health care roundtable

Recent Posts

Yeah, CT health care costs are high, but which ones are highest?

How the average prices paid for privately insured patients compared to the national average for abdomen X-rays. In Connecticut, the price was more than 33 percent higher than the national average.

The amount paid for a cesarean childbirth and newborn care in the hospital, for example, averaged $20,107 in Connecticut – 26 percent above the national average of $15,917, according to data based on claims paid by three private insurance companies. But costs also ranged within the state, averaging $20,773 in the Bridgeport area, $19,715 in the Hartford region, and $18,915 in and around New Haven. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

Senate passes bill limiting doctor non-compete agreements

Sen. Len Fasano (file photo)

The Senate passed a proposal Wednesday to limit non-compete clauses in physician contracts and broaden the types of organizations that can employ doctors, a measure intended to address concerns among Senate leaders about doctors’ ability to remain in independent practice or return to it after joining a hospital system. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Middlesex Hospital gets approval for shoreline cancer treatment

This is A picture of an Elektra linear accelerator, included in Middlesex Hospital's certificate of need proposal.

Middlesex Hospital has reached a settlement with state regulators that will allow it to put a new piece of cancer treatment equipment in its shoreline clinic in Westbrook – a proposal that drew opposition from Yale-New Haven Hospital and sparked questions about the intersection of state regulation and health care competition. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Session Notes: Governor names certificate of need task force

session notes logo

The task force, created by a February executive order, will review the state’s certificate of need process, which governs whether hospitals, nursing homes, residential care facilities and certain physician organizations can open certain facilities, acquire certain equipment, change ownership or eliminate services. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

Hospitals say state puts them between a rock and a hard place

hospital image 2

As hospital officials describe it, state policy is pushing them in two opposing directions. Higher state taxes and funding cuts have added to the factors pushing independent community hospitals to join larger health systems, they say. But at the same time, legislators concerned about the growth of large health systems have been pushing for new restrictions on changes in hospital ownership, which hospital officials say makes it harder for them to adapt. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Change to hospital regulation again looms – but direction unclear

Windham Hospital

As hospitals join larger systems and critics worry about access to care, a key legislator said the time is ripe for lawmakers to revisit the way the state regulates major changes in health care. But it’s not yet clear what shape such changes will take – or whether they would leave the state with more regulation or less, a sign of sharply differing views on its role. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Expert: Transparency, savvy patients, competition key in tackling health care prices

This is a picture of Zack Cooper

Zack Cooper recently co-authored a high-profile paper linking higher hospital prices to market power. He advocates for strong antitrust enforcement when it comes to health care consolidation. But when his father was very sick, Cooper told state policymakers, he wanted him to go to a large medical center that treated a high volume of patients with the same condition. “There’s this tension,” he said. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

In shoreline cancer treatment dispute, questions about hospital competition

mx con image

What began with a plan to replace an aging piece of medical equipment has turned into a dispute over the delivery of cancer care along Connecticut’s affluent shoreline. And at a time when policymakers have expressed worries about preserving competition in the state’s fast-consolidating health care market, one side has suggested the case highlights questions about competition – and the way state regulation can limit it. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

How well will new rules on health care cost transparency work?

health care cost transparency graphic

Lisa Freeman recently tried an experiment: Before having a medical diagnostic test, she tried to figure out what it would cost. “It took no less than five phone calls, and I still never got to the end of the thing,” she said. A major transparency law intended to change that is taking effect this year. How will it work in practice? Health care providers say it might be bumpy at first. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Critics seek hard look at Yale–L+M deal, hospital market power

yale l+m image

A group of unions and advocacy organizations are calling for state regulators to take a hard look at the growth in power and market concentration of large health systems in Connecticut – and what that means for patients – when they review Yale New Haven Health System’s proposed acquisition of New London’s Lawrence + Memorial Hospital. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , ,

As health care changes, can independent hospitals survive?

Independent hospitals

As large hospital systems have grown in Connecticut, the state now has just seven hospitals that are not part of a bigger system or in talks to join one. Are the remaining independents holding out for the right suitor? Or do they see a path forward as independent hospitals at a time when more hospital leaders are taking the opposite view? Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,