By Jill Zorn
If “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” then hopefully states like Maryland, Vermont, Rhode Island and Oregon will soon feel very flattered by Connecticut.
Connecticut’s Health Care Cabinet is on target to implement a key provision of the new health care law, SB 811, now Public Act 15-146, which requires that the cabinet study models in other states and identify best practices regarding:
(1) monitoring and controlling health care costs,
(2) enhancing competition in the health care market,
(3) promoting the use of high-quality health care providers with low total medical expenses and prices,
(4) improving health care cost and quality transparency,
(5) increasing cost-effectiveness in the health care market, and
(6) improving the quality of care and health outcomes.
The State of Connecticut, with the help of four foundations, including Universal Health Care Foundation, has engaged a consulting firm, Bailit Health Purchasing, to conduct the study and work with cabinet members to develop and present recommendations to the Connecticut General Assembly by December 1, 2016.
Tuesday’s cabinet meeting included an extensive presentation from three of the consultants. While emphasizing that each state has a unique political, economic and health care environment, Michael Bailit, the firm’s president, also highlighted that there are key commonalities in the “formula for success.” As reported in the CT Mirror article on the Cabinet meeting, these are:
- improving the effectiveness and efficiency of care delivery;
- thinking more holistically about people’s health rather than just about medical care;
- trying to create new connections within the system, and,
- addressing failures in the competitive market.
In October, Universal Health Care Foundation’s Reform to Transform summit featured a panel of experts from leader states, including Maryland, Vermont, Rhode Island and Oregon that have taken bold steps to improve health care affordability and quality.
Now, thanks to this new effort, Connecticut will get the chance to dig deeper into the lessons we can learn from those and other states.
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