Hospital for Special Care opening state’s first autism inpatient unit

The Hospital for Special Care announced plans to open an eight-bed inpatient unit next month for young people with autism spectrum disorders as well as aggression, self-injury or severely impaired functioning – something hospital officials and advocates say will be an alternative to children being sent to out-of-state facilities, treatment progams that don’t meet their needs, or getting stuck in an emergency room while waiting for services. Continue Reading →

Youth service officers: We are not abusing kids in jail

Staff from CJTS speak out against reports on conditions inside the state-run jails

A state investigation that uncovered improper use of restraint and seclusion at Connecticut's juvenile correction facilities left out one important element, front line staff members say: their voices. "We cannot and will not be portrayed as the enemy or the abuser of the young people we are dedicated to helping and healing," says Suzanne Borner, a teacher at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School for boys in Middletown. "We ask you to remember that every story has another side, and a whole lot more context. Please hear ours," said George Register, a youth service officer of eight years. For example, consider  the story of Jennie. Continue Reading →

This Week in Washington

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Congress moved at the 11th hour to avert a government shutdown, but it’s only a short-term fix -- with a new budget deadline of Dec. 11. Access Health CT CEO James Wadleigh defended the operations of Connecticut’s health exchange to skeptical GOP lawmakers. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini’s plans to merge with Humana were also scrutinized by a House panel this week. Continue Reading →

Some Democrats ready to talk about state worker concessions

This is a picture of Sen. Beth Bye

Republican state legislators no longer are the only ones talking about an immediate need for new concessions from state employees. The top Democrat on the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, Sen. Beth Bye of West Hartford, confirms that Democrats on her panel have discussed the possibility of worker furloughs to mitigate recent cuts to hospitals and to services for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled. Continue Reading →

Hospitals could face larger cut

St. Francis hospital

The governor cut $192 million in Medicaid funding for hospitals last month, but the actual hit to hospitals could end up being 25 percent higher. The state is holding back additional payments that weren’t part of the cost-saving measure, and the governor’s budget office said decisions about whether to pay them will be “based on whether we have enough money to keep the budget in balance.” Continue Reading →