A decade of delays, $23 million spent, as state makes fourth try for health information exchange

The idea of a single health information exchange across the state of Connecticut seems simple: Gather all health information in one place and make it available to every practitioner involved with a single patient to provide the best care possible. Unfortunately, in Connecticut this process has been anything but simple. Instead, it has been enormously expensive and time-consuming — costing the state $23 million and 11 years of work which, to this date, have yet to produce an exchange. Continue Reading →

New ‘atlas’ tracks social media sentiment for Lamont, Stefanowski, other candidates

WASHINGTON – A new political tool that tracks sentiment on social media every day showed that more people said nice things about Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont than his Republican rival Bob Stefanowski . But the Political Atlas said Stefanowski had Lamont beat when it came to “favorability” which also took into account how many times his name was mentioned on social media. Continue Reading →

Opponents of Plum Island sale making gains

Washington – A coalition of environmental groups that oppose the federal government’s plan to sell Plum Island to the highest bidder are making progress on several fronts. The federal government has agreed to conduct a new environmental impact study of the proposed sale on the island’s diverse flora and fauna, while several bills that would block the sale are under consideration in Congress. Continue Reading →

CT hospitals collect $1.2B in outpatient facility fees over three years

Connecticut hospitals and health networks have received an estimated $1.2 billion in outpatient facility fees from 2015 through 2017, according to data announced on Tuesday. These fees are collected for a wide-range of services, including oncology, eye surgery, psychotherapy and primary care, provided at off-site facilities run by hospitals and health networks. Continue Reading →

Ben Barnes under consideration for higher-education post

Ben Barnes, who has overseen Connecticut’s budget as the secretary of the Office of Policy and Management from the first days of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration, is on a short list of candidates interviewed for the vacant post of chief financial officer at the state’s system of community colleges and regional universities. Continue Reading →

New tax break for private K-12 tuition begins this school year

A new state tax break is available this school year to help parents pay for private K-12 school tuition – a development triggered by the federal tax overhaul. The state has for years allowed parents to avoid paying state income taxes on up to $10,000 each year that they put into a college savings account, known as a 529 CHET account. In addition, they have not had to pay taxes on the money when it is withdrawn or on the investment earnings when they use it to pay for college. Now, those state tax benefits have been extended to allow parents and relatives to also use these 529 accounts for private, elementary and secondary school. That’s because the federal tax law that was changed last December on these accounts extends a federal tax benefit to include K-12 tuition. Continue Reading →