participation.  The program was established for health and child-care providers, supermarket employees, delivery drivers and other private-sector workers who provided essential services during the pandemic outbreak in 2020.  Because of the number of applicants, eligible essential workers will receive bonuses based on income:

  • $800 for those earning between $50,000 and $60,000
  • $750 for those earning between $60,000 and $70,000
  • $500 for those earning between $70,000 and $80,000
  • $250 for those earning between $80,000 and $90,000
  • $200 for those earning between $90,000 and $100,000

Also addressed during the special session was a provision to extend, then phase out the state’s gasoline tax holiday.  The holiday on the 25-cents-per-gallon retail tax on gasoline was scheduled to end on November 30, 2022, but instead, will be extended through December 31, 2022.  In January 2023, the tax then begins to be reinstated by 5 cents per month until the full 25 cents per gallon is fully restored starting in May 2023.

The bill, passed by both chambers of the General Assembly, HB 6001, An Act Concerning The Suspension Of Certain Gas Taxes, The Extension Of Free Bus Service, Bottle Deposit Labels And Funding For The Connecticut Premium Pay Program And Energy Assistance, can be found here.

The General Assembly is not expected to reconvene until the start of the new legislative session on January 4, 2023.

 

Education Updates

HIPAA Privacy, Security & Breach Rules: Keeping Current to Remain Compliant
December 6, 2022 and December 13, 2022; 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Virtual Training

This two-part program will cover HIPAA Privacy Rule and HIPAA Breach Rule requirements for healthcare providers, with an emphasis on regulatory enforcement trends, enhanced patient access rights, data access relating to public health including for the pandemic response, and the need to balance HIPAA requirements with the 21st Century Cures Act Interoperability and Information Blocking Rules.  The program will also address the importance of prioritizing HIPAA security planning in the face of increasing cyber threats.

  • Click here to register.

PROUD Enduring Recorded Sessions
On Demand
Virtual Sessions

As care providers, there is much to learn about helping families managing substance use disorders to be successful.  Parents Recovering from Opioid Use Disorders (PROUD) includes an education series for healthcare and service providers, giving them tools to help individuals and families manage the many challenges they face.

The education series includes several recorded, one-hour sessions, open for a year from their recording date.  These sessions provide continuing education credit for a variety of professions, are free to participants (registration is necessary), and are available on demand to fit into busy schedules.

  • Click here to view and register for available sessions

 

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