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Mental health experts question police PTSD compromise

this is a picture of Sen. Cathy Osten

A compromise proposal that passed the Senate last week would extend workers' compensation benefits to police who experience mental health problems stemming from responding to a death caused by a person, but not those related to handling fatal car accidents. Mental health professionals say the distinction might make sense politically, but it makes little sense medically. Continue Reading →

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Senate votes to expand workers’ comp for cops, firefighters

Firefighters crowd the halls outside the Senate on Thursday.

The Senate voted 25 to 11 early Friday for legislation expanding workers’ compensation for police and firefighters, overcoming complaints that the new unfunded mandates would be financially ruinous to cities and towns in Connecticut. Continue Reading →

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Senate passes major health care bill, but fate in House uncertain

Sen. Len Fasano

The state Senate Thursday night passed an expansive bill aimed at influencing the state’s fast-changing health care landscape, a measure driven largely by the Senate leaders’ concerns about large hospital systems gaining too much market power and driving up costs. But a key House Democrat said that's unlikely to be the final version. Continue Reading →

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The doctor is online, and lawmakers are prescribing some rules

Dr. Mia Finkelston during a visit using LiveHealth Online, a form of telemedicine.

Joanna Leach didn't have time to get to the doctor to check out her lingering cold. So she flipped open her laptop, signed up for a service and was soon face-to-face — or screen-to-screen — with a doctor in another state, who diagnosed her and prescribed medication. That form of health care — known as telemedicine — is expected to become more common, and an attempt by legislators to regulate it has brought forward a debate on the shape it should take. Continue Reading →

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VIDEO: The public and personal sides of at-home caregiving

Along with sponsor AARP, The Connecticut Mirror hosts its third Google Hangout of the 2015 Connecticut legislative session to discuss caregiving. Joining host and Mirror Health Care Reporter Arielle Levin Becker are Rep. Catherine Abercrombie (D), Rep. Mitch Bolinsky (R), and Claudio W. Gualtieri, associate state director, advocacy, AARP Connecticut. Continue Reading →

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Can the state build a better system to get your medical records to your doctors?

Electronic medical records have become common, but the ability to share them easily between providers lags.

Chances are, if you’re a patient in Connecticut, your doctor enters your medical information into a laptop or tablet and sends your prescriptions to the pharmacy electronically. But if you end up in an emergency room, there’s a good chance your records will have to get there the old-fashioned way: by fax. Legislators are trying to change that, but not everyone agrees on what the state needs. Continue Reading →

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GOP controls fate of labor bill sought by firefighters

A Boston firefighter photographs a memorial to colleagues  who died from cancer.

The House Republican minority controls the fate of a heavily lobbied labor bill that would expand workers’ compensation coverage in Connecticut by declaring some forms of cancer to be an occupational hazard of firefighting. The GOP is expected to offer a compromise to a bill strenuously opposed by cities and towns. Continue Reading →

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The Basics: A bill aimed at helping caregivers when patients leave the hospital

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Sen. Dante Bartolomeo drove her grandmother home from the hospital last summer thinking she was prepared to continue providing her care. But when she drove into the garage and tried to help her grandmother use her walker, she realized there was a problem: No one at the hospital had mentioned that her grandmother was no longer able to walk. Continue Reading →

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Insurers seek rate hikes for 2016 Obamacare plans, but expect members’ health to stabilize

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Insurance companies selling health plans through the state’s health insurance exchange are seeking to raise rates next year, with average increases between 2 percent and nearly 14 percent. But the companies are expecting the medical needs of those newly insured under the federal health law to stabilize. Continue Reading →

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