Victoria Veltri

Recent Posts

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 →

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Small community hospitals struggle to avoid a downward spiral

Many in health care say joining larger systems is key to small hospitals’ survival. But some policymakers are wary of the trend, saying it can raise prices without necessarily improving quality. And leaders of the state’s few remaining independent community hospitals say their organizations are facing stresses that could jeopardize their viability. Continue Reading →

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The health care that happens outside the doctor’s office

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. Continue Reading →

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With Obamacare’s future uncertain, CT exchange contemplates strategies

One person likened it to looking at a “foggy crystal ball.” Another spoke of changing a tire on a car that’s still moving. But others cautioned against speculating and emphasized the fact that, so far, nothing about the Affordable Care Act has changed. Continue Reading →

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How to manage a high-deductible health plan

This is an illustration of a woman struggling to figure out what health care will cost.

High-deductible health plans, which are increasingly common, don’t just require people to pay more when they get care; they also leave people with more to understand, from figuring out how much care costs to handling bills that aren’t always clear. Here are some tips from experts on how to manage a high-deductible plan. This story is the latest in a series on how to better navigate the health care system. Continue Reading →

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Do public hearings influence what health insurance costs?

Arleen and Marc Sandy Block testified at the public hearing on Anthem's proposed rate hike, saying their son's policy was already unaffordable.

A Fairfield County couple traveled to Hartford in June to urge regulators not to let their son’s insurer raise its rates. A month later, the insurance department rejected the company’s proposal. But what role did the public hearing have in that decision? Not much, according to the department. Continue Reading →

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Obamacare glitch leading to canceled policies, some say

Republican leaders say constituents have had their policies canceled because of problems with the state’s Obamacare exchange. Their claim isn’t entirely accurate, but people involved in insurance administration say problems are causing some people to lose coverage. Continue Reading →

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Healthcare advocate wants hearing on Anthem rate request

Photo of State Healthcare Advocate Victoria Veltri

State Healthcare Advocate Victoria Veltri has asked the Connecticut Insurance Department to hold a public hearing on Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s proposal to raise premiums for its individual-market health plans by an average of 12.5 percent next year. Continue Reading →

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For some new Medicaid clients, delays getting care, prescriptions

This is a photo of Margaret Hagins, who qualifies for Medicaid under Obamacare but could not use her coverage for close to six weeks.

People who are deemed eligible for Medicaid get a letter to use as proof of coverage until their insurance ID cards arrive, but some have found that pharmacies and doctors won’t accept it, leaving them unable to get care or medication. Continue Reading →

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Feds consider scaling back Medicaid estate recovery

For some adults, getting Medicaid coverage means that when they die, the state could claim some or all of their assets to repay the medical care they received. That’s left some people who qualify for the program under the federal health law wary of joining. And now the federal government, concerned about the effect on enrollment, plans to explore scaling back the practice. Continue Reading →

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CT hospitals’ group recommends notifying patients on facility fees, costs

As state officials push for legislation, the Connecticut Hospital Association has recommended that its members provide patients with specific information about “facility fees” they could incur if they get care at hospital-owned medical offices. Continue Reading →

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In UnitedHealthcare doctor cuts, some see larger trend

UnitedHealthcare sparked an intense backlash last fall when it notified more than 2,000 Connecticut doctors that they would be dropped from its Medicare Advantage network. Many people in health care believe that what UnitedHealthcare is trying to do — cover fewer doctors and other health care providers — is likely to become increasingly common in Connecticut. And to some doctors, the fight against UnitedHealthcare’s network changes is in part about pushing back against the larger trend. Continue Reading →

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