A few years ago, Nadia Lugo went door-to-door in Hartford’s North End with a list of names and a mission: Find people who were going to the emergency room frequently. Figure out what was keeping them from staying healthy or getting the right kind of care. And try to help. It was the kind of work many in health policy now view as key toward improving the outcomes of high-need patients. But incorporating it into the health care system remains a challenge.
This fall, Access Health CT will begin its fourth year of selling private insurance plans to Connecticut residents, as well as enrolling people in Medicaid. But its leaders are eyeing a broader role, focused on not just getting people covered, but improving health.
Many of those who came to Connecticut as refugees from Southeast Asia in the 1970s and 80s live with multiple chronic medical conditions, depression and post-traumatic stress. But often, they get medical care without access to trained interpreters to help bridge language barriers that can make it difficult to communicate their symptoms, understand how to handle medication, or build the trust needed to address the effects of trauma.
Connecticut will receive $45 million in federal funds for an effort to redesign the state’s health care payment and delivery systems.
State officials are seeking millions of dollars in federal funds with the ambitious goal of redesigning how health care is paid for and delivered to the majority of Connecticut residents. But critics say a late addition to the application could significantly change Connecticut’s Medicaid program, in ways they worry could make it harder for poor people to receive care.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy wants health plans to pay for the hiring of nine staffers to develop a state-level health reform plan. Business groups say it’s an unfair burden, and at least one says it might not be legal.
State officials and representatives from the health care and insurance industries are developing a plan to redesign how health care is delivered and paid for in the state, an initiative aimed at affecting the vast majority of Connecticut residents.