Health Care

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‘Grossly unfair?’ Widower takes ban on military injury claims to Supreme Court

More than four years after Navy Lt. Rebekah Daniel bled to death within hours of childbirth at a Washington state military hospital, her husband still doesn’t know exactly how — or why — it happened. Walter Daniel, a former Coast Guard officer, demanded explanations from officials at the Naval Hospital Bremerton, where his wife, known as “Moani,” died on March 9, 2014. He says he got none. No results from a formal review of the incident, no details about how the low-risk pregnancy of a healthy 33-year-old woman — a labor and delivery nurse herself — ended in tragedy, leaving their newborn daughter, Victoria, now 4, without a mom. “There was no timeline, no records of what steps were taken,” recalled Daniel, 39, sitting in his Seattle lawyer’s high-rise office last month. Continue Reading →

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Justice Department approves CVS-Aetna merger, with conditions

WASHINGTON –The Justice Department on Wednesday cleared CVS Health Corp.’s planned $69 billion merger with Aetna Inc. after the companies agreed to divest a Medicare prescription drug plan sold by the Hartford-based health insurer. Consumer groups, however, continue to oppose the deal. Continue Reading →

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More than half of CT health care systems in the black in 2017

Nine of the 16 health systems in Connecticut ended 2017 in the black, according to a report by the state Office of Health Strategy. Collectively, the systems took in about $14.2 billion in the fiscal year that ended on Sept. 30, 2017. After expenses, this left about $580 million — a 4 percent total margin. Continue Reading →

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Can we do better? The state’s ongoing search for ways to treat drug addiction

After serving a three-year prison sentence and completing three years of probation, Bridgeport resident William Kelly found himself back in lock up in 2016 on another round of drug charges. But this time, things were different. Instead of more jail time, Kelly was offered a spot in a state-sponsored treatment program and began his path to recovery within a day of being arrested. Continue Reading →

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CVS, Aetna urge Connecticut regulators to approve proposed acquisition

The Connecticut Insurance Department now has 30 days to decide whether to approve CVS Health Corp.’s acquisition of Hartford-based Aetna Inc. – a merger the companies say will drive down health care costs and opponents portray as anti-competitive and harmful to patients. Continue Reading →

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CT sexual assault survivors feel new pain as Trump disparages Kavanaugh accuser, advocates say

Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s contentious nomination process has shaken sexual assault survivors in Connecticut, who find themselves reliving the circumstances of their attacks and are again feeling the pain that came from disappointing efforts to find support afterwards, advocates say. Continue Reading →

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‘Contraception deserts’ likely to widen under new Trump policy

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — When Nikia Jackson needed to be screened for a sexually transmitted disease, she wanted a clinic that was reputable, quick and inexpensive. After searching online, Jackson, 23, ended up at the Obria Medical Clinics’ sparkling new facility in an office park in suburban Atlanta. She was unaware that the clinic does not offer condoms or other kinds of birth control beyond so-called natural family planning methods. Religious conservatives say these types of clinics are the future of women’s sexual health care in the United States. Continue Reading →

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Buried in opioid bill — protection for personal drug imports

WASHINGTON — The final version of the massive opioid bill Congress released Wednesday would grant the Food and Drug Administration new powers to crack down on drug imports, but it also includes a provision — nearly killed in the Senate — to shield people who are just trying to buy cheaper, needed prescription medication from other countries. Continue Reading →

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CT sees sharp decline in uninsured low-income adults in rural areas

Connecticut saw one of the biggest drops in the uninsured rate among low-income adults living in rural areas and small towns compared to other states, according to a national study released this week. The uninsured rate in the state’s sole non-metro county, Litchfield, fell from 32 percent in 2008-09 to 9 percent in 2015-16. Continue Reading →

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As states try to rein in drug spending, feds slap down one bold Medicaid move

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have denied an attempt by Massachusetts to negotiate prices for about 1 percent of the highest-priced drugs and stop covering some of them. CMS rejected the proposal, saying Massachusetts couldn’t do what it wanted and continue to receive the deep discounts drugmakers are required by law to give state Medicaid programs. The development has implications for the rest of the country. Continue Reading →

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CT docs say health information exchange would help fight opioid epidemic

As Connecticut residents continue to die from opioid overdoses at an alarming rate, several doctors agree that being able to share health records electronically across the entire state would help fight the epidemic. But a system to accommodate that sharing remains elusive. Continue Reading →

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