State officials and health care industry representatives are working to redesign the way health care is delivered and paid for in Connecticut, with the goal of making changes that affect at least 80 percent of state residents.

They’re now seeking feedback from the public on a draft of their plan, which is part of an effort referred to as the State Innovation Model Initiative, or SIM.

The current draft is part of an attempt to get close to $45 million in federal funds as part of a grant created by the health reform law known as Obamacare. The planning process so far has been funded with a $2.85 million federal grant.

Much of the plan involves encouraging — and paying — primary care providers to take on a larger role in patient care, improving coordination of health care and social services for people in at-risk communities, and changing the way health care providers are paid to hold them accountable for the quality and cost of care.

Supporters of the plan say it’s a way to reduce waste in the system, improve health, rein in health care spending and better coordinate existing initiatives aimed at changing how health care providers are paid.

But the effort also has critics, who say the planning process has not been transparent or involved the input of independent consumer advocates, and that the payment changes could hurt patients by giving their doctors a financial incentive to provide less care.

For more on the thinking behind the plan, and the critics’ concerns, click here and here.

Comments can be submitted by email to

Draft of Connecticut Healthcare Innovation Plan (back to story)

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Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

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