Legislators Continue to Dig Deep on Health Care Issues in the Recent Round Tables

By Lynne Ide and Rosan Garcia

round_meetingToday we are reporting on the two hearings held in December by the legislature’s Bi-Partisan Round Table on Hospitals and Health Care.

Rosana Garcia reports on the December 4 hearing:

The December 4 Information Hearing focused on physician and hospital collaborations to improve care.  Legislators heard from the new Value Care Alliance (VCA) announced September 23, 2014, as well as the Connecticut Hospital Association, Hartford HealthCare, ProHealth Physicians, and the Connecticut State Medical Society.

The Value Care Alliance (click here for their slides from the hearing) is a collaboration of seven hospitals (Griffin Hospital in Derby, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport, and Western Connecticut Health Network—which is composed of Danbury, New Milford and Norwalk Hospitals).  Patrick Charmel, CEO of Griffin Hospital, presented on the VCA collaborative strategy to focus on the shifting payment landscape of reimbursing for value, rather than volume, of services.

Bruce Cummings, CEO of Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, stated that the Value Care Alliance is hoping to be the “third way” of doing business as a hospital in the state—as opposed to consolidation or for-profit take-over.  The Value Care Alliance believes that by improving quality, costs will decrease.

Presentations by ProHealth Physicians, Hartford HealthCare and the Medical Society also focused on efforts to enhance value.

Lynne Ide reports from the December 18 hearing:

The December 18 Informational Hearing focused on a range of issues, as well, including: facility fees, negotiations between hospitals and insurers, anti-trust concerns, cost concerns and price transparency.  The variety of topics covered was matched by the number of speakers from state entities, such as: Department of Insurance, Office of Legislative Research, Attorney General’s office and the State Comptroller, Kevin Lembo.  In addition, six health insurance industry representatives were on hand to speak.

The various presentations are all available online at the round table’s webpage at the Connecticut General Assembly: 2014 Bi-Partisan Round Table on Hospitals and Health Care.

To the average observer, the focus of the hearing was hard to pinpoint.  Generally, the over-arching theme seemed to settle in on the cost of care.  Possible solutions to the issues at-hand seemed more elusive as the hearing ran on – especially ones that state legislators might have the ability and will to affect.

The 2015 legislative session will start on January 7.  The Round Table will likely put out a report and recommendations for action during the session.  It will be worth watching what a bipartisan working group will be able to agree on regarding next steps.

It seems that all sorts of people can agree that there’s a problem with the cost of our health care system.  The question remains – what are we all willing to do about it?

Previous blogs on the Bi-Partisan Round Table on Hospitals and Health Care:

November 13, 2014 – Bipartisan Group Slogs Through Complicated Health Care System

October 29, 2014 – Round Table Takes on Swiftly Changing Hospital and Medical Care Landscape




This entry was posted in Lynne Ide, Rosana G. Ferraro and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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