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DCF seeks independent review of children’s psychiatric hospital

Connecticut Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz said on Thursday she is seeking an independent review of the state-run psychiatric facility for children where a pregnant teenager hanged herself last month.
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More ER docs turning to non-opioids to fight overdose epidemic

Emergency department physicians across the state are using more non-opioid treatments for conditions that historically have required powerful opioids for pain management, as they try to play a lead role in the overdose epidemic that kills on average 115 Americans every day. This change, coupled with other efforts, has resulted in a significant decrease in opioids ordered at emergency departments in at least two hospitals, Norwalk and Middlesex, from 2016 to 2017. Continue Reading →

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DSS increasing staff at its call center to combat long wait times

This is a photo of DSS Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby and George Chamberlin, who runs the benefits centers

The commissioner of the state Department of Social Services says his agency is increasing staff at its call center to reduce long wait times. Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby wrote about the increase in staffing in a letter to a group of Medicaid advocates, providers, and clients who recently penned a letter to the commissioner demanding action. “Notwithstanding these inaccurate descriptions of the Department’s access options and processes, the Department also understands that long wait times are deeply frustrating to those who need to contact a worker and prefer to use the telephone,” said Bremby in the letter. The DSS system for handling clients’ calls has been under scrutiny since it was implemented five years ago to improve service. The old system relied on each client reaching a specific worker, who kept case information in paper files. Continue Reading →

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Drug prices keep rising despite efforts to address problem

Some days, the inflammation and pain from rheumatoid arthritis makes it almost impossible for Tracy Braun to even sit up. “Sometimes I can’t even get up on my own,” she said. Braun is among a growing number of Americans who are finding it difficult to afford needed medicines, and a solution to their problem in Washington D.C. may continue to be elusive.
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Plaintiffs ask court to find DSS in contempt in Medicaid case

This is a picture of Social Services Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby.

The plaintiffs in a federal class action lawsuit who settled with the state Department of Social Services want a judge to find the state in contempt for failing to process certain types of Medicaid applications in the mandated timeframe. The state argued it shouldn’t be found in contempt because the plaintiffs did not prove all elements for contempt. Continue Reading →

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Access Health CT enrollment rose, along with premiums

WASHINGTON – A new federal report shows that enrollment in Connecticut’s Affordable Care Act marketplace increased this year, even as the cost of health insurance rose sharply. The report also said that 75 percent of those purchasing insurance through Access Health CT get federal help in paying for their premiums. Continue Reading →

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CT Dems seek political boost from Supreme Court fight

WASHINGTON – The prospect of a bruising battle over a Supreme Court nominee will permeate many political campaigns this year, including some in Connecticut, where Democrats are using the prospect of another Trump-appointed justice as an issue that will help them organize and raise money. Continue Reading →

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